The time-travel themed narrative is partially set in 1973 and for this composer Jimmy Lagnefors was hired to create a soundtrack authentic to the period. When the director specifically requested a song that “sounds like Electric Light Orchestra” Lagnefors brought in songwriter/artist David Myhr to collaborate.
Myhr, with his background in the 90’s power pop combo The Merrymakers and, in particular, his 2012 album Soundshine (Lojinx), has demonstrated a knack for creating fresh, modern, pop music with roots firmly in the classic tradition of McCartney & Lynne. It was no surprise that Myhr jumped at the chance. (Read more about David’s relation to Jeff Lynne here).
Lagnefors and Myhr were also behind the song “Vänta inte på mig” (“Don’t wait for me”) in last year’s Swedish box office smash Micke & Veronica. With the new song ”Spellbound” the songwriting duo has managed to create “”the song that E.L.O. never made”. It features heavily in the film and plays when the credits roll.
OK, so yesterday i gave a so called “recital lecture” at a conference called Research in Music Today 2016 (Musikforskning idag 2016) at Linnaeus University (Linnéuniversitet) in Växjö, Sweden. It was called “‘Men det här låter ju precis som…’ – Om låtskrivande efter given förlaga” which in English means “‘But this sounds just like…’ – About songwriting after given model” (or something like that…). The thing is I’m a doctoral student at the Department of Art, Communication and Education at Luleå University of Technology where I teach (see my David Myhr staff profile) and part of my training is to do stuff like this.
I talk about writing after “briefs” and give examples from my own artistic practice from writing for other artists (including Puffy), jingles for commercial radio spots, and writing for movie soundtracks including my future single (fall of 2016?) “Spellbound” which is written in the style of E.L.O.(!). (As you blog followers know I’m a big E.L.O. fan!!!)
The presentation is in Swedish so I’m afraid those who don’t understand Swedish may have a hard time understanding since it’s in… yes, that’s right… Swedish… but one day I’m sure I’ll do something similar in English! Or maybe Spanish…?
I must say the whole thing was a positive experience and I had lots of fun hanging out with music researchers from all over Sweden and it turned out Växjö was a really groovy town. Not least because of Kafé De Luxe which was a great place to hang out. And “of course” I took over the piano for a while and did my living Beatles jukebox thing… and the people of Växjö were shall we say…. “flabbergasted”…?
Just like that. Out of the blue! While you’re all out there lazing on all the sunny afternoons I am delighted to bring you a little surprise from the David Myhr record label head quarters at Lojinx, England. Soundshine is available as of TODAY on vinyl. Yes indeed! A real 33 1⁄3rpm microgroove vinyl record. An LP (Long Play)! Get your copy now by clicking this link: http://ljx.cc/soundshine
Up until now I’ve been watching the whole vinyl revival thing from a distance. I’ve remained a digital guy, fascinated as I am with streaming services like Spotify. Having said that, there’s a particular magic about the old LP format that not even I can resist. It obviously has a lot to do with nostalgia. As a small kid in the late 70’s and early 80’s the LP was the medium on which I discovered music (alongside the cassette). I’ll never forget when my sister-in-law Agneta borrowed me her copies of The Beatles red and blue albums. Or how I went to the local record store and bought my own copy of Paul McCartney’s then brand new Tug of war. Not to mention browsing through my brother Niklas record collection discovering David Bowie, Neil Young, Cat Stevens, and other “hip and happening” artists (as you can see I was retro even as a twelve-year-old).
In a (very) old blog post I wrote about how I miss record stores and now the time has come to admit that I also miss the smell, the sound, and above all the look of the LP format. And finally, the longing after something “real” became so strong that I decided to put some hard-earned money into making a vinyl version of Soundshine in hope there’s at least a few people out there that just like me are looking forward to opening it up in the new format, to enjoy the artwork (now bigger than ever!), read the lyrics, the never-ending thank you list, the credits, and everything on the inner sleeve. (Stuff that seems to be completely forgotten these days but which for us music nerds is half the fun). And then to put down the needle and enjoy listening to something so old-fashioned as a “Side A”, flip it over, and then “Side B”.
The two last songs will differ from the digital version. The backwards mumbo jumbo at the end of “Icy Tracks” is gone and the never-ending outro of “Ride Along” is somewhat shortened. This is due to the physical limitations of the LP format. But funnily enough I think it (if possible?) actually may increase the listening experience.
Included with the album is a digital download in case you (just like me) don’t yet have your vinyl player set up. In other words you can still enjoy the packaging and hang it on the wall alongside your Nickelback, and Michael Bolton album covers (they’re the ones you’re supposed to mention when you’re being ironic, right?).
It’s time to say goodbye to the year of 2012 and I want to do it by saying thank you to all you wonderful people who have been involved in one way or another in the events surrounding the release of my solo debut album Soundshine.
To do so I have put together a four minute long slide show that will take you through memorable moments from recording sessions in Stockholm and at Abbey Road in London to gigs in Tokyo, Osaka, Madrid, Burgos, London, Stockholm, and Piteå. But more importantly it shows some of all the great meetings I’ve had with music lovers, music colleagues, fans, friends, family, band mates, record label and music publishing people, and a couple of idols as well.
The soundtrack consists of a medley of all the songs on Soundshine in a “don’t bore us – get to the chorus” fashion. The photos were taken by among others Amy Campbell, Paula and Carol Muñoz Macaya, Kiki Fukuzumi, Jonas Förare, but also by many more… thanks!
So, from the bottom of my heart – thank you to each and everyone who has supported the release of Soundshine (and that includes all of you who didn’t end up in the slide show as well)!
Hope to see you all again in a not too distant future!
Six months before the Japanese release of Soundshine and nine months before the European release I entered the main stage at PDOL (an abbreviation for “Piteå Dansar och Ler”
which is Swedish for “Piteå dances and smiles”). It’s an annual street festival in my former home town Piteåway up north in Sweden which usually gather at least some 25,000 visitors.
For the occasion I used the same backing band as I did on my premiere show in Piteå earlier the same year. Andreas Dahlbäck on drums who also played drums on the album and acted as my sounding board in the recording process which led to me entitling him “co-producer” of the album. Robert van der Zwan (Poplabbet) and Krille Eriksson played guitars, Erik Jonsson (The Fix) played bass, and Joel Sjödin (Mankind) played keyboards. An amazing backing group if you ask me. Furthermore we were joined on two songs by the horn section Horny Minds from local blues heroes Ramblin’ Minds, and last but not least we were honored to have one of the finest Swedish current female pop artists around… Edith Backlund!
I have played at this festival a few times before over the last twenty years, both with the Merrymakers in the 90’s, not to mention our short “revival” in 2007, and also at reunions of my early bands from my youth (Ant-Mansson and 2nd Hand B band). I’ve also played there with the ABBA tribute band Super Trouper in which I play the part of Benny Andersson. However, this was the first time that I entered the main stage of the festival, and what’s more as a solo artist. In that sense it was kind of a big moment for me so I decided to document it properly which included renting a multi-track recorder and hire a film crew.
Time has proved it difficult to come out to meet audiences in other countries with a full backing band. Instead I’ve made solo acoustic gigs – like for instance in Spain in March. It’s true, there are rare exceptions like when I played in Tokyo with local backing musicians or in London on the Lojinx release party where I had a full band. But as the situation is right now it doesn’t look like a proper world tour with a full backing group is happening…
Therefore, I am now very pleased to be able to share this live experience and fond memory with anyone, anywhere, who might be interested. The 47 minute film documents not only the entire show including all the talk between the songs (subtitled in English – only for you!), but also a little bit of life back stage including the nervous artist only seconds before going on stage and the after show hugs while the credits are running to the soundtrack of the re-mix of Looking for a life.
Put on your best headphones, get your beverage, sit back, and enjoy! A splendid time is guaranteed for all! I really hope you like what you see and hear and if you do, please feel free to comment, and of course to share. For those of you who want to have a high quality, hi res experience, I am open for burning DVD’s of the occasion. Don’t hesitate to contact me in order to discuss the practicalities…
And hopefully one day I’ll be able to bring the band, come to YOUR town and play IRL!
So what’s the world like after the release of my solo debut album Soundshine a little more than a month ago? Do people talk about a “before and after Soundshine” effect? Maybe it’s too early to tell… ?After all the sound of the album is what I usually call “timeless” (sounds better than “dated”, doesn’t it?) and therefore I hope it will live on for years to come.
Since the release I’ve received messages from happy record buyers both on Facebook, Twitter and e-mail saying incredibly nice things about the album. (You can be one yourself – no matter where you live – by ordering it from the David Myhr Store!). And that’s really what makes it all worthwhile. It’s such a thrill knowing that the CD is now spinning in car stereos and the mp3’s streaming out of computers and iPods in the U.K., the U.S., Japan, Spain, Sweden, Italy, France, Germany, and hopefully many more countries. I want to thank you all for those messages – your feedback means the world to me! Please keep the thumbs-up coming for a year or so in order to avoid me sinking into the post-production-depression that I’ve been fearing since I started the recordings two years ago.
There’s also been a bunch of reviews – above all in the blog world – and I thought I’d share some of them with you. Starting of today with a review from americanaUK written by David Cowling that gives Soundshine a 7 out of 10 saying it’s “sheer unadulterated pop music, sheer unadulterated delight” and that it contains “a kaleidoscope of major chords, of bouncy melodies with everything fine-tuned for pleasure”
I fell in love with the country when I was there a few times in end of the 90’s with the Merrymakers promoting our two albums. We traveled all over the country to make showcases at record stores, signing records and making interviews. It was in a strange time when the music business was doing well (believe it or not!) and Swedish music was particularly successful there. Such were the times that for example the record company would pay a trip for the three of us to only to take a photo for the front cover of our album “Bubblegun”. They put us, the struggling poor musicians, in one fancy hotel suite each for a whole week and it must have costed a small fortune (not least considering the bills from various sky bars, restaurants etc). Ironically the photo we ended up with features us in the stairs of a subway station – a photo that could just as well have been taken in Stockholm… but in all insanity, for me the experience created some unforgettable memories. Please feel free to enjoy a long lost super-rare promo clip of our Japanese radio smash hit “Monument of Me” which I found the other day on a VHS at home:
After a few years of longing back to Japan Paula and I went there in 2007 and it was great – catching up in person with old friends, business associates, a few loyal fans, and artists that I had been writing for – here for instance together with Puffy (left), Sarasa IFU (center). We also were introduced to the very famous Japanese artist Tamio Okuda (to the right).
We came back in 2009 and this time I also made an acoustic live appearance at Club Wonder in Osaka (which I also will do tomorrow!) even though I still wasn’t officially a solo artist, just a Merrymaker without any new music to present. Only five days later(!) I came back to take part in a songwriting camp writing songs with Japanese artist but that’s for another blog post…
This time there’s no major label involved though. Rumors has it that they are specializing in Korean boy-bands and no matter how I try I don’t seem to fit in that category. Instead, a small cool and tasteful independent label named Thistime Records has licensed the rights for Japan from me. They seem to have a great love for guitar based melodic pop and power pop so I have certainly found a great “home” for my record here in Japan which I am very humbly thankful and happy about.