Title: Cloud Formations
Label: Morr Music
After the release 2015’s »Palm Trees of the Subarctic«, Singh began experimenting with his collection of vintage and analogue synthesizers, exploring different ways of using the guitar and putting an emphasis on his bass playing when composing. This proved to be a liberating change in perspective. While some of the songs on »Cloud Formations« were initially conceived in 2015, he recorded and produced the album between 2017 and 2018 in what he calls a »long and continuous process«, a fruitful time in which he reinvented himself.
Apart from some drum recordings (provided by his long-time friend Johan Nordlund of the Swedish hardcore band This Gift Is A Curse), Singh maintained full creative control of the album, tweaking the nine songs in his own Stockholm studio until every note and every tiny grain of sound was exactly where he wanted it to be. Over the course of two years, he was paying more attention than before to the subtleties of sound design and their emotive qualities. »I have experimented with different recording techniques,« he explains. »Some of the instruments were recorded with bad quality lo-fi microphones in order to get a better and more interesting soundscape.«
The result is a dense, at times psychedelic and intimate album, abundant with passion and optimism, despite its name, which may at first indicate the opposite. »The state of the world is pretty cloudy at the moment, metaphorically speaking,« Singh says. »But I wanted the album to express some kind of hope beyond that rather apocalyptic title.« This approach becomes tangible from the very first seconds of the anthemic opener »HKI -97«, a joyful marriage of jubilant synthesizer melodies, warm bass tones and Nordlund’s high-precision drumming, topped off by Singh’s freely floating vocal melodies. It’s the perfect opener for an album that is a celebration of new beginnings in every possible sense.
Between the fuzzy ambience of »Ka’a’awa Surfin’«, the title track’s hypnagogic mid-tempo grooves, to the relentless drive of »Swell« or »Crossroads«, and the eerie final track »Cold Concrete«, this album is to be understood as a celebration of different musical lives becoming one. It’s the sound of Mikko Singh opening an entirely new chapter in his career.
Label: Morr Music
2nd single from “Cloud Formations”.
Title: HKI -97
Label: Morr Music
1st single from “Cloud Formations”.
“HKI -97” is a joyful marriage of jubilant synthesizer melodies, warm bass tones and Nordlund’s high-precision drumming, topped by freely floating vocal melodies.
Title: Palm Trees Of The Subarctic
Label: This Is Forte
‘Palm Trees Of The Subarctic’ [TIF002] offers a new dimension to the sound of Haleiwa. The dreamy vocals and mellow lyrics over synthesizer ambience and overdubbed acoustic guitars. Sigur Rós, Tortoise and Joy Division comes to mind when listening. Its beautiful melodies led by rythmic drums and percussion forming a warm bliss of organic soundscape.
All songs written, performed and produced by Mikko Singh. Mainly recorded in his home studio with overdubs done at Telefonstudion in Hägersten, Stockholm. Petter Barnevik (Axe) and Johan Nordlund (This Gift Is A Curse) helped out playing drums on a couple of tracks. Elin Pöllänen played violin. Mastered by Alexander Eldefors. Cover art by Bemo Lundgren.
‘Palm Trees Of The Subarctic’ is a limited 250 vinyl release.
Order vinyl here: https://haleiwa.bandcamp.com/album/palm-trees-of-the-subarctic
7″ vinyl released on British label Sunstone Records. Written, performed, recorded and mixed by Mikko Singh. Recorded between December 2013 – April 2014. Mastered by Danny Woodward at Whitewood studios, Liverpool. Cover art by Sergi Llagostera. Photo by Mikko Singh.
Title: Wall Of Blue Sky 7″
Label: Sunstone Records UK
Album released on Japanese label Friend Of Mine Records. Written, performed, recorded and mixed by Mikko Singh. Additional vocal contributions by Anna Ödlund, Jens Pettersson and John Roger Olsson. Vibraphone and drums on “West Of The Pacific” by John Roger Olsson. Drums on “Coffee Bay” by Tobias Hurtig and Mikko Singh. Mastered by Henrik Jonsson at Masters of Audio. Artwork by Karl-Johan Svanström. Photos by Mikko Singh.
Title: Pura Vida dude
Label: Friend Of Mine Records