It’s been a long and delayed recording, but now all the mixing and mastering is done and the second single “Through the alleys, across the squares” has been released. It’s been a few years since Hotel Continental came, an album followed by gigs in New York with Billy Ficca (Television) and Jason Victor (Dream Syndicate) joining the band. The full new album As real as in a dream will be released early this fall. The first taste was the single “Into the light”, a raw and upbeat rock song with lots and lots of guitars. The recordings were made live in the studio straight on to tape using plenty of vintage equipment found at Örnsbergs Musikstudio in Stockholm.
Alexander Pierre (Jenny Wilson, Nicole Sabouné) did the recordings and the band in the studio consisted of Johan Werner (piano, Rhodes, organ and mellotron), Mats Grönmark (lead guitar and lap steel), Johan Adelman & Christian Sandell (bass), Johan Svahn (drums) and Stellan Wahlström (vocals and guitars). Latvian Radio‘s Patric Westöö was guesting on backing vocals and Ylva Ceder played English horn. The mixing was done by Patrick Derivaz in New York and Alexander Pierre, and the mastering by Hoffe Stannow at Cosmos Mastering, Stockholm. The coming album promises to be a diverse collection of songs, ranging from glam rock piano ballads, via psychedelic folk rock, to the guitar overload of the opening track and first single “Into the light”.
Stellan Wahlström was previously in the garage rock band The Wylde Mammoths, touring Europe and beyond and releasing records on the legendary Crypt Records label. He was also in The High Speed V, another wild rock combo coming out of that same scene. He has now left the garage and with his Drift Band is doing their own brand of modern big city folk-rock, or as US magazine The Big Takeover put it: ”A more sophisticated take on a cross between post-Velvets and alt-Country with a very clean almost jazz-like ambience”.
Stellan recorded the album Time leaves you behind with Patrick Derivaz (who had previously worked with Television, Luna and John Cale among others) in New York. The song ”Watching TV” was featured in the independent film ”Rhimes and Reason”, and Stellan also did studio work for other artists, including harmonica playing on rock’n’roll band Sour Jazz’s first album.
In the 2000’s he reformed the band, released the So this is what the end looks like EP, and started playing live again in Stockholm (as well as acoustic tours in India in 2003 and 2005). The second album The Excitable Gift was recorded by Sten Hårdbåge at Das Boot Studio in Stockholm and mixed by Linus Larsson (Anna Ternheim, Eldkvarn and others), and featured the slow piano song ”Ocean Ave” which plenty of radio stations quite liked. If the first album had a distinct taste of classic New York rock, the second album hinted more towards 70’s West Coast singer/songwriter-rock. That one was followed by Across the room (with the single “Charlotte says”), which gained quite a lot of airplay on US college radio. In 2015 Hotel Continental was released, again recorded at Cobra Studio by Christian Gabel (1900, bob hund) and mixed by Patrick Derivaz. Here the band speeded up the tempo and cranked up the electric guitars again.
In Stockholm, the albums can be bought at fine record stores like Pet Sounds (Skåneg 53), Runt Runt (Odeng 90), and Vinylbutiken (Skepparg 53).
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PRESS “Hotel Continental”:
“The warmth of Stockholm’s Cobra Studio’s two-inch analogue tape setup shines through on this thoughtful collection. Poetic and crammed with narrative intent, clever lyrics evoke a spirit of international travel long gone. “Waxholm Hotel” and “Already done” are superb examples of this artful storytelling at work. Patrick Derivaz, whose credits include John Cale and Television, renews a longstanding acquaintance with Wahlström, delivering a sensitive mix that compliments some excellent guitar work from Dream Syndicate’s Jason Victor.
“Stellan Wahlström Drift Band show attention to expertise and care. He fits this friendlier, warmer, settled format like reliable sneakers, even if the more Luna/Dream Syndicate-like electricity is as comfortable. Nicely delivered.”
“The guitar rock here could originate from the classic new wave-period on Manhattan when Television, Blondie and Talking Heads were the hippest bands in town. Sounds very un-Swedish in a good way.”
“Dynamic piano and playful guitars. It was indeed a long wait for the successor to the album Across the room, but the long wait is more than made up by the new album Hotel Continental.”
PRESS “Across the room”:
“I have to admit I’m a sucker for heartfelt tunes like these as long as the
“This album definitely deserves recognition. Alt-country and Velvet Underground in a perfect symbiosis.
“They elegantly hang around Lou Reed as confidently as when they occasionally sneak into some Americana.
“Across the room” is an excellent album, the first single “Charlotte says” is a true gem. There are a couple of piano songs on this brilliant album where “Burn baby burn”, “What are you made of?” and the very passionate and tender highlight “Don’t go” stand out.”
“8 / 10”
PRESS “The excitable gift”:
“That’s what I like – his ability to make the listener feel that the lyrics are for real, that what
“The music is beautifully performed and even though there are many artists and albums that sound similar to this, “The Excitable Gift” has a perfection that is impressing – the ringing electric guitars, the sparse piano, the desolate violin.”
PRESS “Time leaves you behind”:
“A very strong band performing some amazing music. Wahlstrom is a songwriter of the Townes Van Zandt/Bob Dylan school – not that his work sounds anything like either of those artists, but he has the same confidence in his storytelling.”
“True feelings and authenticity… Might come to mean a lot to many people.”
“Stellan is succeeding well with the down to earth melancholy.”
“Definitely honest.” (7,5/10)
“Some of the intensity from which great albums are made.”
Singles & EP’s