|The new album Hotel Continental is now ready and released. It was recorded the analogue way on to 2″-tape by Christian Gabel (who’d just worked with Hello Saferide) at Cobra Studio in Stockholm, and mixed by Patrick Derivaz (who came from work with Television) at PAD Productions in Brooklyn, NY. The first single from the album was the song “The Mercy”, followed by the title track.
On Hotel Continental the band has speeded up the tempo and cranked up the electric guitars. The sound
The band in the studio consisted of Johan Werner – piano, Hammond and mellotron, Johan Adelman & Bo Schager – bass, Lutten Larsson & Per Lager – drums, and Stellan Wahlström – vocals, guitars (including an electric Hagström 12-string) and the occasional celeste. Jason Victor (Dream Syndicate) and Mats Grönmark (Eve & the last waltz) added some excellent guitar work.
Stellan Wahlström was previously in the garage rock band The Wylde Mammoths, touring Europe and the US 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 urban 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”.
Based in New York during the last half of the nineties, Stellan Wahlström did lots of live shows at clubs like CBGB’s, Continental and Sidewalk, and recorded the album Time leaves you behind with Patrick Derivaz (who had previously worked with Luna and John Cale among others). The song ”Watching TV” was featured in the independent film ”Rhyme and Reason”, and Stellan also did studio work for other artists, including harmonica playing on rock’n’roll band Sour Jazz’s first album.
Returning to Sweden 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 some 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 up by Across the room (with the single “Charlotte says”), which gained quite a lot of airplay on US college radio, and Stellan was over in New York and played at the legendary but now defunct Lakeside Lounge for that.
In Stockholm, you can buy the new album at Pet Sounds (Skåneg 53), Cosmos (Upplandsg 47), Runt Runt (Odeng 90), Vinylbutiken (Skepparg 53), Atlas (S:t Eriksg 47), Beat goes on (S:t Eriksg 67), Record Mania (Östgötag 2), Bengans (Drottningg 20), or Record Service (Björng 10, Jönköping). Distribution and mail order from Hot Stuff. And the album can also be found at fine places like these:
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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 one time NY resident 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