Peter Bjärgö - _The Architecture of Melancholy_
(Cyclic Law, 2012)
by: Chaim Drishner (7 out of 10)
Peter Bjärgö, one of the founders of the famous yet mysterious band Arcana, has released a solo project that is not far detached from Arcana's current style. Released in the very beginning of the year 2012, Bjärgö's sophomore solo album relies mostly on laid-back, reflective simple tunes that are emotionally charged (yet display a strange essence of apathy or coldness) and melodic in their own peculiar way.

Bjärgö uses his deep voice as well as his soothing whispers as yet another instrument in this beautiful, artful little album. The music's discrete and minor, almost without any neoclassical bombast; Bjärgö tends to use string instruments to strip the music bare naked, keep it minimal and mostly, keep it melancholic. The crisp guitar strumming (and the guitar effect Bjärgö uses) aided by a tambourine and other pace-setting instruments, turn some of the tracks into a pulsating, hypnotic and sensual an experience.

This album is neoclassical in the truest of senses, because it never reminds you anything classical music has to offer yet the classical instruments it uses are always present, sometimes to an overpowering degree, and their interpretation of the music is unique, almost devoid of clichés, aesthetically loyal only to Peter Bjärgö's creative process. And yes, a streak of melancholy is ever present in any and all tracks, from beginning to end. In that sense, Peter Bjärgö is indeed an architect of melancholy.

In the face of today's constant background noise, iPhones, endless gibbering and technological mumbo jumbo, this album stands proud as a reminder for the (still) artistic soul man possesses; an album that is an artifact for analogue sanity, calmness and endless melancholic tranquility.

Fans of neo-folk, neoclassical or just damn good beautiful, ethereal and reflective music, would be advised to check this album up. With a six-panel rich and classy packaged digipak containing Bjärgö's thoughtful and philosophical lyrics, one could expect for nothing less than a treat.


(article published 29/7/2012)

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