Peter Kvint – Still life (Album Review & Interview)

Peter Kvint is one the most known producers and songwriters from Sweden. He worked with acts and musicians like The Ark, Natasha Bedingfield, Andreas Johnson, Morten Harket (a-ha), Eskobar, Heather Nova and a brought a couple of Eurovision Song Contest / Melodifestifalen acts to shine.

After many years he decided to go solo and make an album with songs that are more personal and would not match another singer. So after all, “Still life” is out today, an album that contains 11 beautifully written songs with an acoustic and often slightly melancholic touch – but with a positive turn; something that is unique to songwriting from the northern areas of Europe.

Before the album release he has set the mark high with the single release of Seasons in you, an instant classic with one of those very remember-able chorus lines. Starting out very soft with country-esque acoustic guitars, the songs opens up and you think at the first hearing: “This is a hit!”.

Seasons In You (Radio Edit)

With Sea of heart he brings his love for elegic 60s/70s sounds to front with extensive polyphonic singing, whereas Perspective is an uplifting uptempo song with not overused but present electric guitars – VERY STRONG!

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Willow Tree is a very classic ballad coming up next delivering the perfect amount of melancholy. So sad, so sweet.

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The chaos theory ,Sculpture and Turn my world around again play in the same style and are examples that Peter should have been going to the front to sing long before – his voice is embedded perfectly into the sounds around it and wraps you in a calm feeling that everything will go well in the end.

Battleships is a mid-tempo song that is outstanding again with great melodies.

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In Life is complicated he sings about the fact that life is getting more complicated and how to manage all those things.

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With The Puzzle and Singing every song for you he ends the album with two ballads that have that positive twist. In these harsh times it is a pleasure to hear an album that is more soft and silent, a little melancholic but intense and positive – we need more albums like this!

Thankfully Peter gave us some insights into the ideas and the making of the album with a supernice email interview:

After many years as a successful producer and songwriter, what was the point for you to say “Now I am going on with my own album”?

“It all came together rather organically. I wrote a song for my wife when she turned 50, and then made a suprise performance with full production at her birthday party. I had such great response from her and her guests, so I started thinking it would be a pity not to release it. And after thinking that more songs started coming, old and new, that fit nicely with ”Seasons In You”. All of them are songs that feel a little too personal to give away to other people. And they all circle around a theme of mid-life issues… Kids growing up, parents withering away, friends and relative who become sick or fall for accidents, dreams that come true or falter, etc. And finally these songs began to sound like an album.”

How long did it take from the first ideas to the finished work?

The oldest song, ”Turn My World Around Again”, is from 2004. I wrote it for a ceremonial for a friend who unfortunately died in the tsunami catastrophy in Thailand. I didn’t think of releasing it then, but it has stayed with me and I thought it fit nicely with the other songs on ”Still Life”. Most of the songs were written in the last five years, but it wasn’t until 2016 I decided to make an album out of them. This project was secret for a long time – it felt good to keep it to myself without letting too many people know. I wanted to keep every possibility open and back out of the project if I didn’t get the response I wished for.

Do you play all the instruments by yourself or with guest musicians?

I play most of the instruments myself but have had great help from a couple of friends of mine. Andreas Dahlbäck played drums and Tim Lauer, a Nashville musician, put down piano, organ and keyboards. Jonas Myrin, who co-wrote ”Willow Tree”, played piano and sang backing vocals on that song. Nikola Bedingfield, co-writer on ”Battleships”, sang backing vocals. Sven Andersson played saxophones and Björn Risberg played cello. And Simon Nordberg, my long-time engineer and co-producer, was of invaluable help with the mixes.

And what is your most loved guitar?

My most loved guitar… That’s a tough one! I think it’s my old SG from ’62. I’ve had it for a long time and always get a kick out of playing it!

What is first there – a beat, a melody or the lyrics? What are the lyrics on the album about?

Most of the songs on ”Still Life” was written with a certain theme in mind, so I guess you could say it started with the lyrics this time. As I said earlier, the lyrics circle around mid-life issues. One reason for that was also that I feel most pop and rock music still address teenage issues, and there’s a lack of music that address the rather complicated issues of mid-life. How do you actually deal with the flight of time? What happens to your dreams – do you just give up on them or do you hold on to them? And how do you deal with the fact that your outlook on the world has changed since you were young? Things like that.

How do you decide if you record a song with/for another singer or record it for yourself?

All these songs felt a little too personal to give away for other singers. Also, these are not regular ”pop single” songs that are in demand in the songwriter market – they might be a bit too quirky to get cut. So it was pretty clear I was going to keep them to myself.

How about the future plans: Do you plan to show the songs in a live environment on a little tour?

A the moment there’s no tour planned, but who knows? I love playing live! By the way, working on this project has been such great fun that I’ve already started writing on my next album! Hopefully I’ll have time to finish it during 2019.

Listen to the full album here at Spotify or buy it at local stores, at Itunes, etc.:

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We hope that there will be another album with those “quirky” songs because THIS is real quality music! Remembering that “Still life” is a debut album there is no other way to give away the maximum amount of points :)