Click the picture to read the hisstory of ASATRON.
You can also read an interview here:
* We would like to welcome the newest member of the Westfield Indie Alliance Ms. Åsa Girgensohn of Stockholm, Sweden. She records under the name of Asatron, and has been featured on Westfield Radio. Several of you have let me know you enjoyed her recording of “Little Black Angel”. You can check out her modern rock sound at www.myspace.com/asatron1 (we have also included our list of U.S. State Abbreviations, if you don’t have it saved, I suggest you do so.)
Hi Asatron fans!
“Pictures without frames” is spinnin’ HOT on show #227 of the music/variety podcast, Ed’s Mixed Bag. Find the episode “In A Heartbeat” at either the Mevio site, http://www.edsmixedbag.mevio.com or the Libsyn page, http://www.edsmixedbag.com Discover other indie artists as well but be sure to check the Asatron links in the shownotes. Show your support of indie music and purchase one of Asatron’s CD’s! She RoCkS!!
Ed Ovett Check this track out, “Pictures without frames” by ASATRON, then visit her website and purchase the CD!!
[album, Last Refrain Music/ Musichelp / Dead Frog]
Oavsett om Åsa Girgensohn väser sig igenom låtar som ”Fear” och dramatiska ”Walk with me”, sjunger ut i ”Fast Car” och souliga ”Behind the Mask” eller använder någon sorts rösteffekt som i ”So much more” är hennes stämma en grym och uttrycksfull tillgång. Duon Strangers In Wonderland, från Nacka utanför Stockholm, som förutom Åsa består av musikern och producenten Lasse Thomasson, har i och med Shadows skapat en varierad CD. Funkrock samsas med pop, soul, disco, klassisk grooverock och till och med lite blues. Ibland flyr mina associationer till det varma sound som dominerade diskoteken på 70-talet, men Shadows låter både modern och omväxlande – vissa skulle nog säga ojämn – och stilarna är många. Emellanåt är det rena hitlistemusiken, fast oftast riktigt bra sådan. Andra gånger känns duon som ett alternativrockband i stil med The Vyllies. Men framförallt påminner de mig om Vaya Con Dios som stoltserade med sångerskan Dani Klein som frontfigur. Strangers In Wonderland har haft stora framgångar via internet och podradio, inte minst utomlands, och det känns föga förvånande med tanke på såväl soundet som materialet här. Shadows innehåller femton låtar plus fyra remixer, vilket är lite för mycket för att det ska hålla rakt igenom. Men när plattan är som bäst är den helt enkelt skitbra. En sådan här debut lär inte bli lätt att följa upp, men jag hoppas att Strangers In Wonderland fixar det också.
Strangers in Wonderland — Shadow
Ett litet svensk popfynd som gör lite snygg mainstreampop som skapats av duon Åsa Girgensohn, sång och Lasse Thomasson på instrument. De kompletterar varandra perfekt genom att musiken hamnar i fokus, de koncentrerar sången starkt och musiken fyller väl ut med bra arrangemang åt låtarna. Jag diggar att man spelar en varierande repertoar med lite olika stilar. Musiken är inte bara en sorts relief för att få texten att framträda utan snarare är sången, texten och musiken samverkar väldigt bra, på ett sätt som gör att jag kan gilla musik som jag kan vara skeptisk till. Strangers In Wonderland har en förmåga att attrahera fram en liten blueskänsla i några av spåren medan en del låtar går lite i klassisk rock/pop-stil som förmodligen skulle kunna vara radiohits, om de blir upptäckta av en större värld. Blaskans chefredaktör blir i alla fall glad i hågen över att få tralla lite på en samling bra låtar.
P.S. Skivans låtar kan köpas på CDON eller så kan du lyssna på skivan på deras hemsida — Strangers In Wonderland » Home
Eclectic Rock from Sweden: Strangers in Wonderland Catch My Attention
Some bands have a way of switching and blending styles while still sounding like the same bunch of musicians. I would say that these bands are the more successful ones as obviously they have found some way to put their own souls into their music… that’s what keeps them sounding similar no matter what style they appropriate. Other bands even incorporate multiple genres into their own sound so that when they take their music in new directions not only does it still sound like the same musicians, but it sounds like a natural direction not like say… a blues band playing jazz, or a rock band playing reggae etc.From what I’ve heard so far, I think Strangers in Wonderland is one of these bands with their own sound that can pursue all their different stylistic directions without losing that core sound and style.
Hailing from Stockholm Sweden, Strangers in Wonderland is one of the more eclectic bands I’ve listened to recently. They contacted me to check out their work through the Soul of Rock ‘n’ Roll twice actually. Although it took me a while to get around to it, I’m glad I did because although they’re different than a lot of what I’m currently listening to, they’ve grown on me and I’m really digging their music.
Sort of hybrid between sweeping pop, glossy glam-esque rock, soul, blues, folk, funk, maybe a touch of cabaret and a few other genres too, all mixed together to create a sound that is completely unique to them, their songs takes twists and turns that are unexpected, but still sound completely natural. They’re a duo, but on first listen you probably wouldn’t think so, sounding quite rich and full. As odd as it may sound, maybe it’s the powerful female vocals, or the fact that both are duos with a bit of an eclectic sound, the first band I really associate them with is the Eurythmics, but I don’t think that’s really a good correlation. I wouldn’t be opposed to hearing Strangers in Wonderland do a cover of “Sweet Dreams (are Made of This)” though. Comparisons aside, this duo is making some compelling, soulful tracks with an eclectic, but powerful sound.
This band has four tracks available for download for free on their website, the same four you can listen to on their Myspace, so I’ll start with those songs.
I think “Addicted” is the most predictable of these four, but I use that term loosely because it’s negative implications are not intended. It’s a bright, quasi-jangly, guitar driven pop track with sweet, sweeping vocals and arranged parts. It is catchy and deep compositionally with quite a thick arrangement. By predictable I mean that of these four, this is the most straight forward and in the vein of “traditional” modern pop flavors. It’s still a a great song, but that said, personally I think the other three blow it out of the water in terms of composition and style, each with their own distinct flavor. These are the songs that really impressed me about this band.
“Behind the Mask” is a bluesy, soul infused, slow burner with a slight cabaret touch and massive vocals. Plenty of layers of sound, both backing vocals and instrument driven parts push this track beyond it’s bluesy base towards massive epic grandeur, but vocally it always cuts through perfectly with quite a range and just a slight hard and soulful edge that I really like. I also like the simple soaring guitar licks that soar through at just the right moments that when combined with the vocal work up the bluesy feel; the perfect addition to push it into the spine tingling realm. “I Like It” goes in an entirely different direction with it’s funky riff/beat and swaggering, jazzy seductiveness. I’m really digging the chorus of this track from the feel to the glossy layers of backing vocals and sounds built up to wall of sound proportions. It not only fits the song well, but is just so massively thick that it provides a great sound scape over which the lead vocals (just as soulful as the previous tracks) can arch and soar.
Although those two are fantastic in my book, I think I’d pick the first track I heard from this band actually, “House of Dreams”, if I had to pick a favorite, but it’d be extremely close between it, “Behind the Mask,” and “I Like It”. This one begins with a simple, delicate, folksy acoustic riff, that seems slightly melancholy in feel. The vocal melody starts off more pulled back, just barely pushing towards that soulful edge in subtle places, but works really well with the softer backing. Then, in another change of direction they launch into an almost punk/glam like rock riff, kicking up the energy and the intensity. Just a great song that got stuck in my head immediately.
You can also listen to a wide range of other tracks from these two on their website and blog. All of which continue their eclectic streak and sound compelling as well. “The Big One” has a folksy, bluesy ballad quality to it, maybe a touch of arena rock too, while “Still Standing” has a darker edge to it’s atmospheric verses, but more straight forward choruses. “Walk With Me” is a little surprising as it’s groove might even be described as borderline industrial, very visceral and angular. ‘Stay” also sounds a touch darker in it’s slow sweeping motions, while “In My Dreams” is more pulsing and has also really sparked my interest with a great chorus and vocal melody over different jabs of sound. Overall, a number of compelling tracks that add up to a very deep, but eclectic, band. I’m looking forward to listening to this bunch of songs in more depth to really wrap my brain around them.
As you can see, this duo dabbles in a range of styles, but handles them well with definite consistencies throughout. Perhaps the most instantly noticeable is the stellar vocal talents of Asa Girgensohn. Her voice is both soulfully and gritty, but sonorous at the same time, a perfect match for very authentic and honest lyrics, which she belts out with such confidence. Her compatriot Lasse Thomasson is no slouch either crafting some very complex arrangements, and creating massive, almost “wall of sound” type soundscapes. The stamp of their work together is all over these songs, giving them that consistent something, no matter what the style. There’s also a slight grandiose feel to all the tracks that I associate just slightly with Broadway show tunes. You can interpret that how you will, but that’s the only way I can describe it. It works well for them though. Lastly, their arrangements have a sort of gloss or sheen over all of it. This might be a turn off to some people, I’ll admit that it was to me at first because it can give a slight 80s or overtly digital feel to these songs. It’s grown on me though, to the point where I don’t think it detracts from their music, perhaps because combined with the arrangements and lyrics it creates more of an atmosphere, like you’re viewing the music “through the looking glass” and it’s just slightly obscured, smoothed over and shiny.
Although the recorded tracks have such dense production, the band actually performs primarily as just a guitar & guitar/piano duo. They have a clip of them playing live on their website as well I recommend checking out as they seem to really distill these songs down to their folksy essence live, creating an entirely different atmosphere, while still retaining all the style and soul.
To sum everything up, if you’re interested in some of the more eclectic modern rock and pop being made these days, I recommend you check out Strangers in Wonderland as I think you’ll dig them. Special thanks to Asa and Lasse for passing along their music. I really enjoyed hearing it. They’ve definitely sparked my interest and I’m looking forward to exploring their music further and hearing what new eclectic sounds they come up with in the future.
Check out the Strangers Myspace page here: http://www.myspace.com/strangersinwonderland
Their webpage here: http://www.strangersinwonderland.com/
And their blog here: http://strangers-in-wonderland.blogspot.com/
All three have places you can listen to a few of their songs.
Strangers in Wonderland – Behind The Mask
Artist: Strangers in Wonderland
Track Name: Behind The Mask
And today we are back in Sweden, Strangers In Wonderland is an old school straight ahead rock band. They rely on good songs and good arrangements and it helps that Åsa Girgensohn has a killer voice. Sort of a polite Maggie Bell without the gravel. Lasse Thomasson shares the arrangement and playing bits.
“Behind The Mask” is a great little rocker. About half way through my perverse brain started thinking “Hmm I wonder what Jim Steinman would have done with this?” and then the break kicked in and I decided that they were doing just fine without him. Some nice guitar at the end.
“I Like It” is another song that shows off their talents. In the blog at http://www.strangersinwonderland.com/ they note that they have entered a couple of songs for next years Eurovision contest and that they were not even considered. Go figure?
You can listen to some more of their music over at Podshow – Strangers in Wonderland
Well worth a look, I enjoyed what I heard.
UPDATE: I followed up the comment from Lasse below and he’s right there are some downloads available from the band’s website. Have a listen to “House Of Dreams“. What a ripper.
It was my pleasure to add “Lazy Cat” to my Internet radio playlist (playing independent music commercial-free 24×7) and introduced it on my weekly podcast found at http://indiemusicsampler.com/2010/01/15/ims-167/
Paul the music lover
Indie Music Sampler
Artist Spotlight – Asatron
“I like to think that every one of our songs needs their own interpretation. That I must use my voice to find that that special tone and character that the music and lyric express.” ~ Asa
Zack Daggy: When did you first decide to purse a career in music?
Asatron: I never really planned for a career in the music business…
I just have to make music. It’s a way of living for me. Nowadays I think it’s a pity to keep my songs for myself so I publish them and hope someone will listen and like them. And if I manage to make a career, I’ll be very pleased.
ZD: What bands have you worked with?
A: In my first band I played the keyboards. It wasn’t really my thing so I bought a guitar and joined a female group called Krakel Zpektakel. (I’ve been faithful to the guitar since then…) We played our own material and preformed on clubs in Stockholm. After a couple of years me, and the bass player started a new band, Amnesia. We mixed my songs with covers. When the keyboard girl moved out of town and the guitarist died, I moved on to play the guitar in different bands for a while. One of them was a female hard rock band called Stone face. I was also a singer in Pharmacy of hope, Lasse Thomasson’s project. Then I decided to take a break from the music and became a mum to two wonderful girls.
A couple of years passed and then I couldn’t resist the offer to play with the cover band No Jive. I’m still working with them. At the same time Lasse Thomasson asked me to work with him again and we started Strangers In Wonderland. We released our debut album, Shadows, last autumn.
ZD: What made you decide to start a solo project?
A: It was a lot of hard work making the album and when it was finished we decided to take a break. Suddenly I had a lot of music I didn’t know what to do with, so I started Asatron, my solo project.
I do everything myself, play all the instruments and do all the singing, write all the lyrics and music, produce and record everything in my own studio and try to promote my songs as good as I can…. (Not my specialty though…)
ZD: How would you describe your style?
A: I would like to belong to the rock genre, I’ve got my roots there, but I also like to mix and try different styles in my music. I read a description of “art rock” somewhere and thought it did fit me quite well. Rock with an artistic touch.
ZD: Where do you find inspiration?
A: I find my inspiration in everything I hear, see and feel. I collect scenes from life and try to make music out of them. Of course love is the biggest source of inspiration but I’m also very interested in the opposite… hate. Ups and downs, heaven and hell, laughter and cries…. Everything that thrills my mind gets into my music and lyrics.
ZD: What has been the best moment of your music career thus far?
A: This is a tricky question for me…. Sometimes I simply really love the rehearsals with the band, when we play together loud and heavy and I feel the vibrations from my distorted guitar in my whole body. Sometimes I get very excited about a sound I found in the studio, or a mix I like. But hearing myself on radio charts is of course very good for my ego. For the mind, one of the best moments was performing Whispers, live with Strangers in Wonderland and the Wonderband.
ZD: What has been the worst moment of your music career thus far?
A: Many years ago I went with the band to another town to play. We had to hire a bus to get all the equipment. It was hard to find the right way and it took much longer to get there than it should. When we started to play there was 2 people in the audience…. Not funny.
Another thing was when we played outside at a festival and it began to thunder…. I was electrified from the microphone right into my lips….. It hurt like hell, I tell you!
ZD: Studio vs. Live Show; which to you prefer and why?
A: I can’t choose. I like both very much. The studio work is creative and developing and the live shows are great because of the contact with the audience. I often say that I belong on stage. It’s the only place that really makes me feel like home.
ZD: If you could collaborate with anyone in the music industry, who would it be?
A: I would love to play the blues with Gary More, I would love to sing a duet with Glen Hughes, I would love to dance with Madonna and would love to go into the studio with my favorite band Saga.
ZD: If you had to describe yourself using only one word, which would that word be?
A: Asatron (Of course)
Catch Asatron On…
Mothpod 158 (Available October 19th, 2009 at Mothpod.com)
Asaron is the solo project of Åsa Girgensohn.
She has performed with many bands since the late 80’s, most recently with Strangers in Wonderland and No Jive.
Her main instrument is giutar and, of course, her voice.
In her project, Asatron, Åsa plays all the instruments and does all the singing. She also writes all the music and lyrics as well as records and produces everything in her own studio.
“Groovy! Very cool.”
“On first listen I like this. Hopefully I will on second and third! Thanks.”
“That’s a really strong piece of songwriting, we will definitely play it! Please keep us in mind when you have new releases!”
“Asa, thank you and it’s another great tune..I don’t know how you do
it. This will be on my next podcast which should be out today in the
Your friend and fan,”“Wiiie!!! You rock bitch :)”
Strangesr in Wonderland is not dead….
In this show Zack plays Walk with me.
I play the saw!
Thank you Zack for digging up this song!
#4 Take What You Can by Sublunar Minds Indie Rock
#3 Two Angels by Strangefinger Pop Rock
#2 Rock This Country by SwampdaWamp Rock
#1 White lies by Asatron Rock
“you are very welcome. We look forward to playing your sophisticated, powerful music.”
We just wanted you to know we have the songs “Another Day” and “Little Sister” in rotation on Westfield Radio 17-09-09. I’m sorry for the delay, but I’ve been ill for several days and am just today getting back to work. We will also play your material on the “Westfield Alliance” Indie Artist show. Currently, it airs on Luver.com in Berkely California, KJES in Oklahoma and Butterflies Radio in Florida. This is VERY GOOD material, we are very excited to add it to Westfield Radio!Best Regards
(About In the chritmas night.)
< firstname.lastname@example.org >
Asa, this is GREAT!! Yes, we will play it! Thank you!