John Alexander Ericson
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John Alexander Ericson

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SONGS From The White Sea, the UK debut album by Swede John Alexander Ericson, is a real pleasure cruise.
The LP sees the singer songwriter, who also plays in bands Alberta Cross and Stjarna, sailing into uncharted territory, by combining indie rock with his first love, electronica.
The album was recorded solo by Ericson, and the results see his evocative Richard Ashcroft-esque vocals sitting atop muffled piano-based indie rock tunes delicately laced with computerised flecks.
Songs From The White Sea is an intimate and atmospheric album, and one well worth dipping into.




BBC Review

“File under 'quiet triumph'.

Daryl Easlea 2009-09-11
Quiet may have ceased being the new loud some time ago, but Songs from the White Sea demonstrates that John Alexander Ericson is a welcome addition to the school of soft, reflective troubadours.
Recorded alone in the Welsh countryside, this is Alberta Cross organist Ericson’s solo debut. Written over a period of five years, it has already been described elsewhere as a “haunting slice of gospel electronica”. And, to be fair, that is not a bad assessment; the minimalism of the settings frame Ericson’s floating, wraithlike vocals, creating a record that is intimate, if only sporadically warm .
Songs from the White Sea isn’t what you expect it will be. With a laptop and a Moog, it’s hushed and up-close, and as it was made in isolation, you half-expect Jeb Loy Nichols-style muted soul. But no: this is darker, and often extremely catchy.
The piano-based, far-away vocals of the austere Mary Song make it the standout here. There is the gentle mood of The Man in White with its handclaps, and Always Leave Them Wanting More; Johanna is all-out pop, while the instrumental The Light Machine is undoubtedly a homage to Berlin-era David Bowie – it’s a subtle work that is unafraid to introduce an insidious chorus. The repetition of Midnight Warriors is hazy, woozy and pervasive, emerging like a landscape out of a thick morning mist; as is the extended refrain on the moody Through the Devil’s Eyes.
Songs from the White Sea is an album that consistently doesn’t do what you think it’s going to, and frequently delights in the process. File under ‘quiet triumph’.

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STRANGER MAGAZINE

Songs From The White Sea, John Alexander Ericsson (Misty Music)??Songs From The White Sea is at atmospheric, soul stirring debut album from John Alexander Ericsson that has earned itself an instant and permanent place in my 'chilled' playlist.??Written over a period of five years and recorded alone in the Welsh countryside with only an acoustic guitar, Moog synthesiser and a laptop, Ericsson, the Alberta Cross organist, has created something stunning, haunting and at times pretty catchy. ??Each song has it's own individual merits, taking you on a extraordinary journey right to the end. 'Always Leave The Wanting More, Johanna' is as close to full pop as Ericsson dares to venture, whilst  'Let It All Come' with it's handclap rhythm and dark lyrics, shows gospel influences. ??On a record of remarkable stirring tunes the standouts are 'Mary Song', a heart-touching piano ballad with echoed voices, sober 'The Man In White', warming 'The World Is Waiting' and the final track 'Over The Darkness And Over The City' which finishes the album brilliantly with building, instrumentals and upbeat vocals. ??At the end of listening I found the journey that Ericsson had taken me on had been a triumphant and reflective one. Albeit I'd been left slightly dazed but he did what all the best artists do and stirred my soul. (Aaron Jennings)

xtaster.co.uk


John Alexander Ericson – ‘Songs From The White Sea’


Music like you’ve never heard it before. John Alexander Ericson offers an amazing emotion-invoking mix of Brandon Flower vocals and REM-esque melodies, with a dash of electronica thrown in, seemingly as an afterthought, but with good effect. It’s a combination that just shouldn’t work, but it does. This man has serious talent and is going places people have never gone before - like on an intergalactic voyage with Bob Dylan. The best way I could describe the vibe of his music would be of a rave at a funeral. ?But there’s a deep variation from song to song, from the hallelujah feel good beat of ‘Let It All Come’, to the lighter-waving power in ‘The Eleventh Hour’, and the heart wrenching sadness of ‘Mary Song’, where you don’t even realise you’re crying until the tears fall into your lap.  ?John Alexander Ericson has the unique ability to unleash emotion within songs such as ‘Over the Darkness and Over the City’, which builds upon itself until it reaches an uplifting crescendo and you can almost picture the glorious waves holding up each musical note. He’s come a long way since recording this album in a cottage in the heart of Wales, and he’s still got a long way to go, and I recommend that you may yourself part of the journey.ohn Alexander Ericson – ‘Songs From The White Sea’



Contactmusic.com




Review of John Alexander Ericson's album Songs From The White Sea.??Having previously had input into releases from Alberta Cross and The Northern Territories, John Alexander Ericson's debut UK album is a self-produced effort and is due for release on September 28.??If you like the timeless pop of Abba or the garage-rock of The Hives, then Sweden's Ericson may not be for you, for his sound has a much more organic origin. This certainly shouldn't put you off though, for his fragile vocals are backed by beautiful melodies and this is evident from opening track 'Blinded By Highways'. 'Midnight Warriors' is lullaby-like with a great use of underlying strings, while 'Mary Song' is a haunting soundtrack built upon a mournful piano. Every song has impressive qualities, 'The Man In White' being particularly warming, while 'In The Eleventh Hour' features soothing harmonies. By the time final track 'Over The Darkness And Over The City' rolls around you'd be forgiven for being satisfied with what has preceded it, but Ericson saves one of the best until last. Building patiently, you hardly notice the instrumental development until it builds to a sweeping crescendo - a classy end to a lovely album.???Alex Lai

Subba Culcha.com

With soulful blends of frail acoustics and gospel electronic, comes another great Scandinavian import
With his soulful heart churning wale John Alexander Ericson posses an undeniable deep sensibility that comes through in both his music and lyrics. His debut UK album 'Songs From The White Sea' focuses on a array of issues spanning from spirituality to fighting inner demons, It's a fine blend of tingling acoustics and gospel electronica. Written and produced by himself, in the isolated Welsh countryside, 'Songs From The White Sea' has been 5 years in the making for this Swedish born singer/ songwriter; and indeed it doesn't disappoint.

Fleeting between soulful acoustic riffs in 'Blinded By Highways' to the more up tempoed electro infused numbers of 'The Man In White' and 'The Light Machine' there is a great sense of intimacy surrounding his music. It's not only his fragile quivers that reign supreme on this album, much has to be said of his ability to convey diversity in his music and delivery, with such evanescent ease. The stand out song on the album comes in the form of, 'Always Leave Them Wanting More, Johanna'. Bringing out his full arsenal, its Ericson’s most complete piece; flirting with pop tingled riffs and layered electronic beats, his ghostly voice floats beautifully to the foreground. 

MJohn Alexander Ericson - Songs From The White Sea
posted ??10 Oct 2009 02:13?? by Harry Cooke   [ updated ??10 Oct 2009 03:47?? ]
[Warsaw Recordings]
Released: 28th September 2009



When I flick through the Sky TV guide looking for a film to watch, I'll often click on a few I haven't heard of before and read the synopsis. Its 30 words are never going to be enough to give you a true reflection of the movie on offer, but its distilled and reduced 
summary does give some pointers. For the past 10 years or so I've had one rule while flicking through this blue and yellow wasteland, if the synopsis contains the words "charming and endearing film..." I find something else to watch.

I've had John Alexander Ericson's debut album "Songs From The White Sea" sitting on my desk for a couple of weeks now. It's had a couple of spins on the stereo, mainly in the background, but I wasn't struck by it. Nothing about this album hit me as being exciting or different but I have found myself listening to it more and more. It's charmed me, it's an endearing album, and I have begun to love it.

"Blinded By The Highways" and "In The Eleventh Hour" remind me of the The Dandy 
Warhols' more subdued tracks, and in fact this comparison stays with me for most of the album. There are also moments in "Midnight Warriors" where I get a sense of the vocals of MGMT.

I think the next step for me is to see John play live, but in the meantime I'll be giving those "Charming and Endearing" films 
I've dismissed a go.

8/10



Songs From The White Sea, John Alexander Ericsson (Misty Music)??Songs From The White Sea is at atmospheric, soul stirring debut album from John Alexander Ericsson that has earned itself an instant and permanent place in my 'chilled' playlist.??Written over a period of five years and recorded alone in the Welsh countryside with only an acoustic guitar, Moog synthesiser and a laptop, Ericsson, the Alberta Cross organist, has created something stunning, haunting and at times pretty catchy. ??Each song has it's own individual merits, taking you on a extraordinary journey right to the end. 'Always Leave The Wanting More, Johanna' is as close to full pop as Ericsson dares to venture, whilst  'Let It All Come' with it's handclap rhythm and dark lyrics, shows gospel influences. ??On a record of remarkable stirring tunes the standouts are 'Mary Song', a heart-touching piano ballad with echoed voices, sober 'The Man In White', warming 'The World Is Waiting' and the final track 'Over The Darkness And Over The City' which finishes the album brilliantly with building, instrumentals and upbeat vocals. ??At the end of listening I found the journey that Ericsson had taken me on had been a triumphant and reflective one. Albeit I'd been left slightly dazed but he did what all the best artists do and stirred my soul. (Aaron Jennings)

- Various


Discography

"Songs From The White Sea"

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Bio

JOHN ALEXANDER ERICSON
 
„Songs From The White Sea“

BCC on “Songs From The White Sea” :

"Quiet may have ceased being the new loud, but this demonstrates that Ericson is a
welcome addition to the school of soft, reflective troubadours. It is an album that consistently
doesn’t do what you think it’s going to, and frequently delights. BBC Music / Music Week Panel


John Alexander Ericson’s remarkable album “Songs From
The White Sea” marks the culmination of a number of personal
journeys, from his native Sweden via Berlin to London where he
now lives and from a background in electronica (The Northern
Territories), via rock with his brother’s band Alberta Cross, to a
very personal blend of songwriting that draws on all these
experiences.

Taking a distinctly European approach to his craft, which both
recalls and updates influences such as P.J.Harvey, Jacques
Brel , David Bowie and Brian Eno’s collaborations it’s
appropriate that Berlin forms such a major part of the album’s
artistic and personal geography.
                                                                                
   
Many of the songs were written during his stay in the city (including standout tracks *‘Mary
Song’ and ‘Let It All Come’) where Alex had his studio in Weissensee (from Der Weisse See
or The White Sea hence the album’s title). The cover art also pays homage in being a
photograph of the city taken from the Warschauer Brücke / Warsaw Bridge which also gives
Alex’s label ‘Warsaw Recordings’ its name.

Following his move to London and the composition of songs such as ‘Over The Darkness
And Over The City’ and ‘Blinded By Highways’ Alex took the decision to write and produce
the album himself in the very different, but still traditionally Rock’n’Roll location of a cottage
deep in the isolated Welsh countryside near Porthmadog.
Using just a laptop, a mic, a piano and an old Moog synth, the intimacy that these
surroundings delivered come through in the ethereal feel of tracks such as* ‘Midnight
Warriors’* which shimmers and tugs at the mind, the heart and the soul.
The album already received great reviews from all over the world:


Tracklist:
1 Blinded by Highways 04:29
2 Always Leave Them Wanting More, Joanna 05:01
3 Midnight Warriors 03:17
4 Mary Song 03:46
5 The Man in White 06:08
6 Let It All Come 04:37
7 The Eleventh Hour 04:46
8 The Light Machine 03:35
9 Through the Devil's Eyes 05:00
10 The World Is Waiting 03:52
11 Over the Darkness and Over the City 04:30

 
"Quiet may have ceased being the new loud, but this demonstrates that Ericson is a welcome addition to the school of soft, reflective troubadours. It is an album that consistently doesn’t do what you think it’s going to, and frequently delights. BBC Music / Music Week Panel  
 
 
Using just a laptop, a mic, a piano and an old Moog synth the result, according to Audio Tube "shimmers and tugs at the mind, the heart and the soul".
 
"A fine blend of tingling acoustics and gospel electronica" Subba Cultcha