Magnus Holmen

Magnus Holmen

 Los Angeles, California, USA

Magnus Holmen is a Swedish singer/songwriter sharing his music with raw intensity and honesty, managing to mix the story-telling qualities, lyrical imagery and melodic sensibility of the great folk artists with the energy and intensity of rock.


Among other things Magnus draws his influences from a diverse musical background containing several years of classical guitar-studies, playing in different rock-bands during his teens, studying sitar and tablas at a classical music center in India, playing as a multi-instrumentalist for Swedish folk artists, conducting and composing for a 50-piece-choir, to name a few.

Moving to Hollywood, California to pursue a musical career in the US he attended Guitar Institute of Technology and Vocal Institute of Technology at the well known Musicians Institute, and has since performed acoustic shows under his own name at venues in the Los Angeles area and around Scandinavia.

With his heart close to both folk and rock, and influenced by artists like Bruce Springsteen, Ryan Adams, Patty Griffin amongst others, it comes very natural to compare him to them, but the keen listener can also hear traces of Swedish musical heritage in his song-writing.

His debut album "Burn" is an acoustic-based singer/songwriter-album that travels through a beautifully melancholic landscape where the music shifts between naked stillness and glowing intensity, often overlapping and without separating them.
Warm but still powerful voice is complemented by dynamic and flowing guitar, communicating personal stories as well as glimpses from the different dimensions of Life with rare intensity and vulnerability.

In Magnus' own words, translated from a Swedish interview:

"My intention as a songwriter and artist is to be part of a storytelling tradition that I feel today is as needed as ever. By telling stories both about life as we see it, and also what seems to lie beyond our usual perception of reality, I want to challenge the listener, and myself, to relate to the world and everything in it in deeper, more real and maybe even new ways. Sharing my own stories in a naked and honest way is one way of doing this.

Sometimes all I can write about is simple human experience. The vastness of the bigger picture seems frustratingly elusive and doesn't lend itself well to being described with our meager vocabulary. This is why Truth can not be clearly stated, only implied in a poetical, artful way.
With some of my songs I have no higher ambition than to share stories about life as we usually see and feel it, and hope that it strikes a chord in the listener. Sometimes it's my story, sometimes not. With other songs though, I hope that my little stories of human experience in some subtle way point to that which I cannot fully express.

True art is always inherently given back to the source, leaving the artist humbled by his inspiration and the act of creating."


They Took The Last Of The Day Down

Written By: Magnus Holmén

They took the last of the day down
And said; We don't need that anymore
Time to leave. You are done here.
And we don't owe you nothing. There's the door

I said to myself; It is their loss
And let my anger make me choose
But my heart said; Don't be stupid
'Cause you know that something lost is something we all lose

And I heard somebody say he saw you once
In a crowded hazy bar
And I wondered what it would be like
To see you dance around from star to star

And I wished I had
And I wished I would

And I saw glimpses in the moonlight
Of how our lives began to rust
And my own thoughts they scared me
'Cause where is shelter in a world where all things turn to dust

But I know you will be dancing
Even though nothing gold can stay
And if they say that song has lost its meaning
I'll prove them wrong with every note I play

And I heard somebody say he saw you once
In a crowded hazy bar
And I wondered what it would be like
To see you dance around from star to star

And now I have seen you dancing
On the stars and in the wind
And when they say that song has lost its meaning
I'll prove them wrong with every note I sing

At least I'll try
You know I'll try

Mary-Jane Died Young

Written By: Magnus Holmen

Mary-Jane died young
Sixteen years and it was done
Now she's resting in the ground
Mary-Jane died young

Her father said; My precious one
You gotta marry and be gone
Before the winter has come
Mary-Jane died young

So Billy-Joe asked her to wed
And took her to her wedding bed
And into wedlock she was bound
Mary-Jane died young

Time went by and she settled in
In doing what she thought she should
But as time went by he showed his true face
And she saw that he just and no good

So in a drunken craze for reasons unknown
His fist shot out in a deadly blow
Her head snapped back and it hit the floor
Before she stopped breathing he was out the door
So Mary-Jane died young

Her father heard what had gone down
Loaded his gun without a sound
Said; I won't rest 'til he is found
My Mary-Jane died young

And when he found the dying man
Slain by his own hand
He said; In hell he'll pay for what he done
Mary-Jane died young

Mother I Won't Crash (But I Will Burn)

Written By: Magnus Holmen

I woke up that morning, listening to the sound of a hummingbird
Coming from the east of our camp, where sunlight started showing
There was three of us still left there, though many started out
All so willing to believe in what we thought we started knowing

Some say we are searching, and others say we run
From the shadows that grow longer in the land of the setting sun
I say the rising sun awaits us no matter where we go
and if we don't find it, it's because we make it so

Now people say they're waiting for the world to change
I say; If you're waiting you'll be waiting in vain
And me I just can't sit there waiting for the tide to turn
Mother, I won't crash but I will burn

Then Jeannie found a guru somewhere outside of Marrakech
She said that she had finally come home, found all the answers she was looking for
And Bobby he just needed a little break from all of this
Said; "Tomorrow I'll be back again", and went to find some booty and a bar

But it's not for me to judge them. I have not earned that right
I too have been fighting though there never was no fight
Now I look to the east where I know sunlight will return
And mother, I won't crash but I will burn

Now Jeannie's got a new name, but I can't remember what it is
And just between you and me. I couldn't care less
She'll always be my Jeannie, and I still call Bobby friend
Now I hear his barely living, though he likes to pretend

And all that I can wish for is to burn it all away
Just let that flame tear through my soul till nothing will remain
Nothing but the ashes, spread in the wind and on the ground
That which was never lost, tell me how can it be found

Unless we burn till there is nothing more that needs to burn
Nothing more to figure out, nothing to learn
And though I never left still I long for my return
Mother, I won't crash but I will burn

Lonely Souls

Written By: Magnus Holmen

Johnny went in the army. Someone said; The war is already won
He said to Gina; I'll be home soon. And left behind an unborn son
Two months later a letter saying; I guess war is not what it seems
but though your dreams can be shattered only you can kill your dreams

And what could be worse than to find yourself fighting for a lie
and seeing you don't even know for what you die

There's too many lonely souls on the road tonight
There's too many empty holes. Darkness where once was light

By the locked door of an old church just outside Portland, Oregon
Lies a woman in a ragged skirt. Smile and beauty are all long gone
All she's got is the memories of a young man lost in another man's war
And a boy she barely knew. A mouth to feed she could not afford

As the sound of a lonely organ comes falling down the stairs
there's one last sigh, a smile and then she's gone
Knowing that there's nothing but alone

There's too many lonely souls on the road tonight
There's too many empty holes. Darkness where once was light


Written By: Magnus Holmen

There's a darkness on the edge of town where you might lose your reason to believe
That there's something here worth giving though there's nothing to achieve
I know she needs her distance and maybe nothing but herself
But I know she felt it. Now she pretends something else.

But when the glitter fades and sparkles turns to dust
And the signs say it is time for moving on
I know I'll miss her like everything I love
'Cause she gave me more than she'll ever know

I think I left a part of me in Hollywood
Maybe I'll go back and bring it home
Please take good care of it now, Hollywood
And please say you'll miss me when I'm gone

We shared a moment for all that it was worth
And it was worth the suffering and the hurt
But maybe I didn't make it very clear
That I understand her gift and I understand her fear

And that I would never hold her down 'cause she's meant to be free
Free to go and find what she must seek
But hold her heart to show her all I know that she can be
And give her rest when she feels weak

No one said it would be forever, Hollywood
That was not what I was asking for
I'll let it go now, Hollywood
Even though it hurts to close that door

So take good care of her now, Hollywood
'Cause she's got a beauty that can set you free
And I can't hold her though I wanted to
But I still miss what could have been

And I sure miss her, Hollywood
Though I never knew her that well
Had so much to give her, Hollywood
And so many things to tell

And I hope she keeps her faith in the beauty of herself
'Cause there aint no mercy in this town
And I can't protect her but I am here to tell
She's a princess though you might not see her crown

I see how people look at her, Hollywood
I know they can't see all that she is
I hope she never believes them, Hollywood
I just would have liked to tell her this

And I think I left a part of me in Hollywood
Maybe I'll go back and bring it home
Please take good care of it now, Hollywood
And please say you'll miss me when I'm gone


Burn (CD, 2008)