In Love With The Blackbird will be released on 29.01.2016 and will be available following the links from their homepage www.nowfrago.net
For many years, the Swiss-multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Matthias Gunsch aka nówfrago has been writing and producing enchanting melodies. To evolve them to complex songs nówfrago has been collecting sounds from many regions of the world such as bagpipeplaying in Copenhagen, breaking ice from the Gorner glacier and goats from remote areas of Sardegna. He has lived and worked on his music in the deserted north of Norway and in the remotest valleys of the Alps. Due to former self-doubt in his composition and singing skills, his first two albums never found their way to the public.
How fortunate that he has left his years of hesitation behind him: With his first release, the astonishing `In Love With The Blackbird` nówfrago opens with a true masterpiece. nówfrago creates songs that sound dark and euphoric at the same time. His playful but very concrete soundcarpets are reminiscent of some of the fine Trip-Hop-exponents, of musique concrète and of contemporary songwriters like Patrick Watson or Beck.
`In Love With The Blackbird` (Zoey Records / Godbrain) is a creative DIY album. It has been produced by nówfrago and recorded at various locations including his more humble bedroom and a noisy appartment in the heart of Zurich. Drums, percussion, melodica, keyboards and more have been played by him in his own studio. The production costs have been covered by his own financing and contribution from crowdfunders. The cover has been serigraphed by his own hand.
But of course a lot of nice people have been involved in the success of the album: The very busy musician and sound-engineer Slade Templeton (Defunct! / Crying Vessel) who put his leadvocals in the well-known influx-Studios on tape and also did the mixing and the mastering of the songs; the pianist, Maja Nydegger (Akku Quintett, Blaer); the (upright) bassplayer, Valentin von Fischer (Hot Club de Berne); as well as trombone player, Julia Rüffert (Rosenzweig Orchestra / Low Brass Experience); violinist and singer Eleonora Stassi; and his “old” dukush-companions Nicole Widmer (Vox on `You Shall Overcome`) and Christian Caspar (guitar on `Milwausea`) all of whom enrich the album with their talent and skills.
1. This is technically your debut record, but not your first – correct?
I did some records with a band and I have been recording and producing
songs for some years now. I recorded two solo “albums” but never
released them because I didn`t feel comfortable enough.
2. Why did it take 3 generations of records to arrive to this point?
I am a drummer and I can`t read music and in the creative processes of
my former groups, I was always the guy on the sideline creatively. How can you push your ideas
in a band when you only have a rhythmic instrument and no tools to
express and explain yourself. So I started doing music in my room
because i had the urge to but wanted to do it only for myself.
My first two albums were extremely personal, very dark and badly
produced, had no proper lyrics etc. because I didn`t think of singing
on the final recordings. I spent months looking for a good
singer with whom I could work with but I never found the right one.
That`s why I came to this point where I had to decide: I will grow old
and become miserable and always talk in the conjunctive or do it myself
3. This record is a composite of realtime moments. You collected sounds and
ideas for these songs while traveling – tell us a bit about that.
I always enjoyed travelling and I love storing memories with audio
files. How simple and efficient. I started with Mini-Discs in South
America and since then I always had a recorder with me. I think it makes
every music sound more natural and connected to life!
4. I’m curious what your favorite songs on here are, and why?
I think I have most connections to Grandiosa, På Sporet Av Peter Pan and
mostly to Jars Of Toey! Grandiosa is a very old song and I often
thought, it`s too simple but I always got back to it. På Sporet Av Peter
Pan is very personal and when I listened to it I had the strong desire
to perform it live. Jars Of Toey is very emotional in every sense. This
song explains best my process to gain self-esteem! At the same time
I think i fucked it up a bit during the recording process so that`s why
it is hidden as track nr.7.
5. Who or what is this Black Bird?
A blackbird is first of all a wordplay, because the juxtaposition of love and blackbird seem
to be an oxymoron. The title is pretty accurate in describing the
mood of the songs: dark and euphoric, sad and in love at the same time.
2nd: blackbirds are my favorite birds, because they are the most
beautiful singers (whistlers).
The 3rd thing is that when I started playing piano there was always (and
instantly) a blackbird sitting outside the house who started singing as
soon as I was playing. maybe he meant that i was his rival but i
imagined he just liked my playing!