I first discovered Kaipa about a decade ago when I was really into The Flower Kings and was exploring their various side projects. The Flower Kings frontman Roine Stolt was a member of Kaipa during the late 70s (when he was only 17), and during their reformation in the early 2000s, but left after their 2005 album Mindrevolutions. Children of the Sounds, out on September 22nd, is now the eighth album since Kaipa’s return, and thirteenth overall.
The dynamic between Patrik Lundström’s and Aleena Gibson’s vocals is quite powerful and something that has always stood out to me in their post-2000 material. The vocals have a very raw and emotional feel to them. The guitars and synths also have a particular sound that is immediately recognizable. The sound is both whimsical and powerful, with orchestral complementing the intricate yet smooth guitar and keyboards.
According to frontman Hans Lundin, the ideas for this album started flowing after he attended a concert of the Mats/Morgan Band and a magical spirit filled his body. He goes on to say “I woke up the morning after the concert and still felt that enormous groove filling every part of my consciousness. I realized that I had to canalize all this energy somewhere so I decided to start to write some new music. I had also found a lot of inspiration from the long bicycle rides that I made during the summer in the open landscape around Uppsala. It was like if the notes were rising up from the billowing fields I passed and the words were falling like raindrops from the clear sky. So now I suddenly had found the key to open up all these ideas that had been slumbering at the back of my mind for a while. All the beauty and the wondrous inspiration from nature in combination with this ‘enormous groove’ made me create five long songs during the next months.”
The music does clearly convey Lundin’s feelings and the more I listen to it, the more I’m transported to that landscape of nature and billowing fields. Per Nilsson contributes some expressive guitar solos that sound almost effortless in their execution. As much as I like Roine Stolt (since he was my introduction to the band) there’s nobody better to replace him than Nilsson. Although his work here is quite different than with his own band Scar Symmetry, he really nails it.
The five epic tracks on this album add up to just under an hour of music with “On the Edge of New Horizons” being the longest at 17:10 and probably my favourite of the album. The music is dense, but worth the multiple listens required to fully appreciate it. Kaipa is a band brimming with talent and Lundin’s creative ideas really showcase that talent well. If you like grand and extravagant prog rock, Children of the Sounds shouldn’t disappoint, although it might be a bit of an acquired taste. I recommend giving it a few listens to really take it all in.
A press copy of the album was used for this review.
Album: Children of the Sounds
Release date: 22 September 2017
Label: Inside Out Music
1. Children of the Sounds – 11:31
2. On The Edge of New Horizons – 17:10
3. Like A Serpentine – 12:52
4. The Shadowy Sunlight – 6:57
5. What’s Behind The Fields – 9:31
Total running time: 58:01
Hans Lundin: Keyboards & vocals
Per Nilsson: Electric & acoustic guitars
Morgan Ågren: Drums
Jonas Reingold: Electric basses
Patrik Lundström: Vocals
Aleena Gibson: Vocals
Filetype listened to: MP3
Bitrate: 192 kbit/s CBR
Sampling frequency: 44,100 Hz, 2 channels