With an extensive background as a leader and coleader of multiple bands in a diverse array of musical directions, Swedish singer and composer Q’s investigation of the solo musical process was born out of pure curiosity. The result, her debut solo album UP UP UP, contains narratives of both hope and despair, contrasts audible in her compositions, lyrics, and soundscapes.
Q has combined her history in freely improvised and abstract music with the rich tradition of Swedish songwriting, while playfully blending genres, references, and influences into her own singular vision. Clear, catchy pop-like melodies join futuristic protest songs, ritualistic forms, and hypnotic polyrhythms, warning us of something ominous but also offering a light at the end of the tunnel. Innovative and divergent, Q’s beautiful and sometimes challenging music brings to mind David Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy and Nico’s “The Marble Index.”
The soundbank on an old synthesizer became the chief inspiration and instrument of choice for this project and recording. In the liner notes, Q states that while exploring the keyboard’s capabilities, she would eventually gravitate toward “the modest and grandiose, tasteless sounds that I didn’t think would fit in or have a role to play… The despised ones, the outsiders… this corresponds both to the songs on this record, and us as human beings.” These sounds also connect to the lyrical themes on a deeper level: each and every thing having a purpose and importance on both large and small scales.
Q (Qarin Wikström) has been an active part of the blossoming avant-garde and experimental music scenes in Copenhagen, Denmark for over a decade, having released 16 albums as a leader and co-leader including recordings with diverse projects such as Kostcirkeln, Shitney, Sekten, and Babakarej. Q is a multiple winner and nominee of several Danish Music Awards, and a recipient of the prestigious three-year grant from the Danish Arts Council in 2012.