Jesper Larsson on Simon

We used to get a lot of demos sent to us. Always as mp3 files over the internet, which made kind of sense since we were a netlabel. But one day Johan received 3 cd records in the mail. It was ”The Day the Signal Died”, ”Conchology” and ”Songs Without Words”. I’m not sure what we expected really, but we were quite impressed by the seriosity and ambition behind it all. It was not exactly every day we got cd’s sent to us.

When Friday night arrived we met up at Johan’s flat as usual, had a beer and started to listen. We were instantly impressed by the diversity and arrangements in the songs. Acoustic ballads, instrumental ambient pieces, folky songs with psychedelic twists and effects and drone landscapes from far in the distance.

The voice was hypnotic and the guitar playing was excellent. And there was a strike of melancholia over it all, in a very pleasant and beautiful way. Like a soundtrack to the long dark autumn coming in over Gothenburg at the time. It was perfect.

I don’t know how many nights we spent listening to the albums. We found some more songs from other releases on the internet. We started to pick out the best songs, argued about the running order and about how many of the drone songs that would make it on the release.

We were planning a compilation album as Simon’s first release on 23 seconds but the problem was we had not talked to Simon himself yet. Our experience was that the artists usually wants to release new stuff. But the songs we had picked were just too good to be history and really deserved a proper release again.

I don’t think Simon was too happy with the idea first (as expected!) but we managed to talk him into it and with the addition of a few new songs (among them the stunning ”Stuck on a Cloud”) 23 seconds released ”Haven’t we met before?” in March 2014. For me it’s one of the best and most diverse and timeless albums we ever released. It shows Simon in all his best ways and quality of the songs and the performance is amazing. I’m very proud that we released such an album on 23 Seconds and it’s an album I keep returning to. It’s a diamond really.

Jesper Larsson, 23 Seconds netlabel, September 2018

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