Jesper Lindell’s ‘Twilights’ Anchored in Early Americana and Country Rock (ALBUM REVIEW)

With his latest album, Twilights, Sweden’s Jesper Lindell proves that the Americana genre is clearly agnostic to geography. The moment the organ starts up on the joyous opening track, “Westcoast Rain,” it’s clear that Lindell is destined for big things. The next track, the heart-wrenching “One More For The Road,” only cements that sentiment.

The album faced some pretty big odds. Lindell spent the last couple of years dealing with label issues, a global pandemic, cancelled tours and kidney disease; it’s surprising that Twilight – his sophomore record – ever saw the light of day. The record is anchored in Americana, but dips in an out of swamp rock, Zydeco, jazz, blues, and pop across the 10 tracks.

The record is also a testament to collaboration, not only from his band mates, but with guest singers, including Swedish singer Klara Söderberg (of the sister-duo First Aid Kit), French musician Theo Lawrence and American singer Amy Helm. It’s that willingness to expand the musical influences here that makes the record so compelling. Helm, the daughter of The Band’s Levon Helm, lends her voice to a beautiful cover The Band’s “Twilight.” While Lindell’s love of The Band is clearly all over this record, he also cites some less obvious musical inspirations like Moneybrother (tragically underrated here in the U.S.) and other Swedish groups, like Soundtrack Of Our Lives and The Hives.

While the music was written and recorded during the global pandemic that forced the band off the road, the themes here are timeless and universal: heartache, loneliness, and hints of optimism. “Dance” featuring Lawrence, is an impressive zydeco rock number that would make Dr. John proud, while “White Lines” is an achingly sweet piano ballad about getting back on the road. “Nights Like These,” another standout track, is a surprisingly powerful, Blues-soaked slow burn track about being alone. The album ends on the seven-minute long “Into The Blue,” with Lindell singing in falsetto and perfectly caps this impressive album.

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