Åhlén, David - Hidden Light (LP)
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It’s 2016 and the world is (still) in darkness. Big or small, the hurt is hurting everyone and this does not simply pass by David Ahlen just because he lives on a remote island in the Baltic sea. Together with his wife and five children, David is part of ‘Stenkumla parsonage’, a Monastic community and shelter to anyone in need. Far from the blur of the big city, David lives in a barn sheltered by nature. Though living in a remote area, David is very eager to share with us his beautiful music. By sharing his music, the listener catches a glimpse of the light David sings about.
Being a folk singer from Sweden, David knows how to get a story across. The stories for his album came to heart after reading a book called ‘The Concealed Light’ by Tsvi Sadan. After a period of improvising together with his good friend Andreaz Hedén, David recorded Hidden Light in just two days! Even though we had to wait for years for this new album, his music speaks like never before.
Every one who remembers his last album (and his first on VOLKOREN) ‘Selah’ will probably remember how David’s music can resonate - and it’s not just the music itself. David’s stories and the way he performs them tends to bring rest to the ears, peace to hearts, as if talking about pure inspiration. David’s unique voice is sheer yet intense as the thinnest light itself, and it really has been touching listeners all over the world for many years now.
David recorded many tracks on the island of Gotland itself, just like for the former album, and this time he worked with many different artists and like-minded friends in both Stockholm and Oslo. Complementing David’s unique voice are Svante Henrysson (known for his work with Ryan Adams and Elvis Costello), Sofia Jernberg (from Fire! Orchestra who sings a duet on the track ‘Majesty’), Jonas Nyström (flugelhorn on the track ‘Hidden Light)’ and Nicolai Dunger (known for his work with Will Oldham and Emiliana Torrini and he sings duet on the track ‘Heal me’). Andreaz Hedén and Manne von Ahn Öberg (known for his his label Atrium and producing Stina Nordenstam and Under Byen) offered to mix the album after hearing such beauty.
Being the son of a travelling preacher, David has had a similar youth as singer David Eugene Edwards of 16 Horsepower/Wovenhand, and it’s not by chance both artists found their way to VOLKOREN, a small Dutch independent label. Even though living abroad, the label has been like a family to David Ahlen ever since.
In the past David Ahlen has toured with artists like Jonathan Johansson and Loney Dear. He’s looking forward to touring Europe more in the near future, excited about what the new release will bring.
The songs of David (what’s in the name…?) are not your average gospel-tunes but have their own meaning and tone of voice. These short stories about faith, longing, death and life uncover a Hidden Light, a light seen by David Ahlen shared with the listener.
When taking time to really listen to Hidden Light one might find it hard to switch back to reality...