Review – Gustaf Ljunggren with Skúli Sverrisson – Floreana

“When you can no longer count the peaceful moments in your day, and life becomes a wonderful place of clear thoughts and calm. You know things are as right as they should be.”
― Ron Baratono

Swedish multi-instrumentalist and composer Gustaf Ljunggren has teamed up with Icelandic Bass Guitar player and composer Skúli Sverrisson (Laurie Anderson, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Bill Frisell, Blonde Redhead ) to create an album that wishes to offer the listener private musical spaces to dwell in for a while.

Ljunggren’s musical language is clear, gentle, and melodic, and the pieces chosen for this album all share a sense of weaving past and future together into the present. Gustaf Ljunggren reflects about the music on ‘Floreana’: “I listened inwards, and it sounded like this. Melodies came to the surface, and I chose to say ‘yes’ to them, embrace them, carry them forward. My musical partner on this album, Skúli Sverrisson, has been with me throughout this process; embracing the music with both profound dedication and artistic boldness.”

‘Floreana’ is one of those rare things, something unexpected that turns out to be something quite wonderful. Eleven beautiful pieces of music that engender a feeling of calm and peacefulness. The whole album just brings harmony, tranquility and serenity to you, no matter how stressed or worked up you are. You could call it modern classical or ethereally cinematic, I just think it is possibly the most graceful collection of instrumental tracks I’ve ever heard.

Highlights abound, celestial Leading Somewhere, the soothing pastoral charms of Kongens Mark, the haunting and wistful Bottomless Siestas and the spine tingling exquisiteness of closing track Vi Overlever, every track is a perfect moment of reflection and contemplation. The music is slightly spiritual in nature and puts you in touch with your inner being.

Philosophical and meditative, ‘Floreana’ will leave you in place of utter calm and leave you ruminating on life, the universe and just about everything. It’s as much about the spaces between the notes as the notes themselves and the state of mind that your are left in. To me, it is one of the surprises of the year so far and an album that I implore you to listen to at least once, trust me, it will be worth it…

Released May 13th, 2022.

Order from bandcamp here:

Gustaf Ljunggren with Skúli Sverrisson – Floreana | Gustaf Ljunggren (bandcamp.com)