The End – Why Do You Mourn

Trost Records / LP/CD/DL / 2023

The End Why Do You Mourn Anxious Magazine

There are no coincidences. I was kind of prepped for “Why Do You Mourn” since the last concert at Warsaw’s Pardon To Tu. Of course, by “prepped” I mean that I knew what emotional charge was waiting for me there. What I didn’t know was that the day after the album came out – I would learn of my own brother’s death, and it was the same day that I listened to the album for the first time, alone, trying to place the fact that the question in the title would, in this case, turn out to be addressed to me, in some space-time. I’m writing this not to make you feel sorry for me. I wouldn’t even want that… I’m writing about this because It helped me mourn. Because death and loss are integral parts of our lives. These 7 songs made me, even if I shed tears, which I had every right to, it was done in an atmosphere of peace and reconciliation with the eternal cycle of transition.

I remember some of the songs from the concert… I remember that Sofia sang about snow, I remember that the whole thing put me in a swaying motion, as if my body was measuring time, suspended under the disk of some very old clock, staying in total sync with the clocks around me and the pendulums simulated by the rest of the audience. I was sitting on the “balcony” floor, where the air conditioner, in moments of suspense, insolently catches up to every performance that takes place in this club. I like it, such a treat. It makes me laugh and it works for me.

Even when performed in a club space, on a full “sold-out”, the album’s compositions sound intimate… romantic I would say (perhaps the romanticism is a bit distorted in me)… You can sense the melancholy, and a touch of annoyance, when Jernberg sings that this damn spring is not coming, and some relentless nimbostratus is hanging in the skies. What appears to us, is a landscape that is dreamy but nowhere near a harbinger of change, and the heaviness of the moment is heightened by the almost doom-like (especially in “Doomfunk Mcs,” composed by KjetilMøster) bass line of Anders Hana, who apparently, as a trained marine biologist is perfectly capable of capturing the relationships that occur in nature.

So instead of flowers and sunshine (it’s a damn May after all), what we have here is a road roller on which Mother Nature has carved, “Did you hide your jacket in the closet? I don’t even feel sorry for you.” The nights are still a bit cold and mercilessly moist, not so warm either – anyone who has spent even a moment in the North knows what I’m talking about. Sofia’s vocals, on the other hand, consistently oscillate between soothing murmurs and a melodic yet powerful soprano making her by turns a singer and part of the brass section. And in each of these roles, she BLASTS THE SYSTEM, dominating even the sound-hyper-charged “Whose Face”.

At the end of my little sound-based story, I cannot forget to mention “Black Vivaldi Sonata,” whose trip-hop beat is subjected to various tortures, hurting the sonic continuum while visibly warming it at the same time. I’m in love with this piece at first sight, so much that I’ve been singing it for a week now at work, to my child when she’s going to sleep, to myself. To the freekin cats. Although the album as a whole “enters” perfectly (the order is important – so says Mats), this particular moment of it feels like a perfectly fitting touch that I sometimes happen to miss so much. The kind of touch that announces the “war in heaven…”

The AMAZING album-cover is a creation (it’s a tradition already) of Edward Jarvis, a Swedish painter whose distinctive style (especially the beautiful, surreal icons) corresponds flawlessly with the performative style of The End. In the provided image, we see Sofia Jernberg in a “Hamlet” like scene à la “memento mori,” under a cloud crying its eyes out. Jarvis’ talent for capturing the “essence” of people and animals is directly proportional to that of Sofia, whose lyrical vocal experiments are a feast for literally every sense assigned to mankind. Snow is also present ( bold and ready), as a reference to the first track, to which (it turned out suddenly!) the reference is Mats’ story about his childhood sounds, which I asked about in an interview on Anxious. There are no coincidences.

released May 19, 2023

Marta Podoska