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Le Days – Dead People on Tape

Le Days

“When you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back at you.”
–Friedrich Nietzsche

This is it folks. The raw exposed nerves, being poked by all the damage to our innocence that occurs through the years. A reflection of the perils of being human, the loneliness, those long cold nights when it seems that it is you against the world.  In all my years of listening to Suicidal Black Metal, Funeral Doom, and Dark Ambient, nothing has compared. Not even Today is the Day goes this far, and if you knew me, or if you know Today is the Day, you would understand the weight of me saying that.

These songs are the most real things that I have ever heard; absolutely nothing recorded has ever dared to be more vulnerable.  And to tell you the truth, it is absolutely fucking terrifying, because it is simply not possible to listen to this and not deal with all of your own sorrow. Le Days is a fisher, casting a line deep into the individual’s subconscious, and pulling out the emotions that are best left forgotten but have to be dealt with. It is, in a sense, therapeutic, much in the same way that half a bottle of whiskey or some peyote is.  Daniel Hedin, the main curator of these songs, has done something very special here. The music mainly consists of a man and his guitar, it is fairly simplistic in a sense, but this is not to say it lacks technique. What it contains is emotion; a lot of it.

Of course, various instruments are utilized as well, such as a cello, electric guitar, piano, and bass. Yet, this is above all else a singer/songwriter, little to no embellishments, just pure emotive expression through voice and wood and six strings and cabin fever from being snowed in for two weeks straight. It is slow, his voice, cracking, like dust with cobwebs in his throat. Vulnerable, and methodical, perhaps a bit of sadistic intentions in forcing the listener to feel things they have tried to ignore. I almost feel a review is a mistake, and instead I should be warning you not to listen to this.

Certainly, not all songs have quite this impact, but the first time I listened to “That is Love”, it was at least an hour before I put on a different song. And, I do confess, my aforementioned bottle of whiskey at the time had a very noticeable decrease in volume. That bottle was without a doubt half empty, and my stumbling and incoherent behavior was proof. This incoherent stumbling is the same factor I discover in Le Days, and I truly wish you all the best in allowing yourselves the courage, the vulnerability, to listen to such a thing.

You may be wondering why music of this style would be talked about on a site like this. I have no doubt his fellow Swedes Katatonia and Tiamat would highly enjoy this, along with many from the aforementioned genres. Le Days is without a doubt, dramatic. Some would dare say this makes it weak, no different than Emo, or some other testosterone-driven bullshit statement that people make who are too scared to deal with whatever emotions stir within. It is exactly these people who need to hear this the most. These songs are broken, at times sounding like the whole thing is just about to fall apart. The end of “I’ve got a Masterplan, Playing in my Mind”, is an absolute wreck, leading to a serene haven created by piano in “The Plan”.

Dead People on Tape is a series of ghost stories, lost lovers suicides and forlorn escapades into the horrors of our every day existence. It is a prayer to release all these spirits, for now their story can be told. It may not come as a surprise that fate is just waiting for a movie director to discover this, as it does sound like a soundtrack to some heart wrenching flick. Even the corporate world of television and film would sit and listen in awe, although they would be likely a bit trepidatious over using such an emotionally disturbing song such as “Nothing more to Live for”, which is such an intense song it is just fucked up; there is just no other way to put it. Le Days has simply gone to far. These tracks conjure images of some hermit living a shack deep in the forests of Sweden. His thoughts of suicide and possibly more have kept him isolated from society for all these years, and finally he has decided to release his diary via music, perhaps to save himself from his own insanity. Yet somehow, when it is over, it is a relief, the band-aid quickly pulled off. This will hurt, it has to, it means nothing if it does not. So I wish you well on your journey my friends, and I honestly encourage you to listen to this and allow whatever emotions to rise. It is absolutely a necessity that we all deal with our emotional traumas in order to grow as individuals, and Le Days is, for me, a part of my journey that will be carried throughout my days.

Track List:

01) As Long as you Win
02) I’ve got a Masterplan, Playing in my Mind
03) The Plan
04) I Follow you
05) Dead People on Tape
06) Fingernails
07) My Place
08) I’m Nothing
09) The Walk
10) I Wish
11) Our Land
12) Nothing more to Live for
13) I know I’m being Fooled
14) Paperclips
15) That is Love
16) Time

Rating: 5/5
Written by: Patrick Bertlein
Label: Self-released (Sweden) / N/A / CD + Tape + Book, Digital
Dark Folk / Experimental / Acoustic