Iceberg, Béla Selendy's debut album, was released under cover of darkness on or about June 1, 2012.
The album, often semi-autobiographical and occasionally whimsically or bleakly not, features an all-star cast of phenomenal musicians including Staffan Johannson on guitars and stringed things of all description, Paul Börjesson of Telephone Studios, Stockholm on bass (who both produced and mixed the album, as well as performing a multitude of other musical tasks including contrabass, synth, guitar and backup vocals), Micke Häggström on multitudinous varieties of percussion, Emeli Jeremias on cello (avoiding long strokes wherever possible, but once in a while accepting the inevitable with aplomb and welcoming the chance to relieve her tortured fingertips), Ted Hector on highly inventive organs, piano and synth, and Lisen Elwin and Anna Ericsson on backup vocals. These musicians collectively represent the true genius behind many of the more recognizable faces of Swedish music.
All songs, words and music, are written by Béla Selendy, but highly augmented by the improvisational skills of the aforementioned. Iceberg was brilliantly mastered by Thomas Eberger, Stockholm Mastering.
Iceberg hasn't been actively promoted anywhere so far, although that's somewhere in the middle of our to-do list, so we don't have much in the way of reviews to share with you as of yet.
We can, however, offer the following brutal, unvarnished feedback from both close friends and immediate family members, all of whom have said, at least to our face, that they found the album very enjoyable and interesting on a multitude of levels. Several of our neighbors like it too. Also the guy who's currently painting our house, a highly talented Russian artist with very specific views about what he does and doesn't appreciate.
Update (Aug. 23, 2012): Here's a nice review from the Huffington Post:
Selendy's most prodigious talents clearly lie as a lyricist. On his debut CD Iceberg, the long-haired balladeer alternates between post-breakup songs ("Colorblind"), disquisitions on the human condition and the state of the world ("Traces" and "There Are") to the more serendipitous and unique--an ode to scientific (un)certainty, for example ("More than Zero"). Some songs hit while others miss, but they are all smart and presage more good things to follow upon this neophyte effort. (Read the whole thing here)
And from the marginally biased but often crankily critical friends-and-family contingent:
A very original bouquet of poems, set to original music and sung very expressively and well by the poet - Dad
A phenomenal album - Brother
All of the songs turned out fab and it's a good arranging/placement of songs on the album for a solid ebb and flow - Best friend
I am transfixed by this. The poetry moves me to tears and the melodies are dramatic, soulful, reminiscent; full of pain and passion. - Another very good friend
Great job, Dad! Can we have tacos for dinner? - My children
But don't take these unbiased reviewers' words for it, have a listen for yourself:
Iceberg can be purchased in all the usual places, including:
...and so on. Just Google Selendy Iceberg, you'll find it.
Iceberg is on Spotify as well, if you want to listen for free, you skinflint.
A physical version will be available very soon, if you're one of the dinosaurs, like me, who like their music collection to constitute something less ephemeral than a bunch of zeroes and ones.