It’s been three years since Patrik Backlund released his second LP, Wolfrunner; a hauntingly beautiful collection of intimate lyrics, layered with imagery and inspiration from the forests and wilderness of his childhood home in Hammarstrand, in the North of Sweden. A lot has happened since.
Backlund spent a good part of the past two years touring with INVSN, the music project of Swedish musician Dennis Lyxzén of Refused and The (International) Noise Conspiracy. Now Wolfrunner IS Patrik Backlund, and with the name comes a distinct voice, stripped compared to his earlier works, pared down and naked.
Wolfrunner has begun to slowly release this voice out into the world with a series of EPs containing songs from a greater body of work he has been working on over the past years. All of the songs are written, recorded and produced by Backlund, who plays the majority of the instruments, in his home in Umeå. These EP’s will all be self-released in 2015.
Safeword Budapest, released May 5, 2015 “Is like the sigh before starting a conversation you know is going to be hard. And then Bad Moon (to be released in June 2015) goes into it in depth in several ways. Bad Moon is sonically not very bright at all compared to Safeword Budapest, and Senza Testa's (of Råd Kjetil Senza Testa) synthetic machine sounds on Inferno and Equation are like a reminder that even though stuff can go on in the foreground, there is always something looming in the background. A hissing or a tone that just won't stop until it has been thoroughly dealt with.”
Backlund’s lyrics are thoughtful, honest and sometimes aggressive, all the while mixed with the warmth of his voice and the beauty of his melodies and harmonies. A humble musician, Wolfrunner is at once familiar and completely unique. He has a clear and thoughtful voice, at once shaken and solid, more sure of his sound now than ever.
Backlund summed it up “The whole (music) industry right now confuses me. The most interesting artists are still the ones with a true voice - an honest and straight line from their inspiration to their expression. I tried to become something else before. Something I thought people wanted. But it didn't work obviously and thank god. What I want is to get as close to my own true voice as I can, and to stay there. And staying there can result in music that doesn't have to be cramped into the confines of a genre. As long as it is as true as it can be, I think that it will be as interesting as I can be.”
Photos by Sara Almgren.