At the time of this blog post I am listening to ”Fjäril” from Meadows’ The Emergency Album.
Meadows bio from Spotify:
Born and raised in the small town Söderköping on the east coast of Sweden, the finger style guitarist and songwriter Christoffer Wadensten have traveled the world the last couple of years. Playing clubs, festivals, living rooms and theaters around Scandinavia, Europe, UK and USA. In autumn 2016 Meadows released his home made debut EP ”The Only Boy Awake.” In April 2017 the title track of the EP was featured in the Netflix series ”13 Reasons Why,” which brought him into millions of living rooms.
Oldenburn Internetzeitung in Germany described Meadows as ”In the jungle of the many songwriters, he is an exceptional artist. He just knows how to captivate his audience,” and Nerikes Allehanda in Sweden said, ”The humble but confident presence creates a connection to the audience that is…let’s say: amazing.” Based on listening to just Fjäril alone, I cannot disagree.
Fjäril translates to ”butterfly” in the English language. I did not look this up until after I had listened to the song many times, and learning the translation of the track name, it made such sense.
Meadows’ finger style of guitaristry is perfect for this, and he wrote this song so much for his style, by my reckoning. As you listen to this 1m 45s journey you’ll hear his fingers flutter across the strings.
The song starts out with a beautiful flourish of notes that changes tone back and forth, ending with some harmonics. Taking a slow, somber, and reflective turn, he slows down. The mid section of the song is lower in pitch, more deliberate, and contemplative. Around the one minute mark, the tempo increases and the flourish of notes returns. The flutters. The buildup to the end of the song has such forward movement, and delivers you directly to the completion of the song, which slows down and ends on a resolved note.
From an audio standpoint, the track is quite literally just guitar. No percussion, no samples, no vocals, and no other instruments. And it doesn’t feel the least bit lacking. Meadows manages to fill the track so fully with just his guitar. The detail and texture in the recording are nice as well, with the listener able to discern the movements of his fingers across strings and carefully pinging harmonics, but without any scratching or other unwanted artifacts. It is simply beautiful, moving, smooth and skillful guitar.
If you’re looking for a peaceful afternoon listen, look for further than ”Fjäril” from Meadows. You won’t be disappointed.