Som Vinter is the new project of Swedish singer-songwriter Fred Bjorkvall, formerly associated with London-based alternative band Sam Kills Two. Similarly to some of his long lasting influences such as Nick Drake, Elliott Smith and Warren Zevon he draws upon life's darker subject matters in his songs. A lover of different types of guitars and alternate tunings he extracts these themes both sonically and lyrically in his recordings moving from ambient electric guitar in one song to layered arpeggiated classical guitar in another, binding it together with his characteristic, soft, hymnal-like voice. More often than not if you hear him live nowadays though it's likely to be just him and a classical guitar.
His journey so far has been fraught with personal struggle and music is the only thing which seems to have remained an anchor in Bjorkvall's life. However, the juxtaposition of writing songs which stem from a despondency about our current state of world affairs whilst seeking recognition in a fame and money-driven music industry has always been a real challenge for him. One that has perpetuated a long standing battle with depression. These struggles and emotions permeate Bjorkvall's songwriting and are contributing factors to the melancholic sound. A sound which has led to his music being featured in film and TV with dark themes, such as celebrated BBC series 'In The Flesh' and 2015 british film Urban And The Shed Crew.
Bjorkvall's former band Sam Kills Two split up in 2011 after having tried for some time to reconcile differences in their personalities and musical opinions. This happened just as they were starting to gain a foothold on the London circuit, shortly after the release of their second studio album, Pretty Ugly. Like the eponymous debut album this was also released on London label Rocket Girl Records. The band played a last show together at The Social in London for the release of the album. They had been working together for nearly three years.
Bjorkvall's response to the break up was to make immediate attempts to record new material for a solo project but ended up very unhappy with the results and decided to take a break from music entirely. He struggled with bouts of depression and spent nearly two years in and out of the illness dividing his time between writing at his home in South Bucks outside of London, and occasionally going home to Sweden searching for new inspiration, and a reignition.
The travel and the processing of the untimely band break up eventually lead to him rediscovering a sense of joy in writing again. Bjorkvall returned to the studio in early 2013 to develop songs for a new album.
Later that year he also invited his long term friend and collaborator to work with him, guitarist from Sam Kills Two Geoff Gamlen.
The album showcases a deeply introspective and close up view of Som Vinter and his demons, struggles and joys in a modern world. It's out now on own label Arcane records.