Nilla Berko Davor Abazovic Peter Johannesson Daniel Åhs Victor Hillström
[listen on SPOTIFY]
Brine is a Swedish band from Gothenburg.
Their third LP-album The Night Before It Happened was released on Dec 10, 2014 (on Oodiofoniska Inspelningar). It contains ten tracks, three of these are instrumentals. At the same time there is more singing on this Brine-album, than on their previous ones.
Brine’s specific line-up (cello, guitars, bass, drums, vocals) gives their music a particular vibe suitable for both popish tunes, just as well as more experimental music pieces reminiscing of a movie score. They combine these possibilities rather beautifully on The Night Before It Happened.
To be in motion. To be on your way. To be looking forward to something … or someone. These phrases were some kind of a starting point for Brine while working on this album. It was recorded in the short period of four days, with the whole band playing together, in order to capture a certain feel. Most of the tracks were recorded live, in only a few takes. This gives The Night Before It Happened a refreshing straightforwardness.
Bio and discography
Brine started out in the late 1990s, in the fishing village of Grebbestad, situated at the Swedish West Coast. In those days Brine was a rather noisy outfit, led by Davor Abazovic and Goran Abazovic – back then both teenagers switching on playing guitars & bass; with Bengt Eriksson, twice their senior, on drums. They band took the name from the song ”Palace of the Brine”, by then their favorites The Pixies. During 1995-1997, Brine recorded a series of demos with British recording engineer Peter Connolly.
Just before the turn of the century, the Abazovic-brothers moved to the capital City of Stockholm, and got joined by Linn Lokadotter Bodell (bass) and Tomas Olsén (drums). During a short and somewhat turbulent, but very creative period of time, this line-up recorded two LPs, Recordings ’99 and On Linn’s Tape Recorder (2000). However these albums never saw an official release.
Instead, it was Losers Case (an EP-album from 2004, on White Noise and …harbour, sea…) that came to be Brine’s debut release. After that the band relocated back to the West Coast of Sweden and the City of Gothenburg. This also led to some crucial changes in the lineup. Included in the band was for a while also Mads Johannes Nielsen (from Scaredy Cat, Sock Puppets, PAMS, Flemming, etc.) Another EP, entitled BRINE EP, came in 2006 (on …harbour, sea…).
Brine first official LP-album, entitled Story vs. Plot was released in 2008 (on …harbour, sea…). By then Goran Abazovic had decided to focus on other projects. But he played (mostly bass) on a few tracks on the album. Story vs. Plot was recorded on four different locations and it featured many guest musicians (Liv Bäckelie, Stian Rödven Eide, Richard Harryson, Mats Larsson, etc), among these three different drummers. The album caught the ear of the legendary New York music critic Jack Rabid (founder of The Big Takeover magazine) – who has since featured Brine’ songs on his radio show on several occasions. Story vs. Plot got positive reviews also in music magazines such as It’s A Trap– Scandinavian Music Journal, Absolute Noise, Under the Radar and Artrocker.
In early 2009 Peter Johannesson, a skilled multi-instrumentalist who’d been around Brine ever since their very start, finally joined the band on bass and keys – soon to be followed by Daniel Åhs on guitar, and Andreas Höglund on drums (Höglund departed less than a year later to focus on his other bands). In 2010 Brine released yet another EP, called The Necessary Links That Make Up, Part One (…harbour, sea…).
Nilla Berko joined the band in early 2010 – on cello and vocals – which refined Brines sound.
Brine’s second LP-album, entitled The Names came out in 2012 on Oodiofoniska Inspelningar, an independent Swedish recording label from Gothenburg, run by musician and music producer Cristan Brieba. Given the album’s more ‘cinematic’ vibe, Davor Abazovic made a video for each of the tracks. These were later combined in to a short music film. After this Abazovic ended up making videos for a few other Swedish and also Belgian bands. The Names got positive reviews in The Big Takeover and also in a couple of Swedish music publications. Victor Hillström, a very talented drummer, and a member of several young and promising Swedish outfits – who also played the drums on a few tracks on the The Names-album – now joined the band on the regular basis.
Brine’s third LP-album, The Night Before It Happened, came out in December 2014. The albums ten tracks were written in a more democratic way than any of the band previous material. The album is both more vocal-orientated (with Nilla Berko, Davor Abazovic and Peter Johannesson, all singing leads) and rather sophisticated in its instrumentation.
(A selection of) Press quotes
The Big Takeover, October 15, 2010
“Utterly original, eerily affecting.”
The Big Takeover, May 15, 2012
”the six-song, 35-minute The Names all but jettisons [Brine’s] previous angular post-rock and noisy dissonance in favor of the single’s serene, gentle tones. Expansive, unhurried compositions such as “You Waved Your Hand” and the 9-1/2 minute closer “Cinécerity” build upon the single’s blueprint, offering up more of Davor Abazovic’s and Nilla Berko’s soft, angelic voices, pensive guitars, and Berko’s haunting, skin-crawling cello […]”
Möllan, May 15, 2012
”[…] Brine skiner igenom de mörka molnen och påminner om en svunnen era. Med hjälp av deras framtoning lyckas de sätta originaliteten i första rummet, för att sedan fokusera på att utveckla ljudbilden till ytterligheterna. […] Genomgående är det en väldigt omväxlande, men stark platta som lyckas sätta avtryck direkt, för att sedan ta avstamp och hamna inom en annan kategori. På så sätt lyckas de undslippa kategoriseringens orättvisa.”
The Big Takeover, October 15, 2011
”This Gothenburg, Swedish art rock troupe will soon release their new album “The Names”, and if this teaser single is a microcosm, fans are in for a sea change. […] “Doran & Edith” is surprisingly mellow […] like a Scandinavian Scott Walker and Nancy Sinatra singing their baby song to sleep. The flipside “Play (Brieba remix)” is, apart from an interlude with Radiohead-ish noise and louder drums, chamber-broody similar, with piano, dark shadows, and silence. Hmmm! The LP should be unusual!”
Absolut Noise, May 15, 2010
” The band has kept its ability to write unusual music […]. I guess they are just a band for people who like oppressive sound. And ambitious music. And a fascinating sonic atmosphere. Enter the void.”
It’s A Trap, Scandinavian Music Journal, September 15, 2008
Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson
”An album that celebrates the possibilities of rock music as much as the 90s scene it was birthed from, ”Story vs Plot” is very much worth tracking down.”
The Big Takeover, Issue 63, November 15, 2008
”At its heart, ‘Story’ revels in the continual clash of its sparse guitar strums, post-‘Chairs Missing’ and ‘154’ Wire, with dalliances and teases towards a harsher, more abrasive textural assault, barely restrained.”
Artrocker Magazine, Issue 82, October 15, 2008
”Their debut [LP-] album is a fine mix of all kinds of offbeat guitar bands […]. Mostly this album is wrong-chord magic that flails all over its influences, picking out the best bits and flittering them between destructive anger and NY chic.”