SIR WAS shares new single & video ‘Revoke’- Debut album ‘Digging A Tunnel’ due March 10th via City Slang!

February 16, 2017




With his debut album Digging A Tunnel set for release March 10th via City Slang, Gothenburg artist sir Was, the musical alias of Joel Wästberg, is sharing another slice of his unorthodox take on hip-hop, soul and electronica with new single & video ‘Revoke’.

Directed by Swedish artist Fredrik Egerstrand  who also directed sir Was‘ previous videos for ‘In The Midst’, Falcon& ‘[http://]A Minor Life’, Egerstrand spoke about how the two came to work together for the ‘Revoke‘ video, saying “We met in the forest one shady night, while recording a video for Junip. Joel wanted to do a video at this very spot, the Pub Aberdeen. It’s a place we both pass daily. There is a common feeling in all the videos we try to accomplish. They all growth from where sir Was music origins. From a working class point of view. There is no stylish things going on, but hopefully there is human touch in every video.”

Adding to this, sir Was said the following about the video, “We might be stuck with our situation in life, our regrets and our wish for things to be different from what they are but sometimes between our dreams of something else there are glimpses of beauty and the ability to enjoy it.”

Comprised of 10 original songs, ‘Digging A Tunnel’ is an album that constantly bucks trends and confounds expectations. Traveling as widely as Wästberg has — and filtered through a love for hip hop — the album is as unrestrained and spirited as the music that inspired it. Wästberg explains, “Moondog, Bob Hund, My Bloody Valentine, D’Angelo, J Dilla, Thomas Mapfuno. Liturgy, Dudley Perkins, Sly and the Family Stone, The Beatles, Mahavishnu Orchestra… I don’t know. I listen to a lot of stuff!”

sir Was played almost all the instruments on his debut, including drums, bass, keyboards, guitar, percussion, clarinets, and saxophone. “Everything except the bagpipe and the harmonica… Those I captured with my iPhone,” says Wästberg.

Inspired by Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, sir Was began studying jazz saxophone at an early age and was soon flying around the world to perform with a variety of ensembles. His more unlikely experiences included jamming with a pajama-clad Sean Lennon in his New York apartment and escaping the 2012 coup d’état after playing at a festival in Bamako, Mali. Though he later moved back to Gothenburg, he also spent time at the University of Kwasulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, where he developed an interest in pan-African rhythms that was furthered by travels through Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Soon he was making a living not from his saxophone – as he had since 2010 – but from other musical adventures, including playing with José González. Eventually, however, the time came to strike out on his own.  “I’ve been interviewing myself in the shower for years,” he jokes, “secretly dreaming about daring to put out my own music. But I finally felt ready to give myself the opportunity. I didn’t have a clear intellectual idea, but I had a gut feeling, an imagination of a sound. A lot was going on – big changes, break ups – and life felt shitty, but also open. I was broke, but I was starting to feel some kind of new feeling of… let’s call it freedom. I realised that I needed to make an album or I’d become bitter and angry. I thought, ‘If I don’t take myself seriously, I can’t take anyone else seriously either’. I don’t care if 5 or 5,000 people hear it, as long as it comes out of my studio.”

See sir Was live:

1st April – Sugar Factory, Amsterdam NL*
3rd April – Gebäude 9, Cologne DE*
4th April – Karlstorbahnhof, Heidelberg DE*
5th April – Kammer 2, Munich DE*
8th April – Clubheim im Schanzenpark, Hamburg DE
9th April – Berghain Kantine, Berlin DE
11th April – Birthdays, London UK
12th April – Espace B, Paris FR
* – w/ Sinkane

‘Digging A Tunnel’ artwork:

‘Digging A Tunnel’ tracklist: 

1. In The Midst (video)
2. A Minor Life (video)
3. Digging A Tunnel
4. Bomping
5. Revoke (video)
6. Falcon (video)
7. Heaven Is Connected
8. Interconnected
9. Leave It Here
10. Sunsets Sunrises

Pre-order ‘Digging A Tunnel‘ –

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