Kristoffer Ragnstam Announces New Album

posted May 19, 2008

Kristoffer Ragnstam Announces New Album

It's difficult to put Kristoffer Ragnstam simply. He is a Swedish rock musician who is at home in most parts of the world and within any musical genre, a drummer who was a born frontman. He's a singer-songwriter in the most literal sense of the designation: he writes the songs he sings, but the similarities between guitar strumming self-absorption and Ragnstam's extroverted observations that bound over the confines of genre end there. Wrong Side of the Room, Kristoffer's bubbling sophomore record, set to hit via bluhammock Music on August 19th, is a musical tour-de-force. Sound bites of inspiration that were conceptualized and explored on numerous tours over the past year and a half became the catchiest pop-rock songs you could imagine when pressed onto compact disc at Studio Scola (Sweden). This album is all delicious momentum and thrilling spontaneity.

As a fifteen-year-old boy growing up in Gothenburg, Sweden, Kristoffer decided to trade in sports for music when an intuitive teacher noted his ear for rhythm. The young Ragnstam promised his mother that he wouldn't eat candy for a year and that was how he scored his first drum kit. Kristoffer quickly outgrew this starter kit and went about the serious task of building his own, a skill that he's made into a business, a business that doesn't stop with drum kits but extends into the self-built analog echo guitar effect he uses onstage today. Ragnstam and collaborator Joel Lundberg opened Studio Scola (Swedish for "school") in 2006. A recording studio that is both temple and testament to the desire the two have to continue learning. It was there that Ragnstam recorded his American debut, Sweet Bills, which proved fateful for the collaboration it allowed: a brief meeting with Chris Brown (Blur, Radiohead, Supergrass, Beatles Anthology) led to the renowned engineer mixing the entirety of Sweet Bills, as well as Wrong Side of the Room.

Ragnstam's hilarious self-examination moves at a break-neck pace through the New Wave track, "2008," while the tense "Sorry For Being the Man of 1000 Questions" comes off as less an apology than a statement of intent, thudding like a worried heart. "Swing That Tambourine" will have you dancing gleefully, throwing caution to the wind (who cares who's watching!!), while "Wrong Side of the Room," the swaggering title track, showcases Ragnstam's slick coo amongst reverb-laden guitars and popping drums, assuredly explaining that there is comfort in discomfort. The closing track, "Of All Summers," is ecstatic anticipation- all swirling vocals woven through silky guitar lines, driven, pounding keys and the feeling that Kristoffer has told you an enthralling story and you just can't wait to hear what's next.