SOARS is the solo project of Kristian Karlsson, synth player in CULT OF LUNA and bass player/vocalist in PG.LOST – and yes, ‘Repeater’, a truly epic instrumental rock album bustling with delay-drenched drama and joyful yet melancholic melodies will make every PG.LOST fan very, very happy. Why is it not a PG.LOST album then?
“I got tired of discarding ideas I’ve written that didn’t ft PG.LOST, but at the same time were too good for my ears to throw away. PG.LOST as a collective works at a relatively slow pace, while I by default write music all the time… so eventually it became clear to me that I needed a new outlet for all those ideas”.
Karlsson released his debut solo album ‘Enfold’ under the Soars moniker in 2021. Recorded and released all by the artist himself, ‘Enfold’ made waves in the post rock world and the vinyl pressing sold out quickly. Repeater connects seamlessly with the debut album: propelled by the powerful drumming of Christian Augustin (Stiu Nu Stiu, live drummer of Cult of Luna) and Karlsson’s charismatic synths melodies, these eight tracks share a distinct reference to the cinematic works of artists like Vangelis and Jean-Michelle Jarre, as well as post rock acts like God is An Astronaut, Caspian and Mogwai. “Soars is a personal journey and expression of a sound that has been developed over the years,” explains Karlsson. And this long-term development of his artistry ensures that while painting with a familiar palette of tones and textures as the aforementioned artists, Karlsson always paints a picture that is very much his own.
Title track «Repeater» comes saturated with orchestral grandeur and melancholy, and yet somehow exudes a sense of hopefulness which lingers throughout the album. Driven by layers of processed vocals and glorious melodies, «Uprise» literally gives rise to waves of exalted joy, while tracks like «The Waiting» or «Grow» demonstrate that Repeater shines through sheer strength of composition. Wrapping his retro synth sounds into a fat modern production, Repeater is stuffed with stunning dynamic arcs, catchy melodies and atmospheric density. The recording and mix are fawless and, in a sense, timeless. “The recording process was pretty simple,” explains Karlsson matter-of-factly. “A lot of the ideas was formed at home in my kitchen and took its fnal form in the studio.”
With Soars, Karlsson is proving his innate ability to convert his blithe spirit into sound waves. Repeater is a manifestation of a man who lives and breathes music – an album that grabs you and carries you away.