Tuesday, 13 December 2011

CINNAMON "VOX EP" (1995)

Tonight I really miss your love
Tonight your consciousness feels so wrong
Crying makes my nose bleed
Suburb life's exactly what it seems

We never figured it out
We never had a plan
I've never realized

It feels like walking backwards
I'm still your girl and you are mine

Feels like someone kicked my head from behind
The pills I took just make me sick inside
Tonight I want to go out to find a better place
Make an effort for mankind

We never figured out
We never had a plan
I've never realized

It feels like walking backwards
I spoil my every lunchtime
It feels like walking backwards
I'm still your girl and you're mine


[excerpt from the lyrics of "Backwards" by Cinnamon]



The Swedish group Cinnamon was formed in Stockholm by Jiri Adamik-Novak and Frida Diesen sometimes during 1993, as one of the many local Indie Dance / Twee Pop bands in the wake of The Cardigans and Saint Etienne.

Guitarist Jiri Adamik-Novak (...now a successful designer...) was born and raised in Prague and lived in Sierra Leone for a while. He and Frida met for the first time in 1992 when she joined Jiri's band of that time (Love on Ice, named after a song by Momus).

In 1993, after having dissolved the band, they started co-writing and recording songs that eventually found their way to Lars Tengroth, Soap Records' A&R man, who simply loved what he heard and signed the band.

The duo became a trio in the spring of 1994 when guitarist Björn Öqvist became a permanent member of the group. At this time Magnus Karnock (bass) and Krister Svensson (drums) also participated in the project as added members.

Öqvist, Karnock and Svensson left in 1995 after the release of the debut album "Summer Meditation" to form their own band named Planet of the Poodles (...and later Wan Light, without Björn Öqvist).

Since then, Cinnamon has been centered around Jiri (...guitars, keyboards, programming and other instruments...) and Frida (...vocals, keyboards and extra bits...) who were helped in the studio by various guest musicians, most notably Per Linden on further guitars and keyboards, Samuel Laxberg on bass and Christian Ekwall on drums.

During their lifetime Cinnamon released three albums (the already mentioned "Summer Meditation" in 1995, "A Northwest Passage" in 1996 and "Vertigo" in late 1999 - early 2000 in the U.S.) and a few EPs and singles, including the debut "Vox EP" in 1995, which is the subject of this post, and "The Many Moods of Cinnamon" in 1999.

"The Courier" was also published in 1997 by Island Records, it was a collection of songs mainly culled from their two previous full-lenght CDs aimed at a worldwide market. During this year the band toured Europe and the U.S. to promote the album and was exposed to a wider audience.

Before ceasing their activities in 2000 - for reasons that I wasn't able to discover - Cinnamon recorded "Vertigo", an album whose perfect and rare beauty leaves the bitter taste of farewell. This work was co-produced by Bernard Burgalat, with string and horns arrangements by Louis Philippe: how couldn't it be a masterpiece?



During summer of 1994 Cinnamon moved to Longville-sur-Mer, France, just in front of the Atlantic Sea, to gather ideas and write songs for their debut album. That summer was one of the hottest in decades, but the rain helped the band to control the situation and they returned home with a bunch of cool songs.

The "Vox EP" was released in March 1995 and "Backwards", the opening number whose lyrics appear at the top of this post, soon turned into a minor radio hit in Sweden.

The album "Summer Meditation" (...which is discussed here...) was released in Sweden a few months later, aptly during... summer. Partly co-produced by Graham Lewis of Wire fame, it received a fair amount of critical acclaim and was also released in Europe and Japan.

The following is the English translation of a short feature/interview taken from issue #12 of Swedish magazine Pop, the original version is available here.


On the French coast just north of La Rochelle is the small town of Longville. Last year pop-trio Cinnamon spent a few weeks here writing new songs.

- It was pretty rainy, says keyboardist Jiri Adamik-Novak. We could not do much other than sit indoors and compose.

- Longville is a very quiet place, says guitarist Björn Öqvist. Where nothing happens.

After a few cloudy but creative weeks songwriter Jiri, Björn and singer Frida Diesen went back home to Stockholm. There, they recorded their debut album in Frida's home-studio on Kungsholmen. A delicate collection of songs that breathe Cocteau Twins and The Sundays.

- We did not need to rush. It was nice, says Frida.

- And the hot summer in Stockholm was a snap. Everything worked, says Jiri.

In the studio, it was not as good. The record company hired several Swedish producers who did not understand what Cinnamon wanted to achieve.

- They cut the trees into a studio musician, says Jiri. A large part of our sound is based on what is recorded in Frida's house. Crackling from the neighbors and the entire place.

The solution was Graham Lewis - a former member of the British post-punk group Wire - which took over production. He was able to understand the delicate contours that the band desired.

- And he knows Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins, adds Jiri.

The first single "Backwards" sounds like Saint Etienne's "Mario's Cafe" has moved to Kungsholmen. It is pop music as easy as cigarette smoke hovering over a cup of Earl Grey. This fall the band released a brittle debut album.

- Our music is quite vulnerable and melancholy, says Jiri.

- We hope that it could appeal to anyone, says Frida.



Cinnamon's "Vox EP" was released by Soap Records / MNW, it features the following songs:

01. Backwards (5:38)
02. Me As Helen of Troy (3:22)
03. The Man On Your Street (3:46)
04. Take My Love (3:20)
05. Backwards (Acoustic) (3:02)
06. The Playwright (4:43)

All tracks are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include complete PDF artwork. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.



The following credits/notes appear on the back cover:

Written & produced by Cinnamon.

Tracks 01 and 02 co-produced by Graham Lewis.
Track 03 co-produced co-produced by Carl-Michael Herrlöfsson.

Tracks 01 and 02 mixed by Graham Lewis and Thomas Hedquist at Quest Studio.
Track 03 mixed by Carl-Michael Herrlöfsson at MVG Studio.

Tracks 01, 02 and 03 recorded at MVG, Quest Studio and at home.
Tracks 04, 05 and 06 recorded by Cinnamon at home.

Design by Lars Sundh at Dynamo.
Photo by Irmelie Krekin.

Distributed by Vital.

Distributed in Scandinavia by MNW.



"Backwards" and "Me As Helen of Troy" also appear on Cinnamon's debut album "Summer Meditation", the remaining songs from the "Vox EP" were also released on the Japanese version of the album as extra tracks.

The following live versions of "Me As Helen of Troy" and "Take My Love" played by the original trio of Jiri Adamik-Novak, Frida Diesen and Björn Öqvist  were recorded live at a showcase in Yokohama, Japan, in november 1995 and are available courtesy of YouTube.





A videoclip of "Me As Helen of Troy" is available here, audio quality is awful, but it is another rare occasion to watch the band.


A few more information about Cinnamon is available here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamon_%28Swedish_band%29

https://www.discogs.com/artist/31835-Cinnamon

https://www.youtube.com/user/fridaryden/videos

http://www.jiriadamiknovak.com/

https://popviminns.wordpress.com/2010/11/20/cinnamon/

https://popviminns.wordpress.com/2010/07/23/album-cinnamon-summer-meditation/

http://www.pauseandplay.com/cinnamon-an-e-mail-qa/

http://www.salon.com/2000/04/12/cinnamon/

http://www.allmusic.com/album/vertigo-mw0000699174


If you have any other useful information about Cinnamon and the "Vox EP" - especially corrections and improvements to what I wrote above - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

9 comments:

  1. do you have summer meditation album by them??

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, I'm going to post it in the next months.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ugh really?? i'm desperately looking for it about a year or two!! thank you so much if you're gonna post it :D
    love your blog btw!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for publishing info on Cinnamon.

    I used to own their "The Courier" cassette tape (which I bought in Sep 1997). I was choosing between that album and the album by that other Swedish indiepop band. Good thing I chose the Cinnamon, and I've been playing that tape till now. Unfortunately, through years of constant use, the sound quality of the tape deteriorated and there is no way I could find the CD in record stores.

    Is there any possibility you could upload "The Courier"? I would be very grateful. Thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @absentimental: thanks for your patience, I will dedicate a post to "Summer Meditation" in October.

    @Landon Elroy Saul Ahlerzog: sorry, I will not post "The Courier" on the blog because this album is widely available for sale. Anyway, please write to me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com providing your e-mail address: I may have something for you, best wishes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Candyman!

      Listening to the "Summer Meditation" you posted. Absolutely fantastic. Thanks a lot.

      Delete
  6. THANK YOU! I heard "Backwards" on indie radio in the early 90's, captured it on a Mix Tape, and it was my favorite song but I had no idea what it was called or who sang it. The mix tape got ruined, and I've googled snippets of the lyrics every few months for literally the last 8 years. This is the first time I've found it - THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  7. You're welcome, thanks for your comment!

    ReplyDelete
  8. DOWNLOAD LINKS

    FLAC: https://mega.co.nz/#!BRU...

    MP3: https://mega.co.nz/#!cF0...

    If you download any of these files please consider leaving a comment, your feedback is important!

    Please let me know about any broken link and deleted or unavailable files: I'll do my best to quickly reupload them.

    ReplyDelete

Be nice, keep it clean, stay on topic, no spam, thank you!!!

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