An elemental aspect of every musician’s journey is the search for an original sound. It’s a process that is more complex for some than it is for others. For artists like boerd, whose music doesn’t quite fit within preconceived stylistic categories, the cultivation of a unique sonic identity involves deftly synthesizing influences that may be perceived as incompatible. boerd’s particular musical trajectory has culminated in his latest album Misplaced, in which the Stockholm native’s background as a classical musician pairs with his passion for electronic music for beautifully authentic results.
Having attended The Royal College of Music in Stockholm as a double bassist, boerd has a deep connection with classical music and has been performing with orchestras and operas since his graduation in 2015. All the while, he has also been creating and performing electronic music since his childhood. There wasn’t always much overlap between the two realms, though, and he ultimately had to find his own artistic voice between them. “I can feel pretty misplaced myself a lot of times,” boerd states. “I sometimes feel like a pop musician when I’m working in orchestras and like a classical nerd when doing the electronic stuff.” With this sentiment as the inspiration for the LP’s title, the music follows suit with an effortless blend of string-based acoustic sounds and electronic elements to go with the songs’ contemplative moods.
Although boerd’s melding of diverse musical styles sounds effortless on Misplaced, it’s very clear that the feat is achieved through superb musicianship and a tasteful touch in production. The LP has a more natural sound than some of his previous releases, signifying an evolution in his sound. “I’ve been using a lot more organic sounds the last couple years, more real instruments," he says. "I’m also trying to strip things down a bit, not using as many different instruments in one song as I did before.” Standout tracks like “Silver,” “Look,” and “Mud” offer particularly stunning examples of boerd’s skills in production and restraint.
The lone vocal feature of the set is the dreamy “Before We Drown,” in which boerd is joined by fellow Swedish artist Stella Explorer of the group Brödet. While the track has a more structured arrangement than the others on the album, Explorer’s gentle, slinky vocal delivery fits perfectly within boerd’s musical universe, perhaps hinting at new possible directions in the future.
It’s clear from Misplaced that boerd has immense musical talent and an unparalleled vision for his work. What’s also clear is that his active creativity will allow his music to continue to evolve. “I might want to release a couple of smaller EPs with very different kinds of music – one up-tempo, one completely ambient, and one acoustic for example. We’ll see…” Regardless of the artistic directions boerd travels in the future, audiences can expect more genre bending, emotive music of the highest order.