Celestial Reviews

Dream On Reviews:

Lost Music
Hailing from Sweden - Celestial is one man, Andreas Hagman, and on his debut LP - 'Dream On' he's been helped by assorted friends. I believe he now has a band together. Fingers crossed that this band makes it to London for a gig or three.
2007 is already shaping up to be a vintage year for shimmering guitar based indie pop. My head has been turned week after week by some new exciting sounds. On reciept of 'Dream On' consider my head well and truly spun around.

People who regularly read Lostmusic will know that a while back Lostmusic Recordings released a couple of 'home made' EPs for download only from Celestial. Many of these songs appear here. But they're not the same songs, really, these have been re-recorded and re-invigorated. The potential on those early download EPs has been harnassed and improved. There is a richness to the guitar sound, that was previously missing. The drums are sharper. The whole LP sounds more rounded. Finished. 'Nothing Happens; Twice' has been reborn - sounding less twee now - it's become a wonderfully pounding beast of an indiepop song.

For those not familiar with Celestial's sound - I'll start with the basics - Celestial make a sparkling guitar pop sound. It's roots are firmly planted in the early days of Creation records and Sarah Records. Back in the days when a 7" record was something to be cherished and pop music was a thing of beauty. Celestial understand the classic pop song. They also understand how a record should look. And more importantly sound. The guitars on 'Dream on' positively glisten. The songs themselves are instantly memorable. 'The Boy Who Never Says Goodbye' with it's 60s girl group drums and plaintive vocals is an early highlight. The whole LP has a soulful feel. The band it most reminds me of is probably The Loft. But that comparison doesn't fully capture the way playing 'Dream On' makes me feel. This record sounds wonderful. It really does. I am not talking about individual songs here - it's the overall feel of the recording.

People may be surprised to find a song called 'Pale Blue Eyes' on the LP. It's not a cover of the Velvets classic. This is beautiful little song with guest female vocals from Malin Dahlberg (from We are soldiers we have guns) - sounding a little like a heavenly mixture of Tracey-Anne Campbell (Camera Obscura) and Amy Linton (The Aislers Set). It's a another great song. This is an LP stuffed to the gills with great songs, great sounding songs. As I already mentioned, 2007, is proving to be a vintage year for records. You can add 'Dream On' by Celestial to the pile of really good records already released this year.

EP Reviews:

Mira El Péndulo
“precious songs, on the Sarah Records vein, between a super romantic dreampop and a dreamy and tender melodies jangle pop. And it just feels fine to [listen to] and go walking on this cold day. Each song is a world of it's own, no low points, and this today is not the norm. I totally recommend Celestial.”

Guitar indie. You can never take the shoegazer-feelings from an old eighties- and nineties-indiejunkie. That feeling of hearing My Bloody Valentine for the first time, seeing Ride at a community centre in Jönköping and at the Cue Club. When I listen to Celestial it all comes back, and that possibly means that I, in effect, give a mark a grade higher than this really deserves. But, Celestial are worth their four [lighthouses = rating system], mainly because they stay true to their roots and produce a completely wonderful indie, drenched in effects, with attractive guitars and singing so brittle that you dare hardly listen to it. Now, as then, there is no need for much else, no technical excesses or excelling necessary. And when they finally deliver the best counter attack on Rides pop classic Chelsea girl in the song Dream on, nostalgia knows no limits. /Daniel Claeson

Yet another few who have trawled into the most sheltered bays of striped sweaters are Celestial, who manage to wander from shoegaze via Field Mice to JAMC in five songs. A rather impressing stylistic cavalcade of hits for us indiecats who have been in the game a few years too many. However, Celestial give the impression of being something other than a few people who thinks it is time to revive the early nineties again just for the fun of it. Because it all feels so very sincere. As if they themselves have discovered the giant reverb, the weldguitars and the silky soft romance. Instead of pastiche a big open embrace, filled with references that all happily wave to you and excl.. Follow us home and hold hands. So I shed a few tears and wallow in youthful bliss. /Fredrik Eriksson

Indie mp3
‘Dream On’ is a lovely little tune that reminds me of some of the early releases on Creation Records (except for “Upside Down Of Course”) and other early 1980’s jangle pop. It’s that good and I look forward to hearing the demo when it has been completed.

Friends of the Heroes

Shimmering, gliding, haunting and tantalising, Celestial hover in the indie pop shadows waiting for their next victim, for the next unwilling, unwitting innocent to idle by before being seduced by the sweet, sweet slices of effortless beauty that slide through the darkness and sink deep into your heart without a sound. Without you realizing that they have you, held down, absorbed and taken, you can’t resist and if you wanted to it would be futile. Celestial swish and sway, they swoon and sashay, impossible to nail them down and stare them right in the eyes you simply just submit, and its a fate that I would wish on you all.

Saving My Presence is a reverb laden indie pop stomp, laced with crashing cymbals and subversive layers of overdriven guitars hidden deep down in the mix, it has echoes of My Bloody Valentine at their heart wrenching best and of the Jesus and Mary Chain when they discovered that songs could be tuneful as well as noisy. It’s very C-86-ish and would sit well in a record collection built around the early days of Creation and Sarah Records, Bobby Wratten would kill for this.

In A Maze and Dream On are much more than filler, the former explodes in a six minute lo-fi collision of distort and chime and leaves you exhausted, whilst the latter is pure N.P.L. dancefloor jangle, chorus and melody exude a compassion and allure that might even get me flashing my corduroy flares around the Winchester Club, its irresistible and compelling and deserves to be on every indie kids retro walkman.

The Boy Who Never Says Goodbye lurks somewhere between the Velvet Underground and Leonard Cohen, desolate and desperate the hero yearns for simplicity, which is reflected perfectly in the soundtrack and echoed so naturally in the female vocals that accompany. The closing track Black Letter is again more melancholic in nature than Dream On but is in itself spectacular. The breathy vocals and incisive acoustic guitars shroud the whole song in a warm embrace and you just know, that tomorrow, everything’s going to be alright.

This E.P. was recorded at Orebro University during a three (late) night recording session in the spring of 2005, the songs had never been rehearsed, Andreas had written them, and wanted Christoffer to drum on them, Andreas played and Christoffer improvised, and through the dark, cold, long Scandinavian night they produced an epic work of beauty, sometime it just happens like that.