Review: Lief Sjostrom's 'Impossible Parade' Focuses on Post-Rock Vibes in a Neo-Classical Fashion

By: Norman Hittle

The cello-wielding force of reckoning Lief Sjostrom has released a new EP Impossible Parade.

As with the growing body of work that is Lief Sjostrom, this EP sufficiently augments the sonic progress of his career. Almost like the next release of a trilogy or series, it makes you want to go back and hear the last pieces to fulfill the story and relive the experience again. However, Impossible Parade focuses more on the post-rock vibe in Sjostrom’s neo-classical fashion, with tracks that are laced with a bit more momentum and tension.

Impossible Parade is both canon and progressive to the tale Lief is weaving for us. It fits nicely in the sense of feeling like the composition of a somber and grieving movie or game. I have and continue to imagine the darker moments of Lord of the Rings, Vikings, Skyrim, and the Witcher series in comparison. In simpler terms, his songs have a stygian Celtic folk feel that resonates with an almost enchanted medieval era.

Lief Sjostrom.

Lief Sjostrom.

If you haven’t ventured into the ambient, yet visceral soundscapes of Lief’s previous releases, I’d encourage you to take a moment to do so. I’ve detailed his other works for BolderBeat, Counting Breaths and The Longest Night. I promise, if you enjoy Impossible Parade, you’ll enjoy all of Sjostrom’s records.

Lief will be performing Saturday, April 13th at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox. Make it a point to enjoy this evening by grabbing details at this link!

Keep up with Lief Sjostrom here.

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Lief Sjostrom Released a Christmas Record You Should Add to Any Holiday Playlist

By: Norman Hittle

Cellist Lief Sjostrom has just released The Longest Night, an EP of traditional songs centric to winter and the Christmas season, yet far more somber and dark. Take a listen below:

In this collection, arranged by Lief, he performs solely using multiple layers on the cello. At first read this may sound a bit dull, but if you listen to the care he put into these compositions, you’ll soon discover it’s layers of textured plucking, strumming, and slides beneath the more traditionally associated cello sounds.

Lief Sjostrom. Photo Credit: KT Langley

Lief Sjostrom. Photo Credit: KT Langley

The Longest Night is a six-track variation of four more commonly known holiday tunes as well as two far lesser known. But more importantly, Lief’s take on the classics is an interesting divergence in his own melancholic style with compositions that sound like they would fit right at home in the Lord of the Rings trilogy or perhaps in Vikings or on the Skyrim soundtrack. Says Lief, “It’s a darker, more meditative approach to Christmas music. It’s an ode to the darkest time of the year, and a respite from the commercialized joy of Christmas.”  

Aside from this release, Lief put out his full length album Counting Breaths earlier this year, which I absolutely loved and wrote about, so check out that article here.

Keep up with Lief Sjostrom on Facebook and be sure to add him to your extensive holiday playlists!

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Denver Cellist & Soundscape Artist Lief Sjostrom Releases New EP 'Counting Breaths'

By: Norman Hittle

Lief Sjostrom, a cellist and guitarist living in Denver, has released his latest cinematic neo-classical full-length album Counting Breaths. Take a listen below!

Lief performs and records his own original, cinematic, and neo-classical/post-rock compositions; he also performs and records with live bands. His first solo EP, Her Prayers Sound Like Warnings, was released in 2017, and according to him, this latest album is a continuation of that EP with a darker edge.

Counting Breaths is a 14-track journey that takes the listener through cinematic soundscapes that alter in movement from track to track. One moment the listener may feel like they’re at the top of a verdant mountain range in Middle Earth, and the next they’ll be guided into the high tension of the misty woods of M. Night Shamylan’s The Village. Next they’ll find themselves gliding through a beautiful glade on sparkling waters along with some Game of Thrones-like heroes all before being taken to the doors of a sepulcher in a Lovecraftian-inspired horror tale. Both beautiful and emotionally captivating, these compositions could easily be on some epic gaming playlists and I know I’ll be adding them to my own.

Lief Sjostrom. 

Lief Sjostrom. 

On the side, Lief has been teaching cello and guitar lessons for four years, and has been a central component of the band PrettyMouth the last six years. He’s also performed or recorded with Edison, Sawmill Joe, King Cardinal, The Patient Zeros, Florea, Chad Price, Tyto Alba, Brianna Straut, Adam Hooks, Poor Me, and The Dead Orchids, to name a few. He’s also crafted music for the score of a documentary by Adam Reynolds.

Keep up with Lief Sjostrom on his social media and make sure to catch his set at Denver’s UMS this week Sunday at 1PM at Baere Brewing Company!

-Norman

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.