PREMIERE: Swedish Folk Songwriter Anders Jörnesten Longs For Something Else In New Album ‘The Train To Montreal’

Swedish folk artist Anders Jörnesten is proof that it’s never too late to pursue something you’re passionate about.

For the 43-year-old, music wasn’t always in the plan; it wasn’t until the pandemic that he began to search for something beyond the life of a regular job. Like many artists, working from home grew tiresome, inspiring Jörnesten to seek a creative outlet.

Residing in Stockholm, the singer-songwriter sequesters himself in his humble bedroom to create his songs, using just his vocals and an acoustic guitar, leaving plenty of room for authenticity and vulnerability.

Living in Stockholm has undoubtedly lent some geographical influence to his craft. Given its location, the city endures harsh winters and pleasant summers, giving residents a true taste of each of the four seasons. Consequently, Jörnesten – along with most other Swedes – spends winter longing for an escape from the consuming darkness and cold temperatures.

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Beginning his relatively new music career in 2021 with the release of his single, “Wild Wild Country,” he continues to churn out straight-ahead acoustic folk and country tunes. Just last summer, he released his first album, a 10-song collection, Astrology

The Train to Montreal

And today, July 28th, his latest album, The Train to Montreal, has officially released, featuring 9 original folk songs. With most of the tracks written in classic folk style, the album covers themes of love and dreams, as well as despair and longing. Despite that feeling of wanting something more, Jörnesten’s music gives the impression of finding peace and comfort where you already are. 

The opening track, “If You Come Around” is a solemnly reflective ballad of a lover’s longing for the other’s presence. As he grows and changes, the singer finds himself wishing he had his love to add some color to his life of seclusion. With a steady, gentle guitar melody, Jörnesten’s deeply rich baritone has a palpably emotional quality.

“Train to Montreal,” the album’s title track, features dynamic chord changes that emphasize the song’s reflective tone. A slow rhythm and somber lyrics tell the melancholy story of a lover who’s turned to the bottle amidst the flood of memories. The symbolism of the “train to Montreal” suggests an ongoing struggle to move on with life after heartbreak. Jörnesten’s tender songwriting shines early and often as demonstrated here.

“The Train to Montreal”

“A Song for the Lost and Found” is perhaps my favorite off the entire album. With its stirring guitar melody and emotional story, each verse is dripping with honest yet poetic storytelling. A song for the lonely and lost, this tune mourns with those who long for love and connection amidst a desolate existence. For those who possess this powerful love, the fear of losing it can be just as paralyzing as the longing of those who search for it. 

Last but certainly not least, the album closes with “The Speed of Light,” which leaves the listener with a spark of hope for the future. While maintaining that longing quality, the lyrics are a bit more hopeful than some of the other tracks, suggesting that a reunion between lovers is possible. Revisiting the symbolism of traveling by train, love does not exactly seem hopeless, yet it seems to be threatened by the passage of time and distance, which carries with it uncertainty and change. 

Though Jörnesten may have arrived later to the music world, he’s proof it’s never too late to put yourself out there and express yourself, and make others relate in the process. The Train to Montreal is his latest and hopefully not last example of this.

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