by Casper Johansson in New Music on Tuesday 27 January 2009

In the Spring of 2006, a seven-year email correspondence culminated in the meeting of Luke Jackson and Magnus Börjeson. Jackson had long been a devoted fan of two of the Swedish musician’s former bands: Beagle and Favorita, and the two songwriters finally met in Paris where Börjeson was mid-tour playing in The Cardigans. By the end of the weekend, Jackson had accepted an invitation to record in Sweden, which he took up in January 2008. He set to work in the studio with Magnus on bass and Christoffer’s Brainpool bandmate Jens Jansson on drums. Upon his return to London, he sent the rough mixes of the songs to renowned London-based string arranger Robert Kirby (who has orchestrated works by Nick Drake, Elvis Costello, and Elton John). Kirby loved the songs and offered to write orchestrations for the album and accompany Jackson to Sweden to conduct the necessary recording sessions with nine players from Malmö’s Opera Orchestra. It is the collision of these two worlds which makes his album, And Then Some, so compelling. Densely layered guitars and vocal harmonies fuse with sweeping string lines, none of which ever draw the ear too far from what lies at the heart of Jackson’s music.