Molly Nilsson
LPDSA042

Gatefold LP, blue disc with poster and lyric sheet. 11 tracks including Absolute Power, Pompeii, Kids Today, and Earth Girls.

 20,00

Extreme is Molly Nilsson’s tenth studio album. Recorded in 2019 and throughout the 2020 global pandemic at home in Berlin, Extreme is a departure for Nilsson, an explosion of angry love. It’s an album of anthems for the jilted generation, soaked with joy and offering solace, bristling with distorted, Metal guitars and planet- sized choruses that bring light to the dark centre of the galaxy. It’s an album of the times, by the times and for the people. It’s a record about power. About how to fight it, how to take it and how to share it.

Night School Records
“Obnoxiously Talented”Video by Molly Nilsson
“Sweet Smell of Success”Directed by Martin Falck

Absolute Power explodes with massive guitars, double kick beats and the instantly iconic line “It’s me versus the black hole at the centre of the galaxy.” Nilsson’s performance itself portrays absolute power in its confidence but the song is a call-to-arms, an entreaty to grasp the here and now, to take the power back. It’s Nilsson pacing the ring and we’re instantly in her corner. Earth Girls takes familiar Molly Nilsson themes – female empowerment and subverting the patriarchy – but casually throws in one of the choruses of her career. “Women have no place in this world” she sings, but it’s the world that isn’t good enough. Stadium-sized but still warmly hazy, Earth Girls has its fists in the air, glorifying in harmony, almost ecstatic in its feeling good. Nilsson’s Springsteen-level conviction and righteousness bleeds through the speaker cones, the cognitive dissonance between the song’s cadences and angry lyrics redolent of Bruce in his prime. Female empowerment isn’t always an angry energy on Extreme, however.

On Fearless Like A Child, Nilsson’s anthem to the female body and women’s sovereignty of it, she croons over a mid-80s blue-eyed Soul groove. It sets a nocturnal scene as the narrator surveys her past and her surroundings. Before we’re fully submerged in a dreamlike, Steve McQueen-era Prefab Sprout poem to learning from your mistakes the song erupts into one of those lines only Molly Nilsson can get away with: “I love my womb, come inside I feel so alive” she fervently sings. Against the backdrop of ever-encroaching, conservative rulings on women’s reproductive rights in places like Texas, it’s simultaneously angry and full of love.

“Pompeii”Video by Molly Nilsson
“Absolute Power”Video by Graw Böckler and Molly Nilsson

Every song on Extreme is a gleaming gem in a pouch of jewels. On Kids Today, Nilsson is the voice of wisdom, archly commenting on the eternal struggle between youth and authority. Wisdom infuses Sweet Smell Of Success with a transcendent love that forgives the narrator’s shortcomings and celebrates the moment, it’s a letter to the author from the author that asks “what is success” and concludes that this is it, this song, this moment. It’s a rare moment of simple reflection that is generous in its insight to Nilsson’s inner life. “Success” is a tool of power and we don’t need it… We need power tools and there are moments on Extreme where it feels like Nilsson is showing us how to find them. It’s an open conversation through out Extreme. She’s a warm, comforting presence through out the album and specially on these songs of encouragement, songs perhaps sang to a younger Molly Nilsson or, really, to whomever needs to hear them. “They’ll praise your efforts, they’ll call you slurs a rebel, a master, an amateur / Merely with your own existence, you already offer your resistance.” On Avoid Heaven she’s even more direct, pleading with us to avoid concepts of purity and to embrace the glorious, ebullient, emotional mess we’re often in as a method of upending the power structures who need things to be perfect.

They Will Pay brings back the big, distorted power chords in the form of a agit-punk, pop slammer. Of course, when Molly Nilsson does punk pop we get the catchiest chorus this side of The Bangles or The Nerves. It’s rendered in an off the cuff, throwaway manner that is just perfect in its roughness. However, it’s on Pompeii that Nilsson delivers the album’s epic, emotional heartbreaker. Like 1995 on Nilsson’s album Zenith, or Days Of Dust on Twenty Twenty, the lyrics of Pompeii are heavy with a transcendent sadness, an aching poetry that cuts to the truth of the heart like the best Leonard Cohen lines, though here delivered with an uplifting, life-affirming love. It contains the most personal moments of Extreme, a song lit by the dying embers of romance. Yet it’s here where the alchemy at the base of all Nilsson’s best work is found. Turning small nuggets of personal truth into big, generous universal moments that invite everyone to cry, to love and to fight the power. In an album of jewels, it might be the shining star.

Molly Nilsson’s biggest, boldest and most vital album to date, Extreme is about power. Against the love of power and for the power of love.

Blue vinyl...

Obnoxiously Talented

Obnoxiously talented,
and ready to die
Abandon your dreams now
and forever wonder why

Like something fallen from the sky,
just enough to get you by
Don’t even bother don’t even try
oh I’ll come around and I’ll make you cry

Giving up’s too easy and you know it
You’ll need a better reason when you finally blow it

Inside you laughter like a scream
a violent death in your wildest dream
I don’t even find it that extreme, now
with everything going on
What on Earth could go wrong?
We’ll have our chance and then it’s gone
Not always easy just holding on
When you dream, I dream along

Triumph will be fleeting and you know it
If you’re up for the fight then get ready to show it

They’ll praise your efforts, they’ll call you slurs
a rebel, a master, an amateur
Merely with your own existence
you already offer your resistance

Oh I know it’s a rotten deal,
and I know just how you feel
Don’t turn around, I’ll take the wheel
it’s not a dream if we make it real

Don’t die with sigh
Let’s go with a battle cry
Heaven forbid you’d ever give in
We still have a world to win
A world to win

Sweet Smell of Success

If you need a second chance, here’s your shot See this beautiful mess it’s all I’ve got Couldn’t get any better I guess The sweet smell of success couldn’t get any better I guess In some quiet town young and promising Didn’t keep any promise at all Your friends all loved the clown Glad I made you laugh with a joke that I can’t recall The sweet smell of success couldn’t get any better I guess The sweet smell of success couldn’t get any better I guess Of all my little lies, this is my favourite life At home when we’re retired we’ll finally get to cry Of all my little lies, this is my favourite life At home when we’re retired we’ll finally get to cry Couldn’t get any better I guess couldn’t get any better I guess couldn’t get any better I guess Alone at some old show I’m not letting go I’ve got no baby at home I’m not finished Couldn’t get any better I guess couldn’t get any better I guess The sweet smell of success The sweet smell of success (Always expecting it, but never dressed for it Never respected it but won’t admit to it) The sweet smell of success