Chords, or Jens Resch as his passport reads, is without a doubt one of the most multi-faceted artists to emerge out of Sweden. Aside from his two previous solo efforts he has also spearheaded three albums with his reggae group Helt Off, toured frequently with one of the country’s biggest artists in Timbuktu and lent countless others a hand with guest vocals and production. For the past decade he has been at the forefront of the European hiphop scene while seamlessly moving between different genres to evolve into the artist he is today – writing, producing and fronting his own material. New York has been his base for the past four years and this is also where the majority of Looped State of Mind was conceived. The album represents the aforementioned evolution to the upmost with Chords having written and produced the whole thing and only Timbuktu assisting on vocal duties. He views his stint in Brooklyn as a ‘production school’ of sorts and to say he has graduated with honors would be an understatement.
The album adequately sums up his stint in New York and is, by his own description, a “laptop record” with the foundations being laid at his apartment in Brooklyn only to be refined and finished in studios both there and back in Sweden. It took him roughly 18 months from start to completion, with him being the sole contributor proving to be a challenging but ultimately rewarding work process.
Now I’m starting fresh, it’s like I ́m changing sheets / I know I made mistakes baby now my slate is clean / ‘cause it’s a different world and I ́m a different dude/ so now I’m cutting back on people that I listen to/ ‘cause all that bad advice, I let it fade away / I watch it fly out of my window like a paper plane
Looped State of Mind is the very definition of a solo album – with Chords responsible for every single aspect, even playing most of the instruments himself. Taking DIY to the extreme forced him to push his own boundaries, making him experiment and explore new territories in his quest to develop a new sound for himself. The album sees him resort more to singing than on previous efforts, influenced as much by contemporary r’n’b as classic soul, with the rap verses now becoming more of an element of the songs as opposed to the foundation. It is clearly the work of an artist with a growing confidence in his voice and a willingness to let the plethora of his musical influences join forces all at once.
Being away from familiar surroundings is clearly reflected in the lyrics as well, with themes of leaving something or even someone behind and dealing with long-distance relationships reoccurring throughout in everything from the piano ballad ‘Wasting Time’ to the more classical rap song that is the title track.
Chords is back in Sweden now to continue his development as a songwriter and producer and Looped State of Mind gives the listener a glance of where he might be headed next.