Taken from “Liminality” out on Morr Music July 1st 2022.
Minru is the project of Caroline Blomqvist, a Swedish musician based in Berlin. Woven from light and shadow, the interplay of her folk and indie-rock blend appears from a personal space of finding life after death. On her debut LP »Liminality« she paints melody in soft tones, whispering secrets to navigate feelings of loss.
Built around winding layers of acoustic guitar, piano, and strings, Minru is a surprisingly uplifting and stirring testament to Blomqvist’s own suffering from the passing of someone close to her. Returning to Berlin from Sweden feelings of grief, confusion, and pain travelled with her, and these emotions prompted the journey both of and within the album, heard as a dreamlike actualisation of wandering lost between them. “I read that Carl Jung used the word “»Liminality«” to describe the psychological process of transitioning. I instantly felt seen; it reflected my own experience and the feelings I carried whilst making the album – a sense of the old certainties being gone, but the new not being quite there yet,” she says.
Defined as “the threshold separating one space from another” »Liminality« moves between feeling the ground beneath your feet fall away, fighting through the darkness and the doubt, and the emerging shades of hope and light as you painstakingly make peace with mortality and find yourself as a person again. “I am happy to have encapsulated this moment of time in sound,” Blomqvist says, “it will always be there as a memory.”
Flourishing from a preferred position of solitude, »Liminality« sees Blomqvist’s vision radiate with intensity from her home-based studio in Neukölln – a small, 2-room apartment with squeaky old wooden floors. Capturing the intimacy of the space, she recorded vocals and synth on gear partly borrowed from friends (to swiftly reunite it with its owners), and the songs flow with a stream of consciousness as feelings become entwined with melody. Time-restraint drew the process to a natural close, preventing Blomqvist from losing herself to experimentation. “Maybe I would have been stuck in »Liminality«, trying out sounds forever,” she suggests of the way ‘Into the well’s instrumental swims into a warm stream of synth pads. “It’s the cosiest moment on the album,” she says, “Cosy is a feeling I always strive for in life.”
Finished and self-produced at a Berlin-Lichtenberg recording studio alongside musical friends (Povel Widestrand, Tobias Blessing, Sunniva Lilian Shaw Of-Tordarroch, Marlene Becher and Liv Solveig Wagner), the result is beautifully detailed and rich like the folk of her Swedish roots. First picking up a guitar as a kid and becoming obsessed with it, she would skip school to spend extra hours mastering the instrument, grappling to perfect the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ intro. “As a child I was fascinated by my dad’s acoustic guitars around the house and would hit the strings to make them sound,” she recalls. After attending music high school in Gothenburg and playing in bands during her teens, Blomqvist later moved to Germany. As well as enjoying walks at Tempelhofer Feld and coffee at Leuchtstoff café, she performed with Tuvaband, Adna, and Tara Nome Doyle and played in Berlin venues Loophole and Schokoladen, where music became her world. With the passing of time she felt a growing urge to find an outlet for her own songs; Minru was the answer along with her first »Yearnings« EP.
Now writing whenever she returns to Sweden, within the calm and stillness of her family’s mountainside cabin, her skilfully constructed arrangements summon the comforting atmosphere of home. “I hope listeners will feel inspired to slow down a bit, create, draw, cook something. Just be in the moment that is now.” »Liminality« is the kind of record that rewards attention. Give this album your time, it will give you its soul.