Forced social distancing springs creativity with ‘Collateral Damage’
By Christina Stock
The band Secret Circus and its members “Captain” Klas Åhman and his twin brother Joel Åhman have been busy during the pandemic in more ways than one.
Not only have the brothers become fathers, within three months of each other, but they have managed to work together on new releases, despite being on different continents.
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Though they were unable to physically be together, the twins exchanged their separate produced recordings — Klas Åhman being in his van in New Mexico and his twin in Stockholm, Sweden. Audio files would go back and forth until the first single, “Collateral Damage,” hit Spotify and all other major streaming sites and apps on June 27. The animated music video by Dusty Deen/Red Roadrunner was produced by Third Eye Switch and premiered on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube on June 28.
“When we were about to get back on the road, the corona (novel coronavirus) outbreak forced us to cancel all shows for the rest of the year,” Klas Åhman wrote in an email. “We don’t know when we will be able to tour again, but in the meantime, we are producing a series of new Secret Circus singles and music videos. We will release them every couple of months for the rest of the year, and hopefully by then, we can start making a living playing live shows again.”
Secret Circus music style varies from psychedelic pop, rock, to pagan folk — a popular music style in Europe for the last 10 years — and, in the case of “Collateral Damage,” the band shows its softer, melodic side. The song speaks of longing, a search for love that is destroyed, but rebuilt just to go down in debris — collateral damage.
“We hope this combination of psychedelic pop sounds, with visuals that grab the audience by the back of their eyeballs, along with lyrical content with cultural timing, will be enough to bring Secret Circus from obscurity to relevance,” Klas Åhman wrote.
The rough velvety vocals and bluesy undertones of the song are in stark contrast to the lyrics of the song: “You can hurt me like nobody else; you’re the only who can hurt me, worse than I hurt myself,” is just an example. The lyrics reflect on the times as well. “You find out what you’re made of when your world comes crashing down” — the words gain energy from irony and frustration because of the social distancing, Klas Åhman said. Just as other musicians, he, too, had all performances canceled and has been following the stay-at-home order from New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
“Collateral Damage” is going to have an impact in the industry. It’s composition near perfect with just enough pain infused to make it interesting.
The Åhman brothers have matured and it shows in the quality and depth of this new release. The band has been cruising through the Land of Enchantment ever since its first tour in 2011, Klas Åhman going back and forth between Roswell — his home base for many years — and a little Swedish island where he said he would find solitude to rejuvenate his spirit. He is also known as a supporter of the New Mexico music scene. After moving to Ruidoso, he converted his tour bus into a permanent home to take his family on the road with him; the bus includes a high-tech mobile studio for his media firm Third Eye Switch — previously known as Secret Circus Studio.
On July 25, the public can see him live at Roswell’s Black Cock Brewery, 1719 Southeast Main St., at 8 p.m., with safe social distancing regulations in place, of course.
Meanwhile, Joel Åhman is keeping busy with his solo project Joe.L One Man Band and his new band Brimstone Soul in Sweden.
For more information, visit secretcircus.se or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.