‘One of Billions’ is the new single release from Gothenburg’s Karl Vento. I know Karl through his work accompanying and enhancing the music of fellow Swedish artist Sumie on record and at live shows, and he has also backed Anna von Hausswolff, Det Stora Monstret and Anna Ran. His guitar playing shows incredible empathy with other people’s music, and he has an uncanny knack of knowing the perfect chord, riff or sound wash to add to a track.
But with ‘One in Billions’ Karl has stepped out of the background and into the spotlight to bring us his first solo track. The song floats in on a spring tide of acoustic and electric guitar; tentative and swelling, with Karl’s plaintive voice holding all the elements together. The song builds bringing in hesitant drums, keyboards before gradually expanding the horizon of the song from micro to macro and up to a widescreen shot of the Earth from space, and though the idea that we are each of one billions on a planet that is one of billions, the warmth and optimism of the song offers a feeling of hope not insignificance, and that is one of its great strengths.
‘One of Billions’ was produced by Filip Leyman who shows the same sensitivity to Karl’s music that he had when producing Sumie’s last album and EP. I really hope that ‘One of Billions’ also ends up being the number of streams and downloads the track gets because Karl is the kind of artist that truly deserves his time in the spotlight.
‘One of Billions’ artwork by Anders Olofson
Review by Paul F Cook