Johanan – “Holy Spirit” (Stereogum Premiere)

Johanan is a Swedish producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who burst onto the scene with one of those majestic and anthemic songs that demands your attention. His debut single “Go On (Let It Go)” popped up on Beats 1, where Zane Lowe of course called it “magic” because he’s Zane Lowe. Still, this time perhaps his enthusiasm isn’t misplaced. That song begins by grappling with the sticky way we hold onto pain, then builds to a towering chorus that glories in the smooth, vulnerable freedom of giving up and letting go.

The follow-up is much more subdued, but equally concerned with spiritual transformation. It’s titled “Holy Spirit,” and anyone immersed in charismatic Christian dogmas will hear echoes of that in the lyrics; the song even begins with some Gregorian sounding chants. “Holy Spirit” is a song concerned with embracing brokenness and pushing past darkness into some sort of hopeful space. Both tracks immediately evokes British contemporary Jono McLeery who is fusing jazz, electronic production and featherweight vocals in a similarly shimmering way. Listen below and expect to hear more from yet another emerging Stockholm talent.

Johanan is touring briefly this fall including a few CMJ dates:
10/13 New York, NY @ Communion showcase @ Rockwood
10/15 New York NY @ New Shapes showcase @ Webster Hall
11/08 Copenhagen, Sweden @ VEGA
11/09 Gothenburg, Sweden @ Pustervik
11/10 Stockholm, Sweden @Bryggarsalen

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