Pelle Carlberg grew up in a middle-class, nuclear family in the university town Uppsala. The fact that Pelle has devoted his life to music wasn’t always looked upon with keen eyes, but when he passed thirty people stopped asking him when he was going to get a proper education and real job.
Between the years 1988 and 1993 Pelle was the lead singer and songwriter in the band Amanda om natten, a quartet that didn’t just become famous in Uppsala, but also played live in Japan and Ireland. Amanda om natten was inspired by typical “friends of Sweden”, like The Smiths, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, The Go-Betweens and The Church. After two vinyl releases and a CD-EP the members went separate ways.
Pelle moved to Stockholm, bought an electric guitar and immediately got a new band together. With what might be the worst band name in history, Salami, Pelle’s characteristic melodies were lustfully drenched in distortion. After the regular record label promises and lies, the band came to nothing.
At the time Pelle was studying English at the University of Stockholm, which eventually led to a job as translator at a multimedia company. After a couple of months behind an office desk Pelle started to write new songs and decided to start a new musical project which later would become Edson. The basic idea was to arrange the songs in as simple and natural a way as possible. Edson thought in terms of “What’s best for the song?”, “organic” and “fluffy”. The sextet played live frequently all over Sweden and in 1999 they appeared on the Up and Coming stage at the Hultsfred festival. Soon after that the band released a four track CD in cooperation with the American John Cloud and MNW.
In the year 2000 Edson signed with Summersound Recordings (today a part of Labrador) and recorded the album “Unwind With Edson”. The album received overwhelming criticism, 4/5 nearly everywhere. The band then released an album a year (“For Strength” –02 and “Every Day, Every Second” –03) and toured Sweden and parts of Europe. Until one day when Pelle felt stuck; being in a group takes its toll and if you’re going to spend every day and every second thinking about songs, it can eventually become indefensible to compromise too much.
Pelle decided to make the next album totally on his own. The solo debut, “Everything. Now!”, released October 2005, felt like an obvious step in a long career. For the first time Pelle recorded and produced his songs from his very own vision. The song “Go to Hell, Miss Rydell” – that deals with a bad review of an Edson album – became a “talker” and many journalists wanted to know if it really happened.
At this point the interest for Pelle Carlberg’s music started to rise around the globe. During 2006 Pelle and his one-man band Henrik Nilsson toured Great Britain, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Germany, Austria, Denmark and Indonesia. The album was released all over the world and the reviews in, for example, the American press were overwhelming, and noteworthy was that Pelle’s personal and quirky lyrics were praised in unison.
In spite of assiduous touring and four children back home, Pelle released his second solo album, “In a nutshell” in March 2007. He describes the album as “full of sparkling folk pop, bitter observations and untrendy production”. Simply, Pelle Carlberg in a nutshell.
In the beginning of 2008 Pelle returned home to Sweden and bought an abandoned church on the Swedish island of Gotland to write his third solo album. He spent six weeks there and the end result was “The Lilac Times”, released in August 2008. Rarely is a third album as axiomatic as this one. Here he combines English pop with Rio de Janeiro and Swedish melancholy. His social-realistic lyrics are to be viewed as deadpan by now and he explains it by saying that it was very easy to write succinctly, relaxed and soulful whilst in the middle of nowhere.
At this moment Pelle is doing a children’s record along with his kids.