Tainted Black – ‘Nirvana’

Tainted Black are a quintet from Stockholm, Sweden, who started out over a decade ago with their first lyrics written on a piece of paper. They finally released their debut and self titled album last summer, and new single, ‘Nirvana’, is the second track – and first video – to come from that record.

Tainted Black came together gradually. Started by Alexander Karlsson, he added member by member over the years, until finally they had Karlsson on drums, John Hörnqvist on lead guitar, rhythm guitarist Johan Ohlson, Tobias Giertz on bass, and Jesper Hember on vocals. The group have been performing live for all these years, including at Emergenza Fest, but didn’t have the readies to record in a studio. That didn’t stop them though, and they worked out how to record their entire album in their practice space. The music video for ‘Nirvana’ was also shot in that same room.

For ‘Nirvana’ Tainted Black rely on their rhythm and slow burning sonics, the song being a full on rock track. The lyrics, written by Jesper Hember, are reminiscent of Eddie Vedder, and their meaning is not lost when he’s growling through the bombastic choruses, or delivering a more contemplative verse. It might be a debut album, but Tainted Black have had a long time to put all their talents in place. Their DIY ethic does not in any way detract from the quality.

Shot in black and white, the video for ‘Nirvana’ was directed by Sebastian Forssman, who cuts between scenes of vocalist Hember acting out the angst and confusion of the song – he holds his whiskey in one hand and a sledgehammer in the other. Further imagery of black roses, playing cards, and shattered mirrors follow the cues narrated in the nearly six minute long song. The protagonist is seeking Nirvana – do they ever reach that ultimate release?

Watch below the video for ‘Nirvana’. You can find out more about Tainted Black on their official website.

Tainted Black - Nirvana (Official Video)

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email lisa@essentiallypop.com