Thirteen Moons – ‘Origins’ (Wire Records, 1987)

Thirteen Moons’ 1987 album, ‘Origins,’ is something of a paradox. It may sing of Summer but there’s something of falling Autumn leaves about it. Beautiful, cascading, silver streams of guitar trickle around oaky cello, graceful flushes of saxophone, wistful piano, joyous percussion and lilting violins. And there’s another contradiction – although a Swedish trio, Thirteen Moons, curiously, had something of a very English pastoral elegance. Evoking, as it does, a Kodak dreamscape of distant spires and dewy village greens, ‘Origins’ slots somewhere between Virginia Astley’s ‘From Garden Where We Feel Secure’ and Maurice Deebank (of Felt’s) ‘Inner Thought Zone.’ Yet Goran Klintberg’s yearning, possibly regretful voice helps put the record in a nostalgic context – these are pining songs for seasons long since passed.

Footnote :

Klas Sjögren has written a 70 page biography of the band. ‘Thirteen Moons – On A Further Note,’ is available here :



  1. Really enjoying reading through this blog, it’s a verdant oasis in a desert of piffle. I feel most articles are worthy of comment but I’m worried I’d swamp you.

    Origins is an album I’ve long carried in my metaphorical pocket ready for potentially receptive ears. Until today I’d never heard any mention let alone appreciation of it, though I’ve posted about it a wee bit on forums to total indifference.

    I’m not sure why I bought the record way back then, sleeve maybe…possibly due to label proximity to Fra Lippo Lippi or (goth cards on table) The Leather Nun but I’m glad I did. Definitely part of me evolving and a stone on the path towards more pastoral and well…romantic music.

    I’d also say at the risk of going all ‘Guitar World’ that this record has exceptional guitar tones and playing on it and has for me been something of a benchmark for six stringed delicacy, as evidenced by the heart piercing gloaming baroque of Mowgli and Baloo.

    I always heard the title track as the theme to some darkness tinged Swedish TV show about the adventures of a boy and his semi feral horse.

    1. Thank you, David! “… a verdant oasis in a desert of piffle” – can I use that? ;) It’s an album that’s been close to me since the 80’s and like you, until recently, I’ve felt almost alone in my appreciation of it. I hope this little “review” helps shine a torch on it. I’ll write more on Thirteen Moons soon.

  2. You are most welcome to it, joke or not. It’s nice coming from someone whose lyrics i have admired greatly and have often quoted when asked my favourite.

    As I said I love the blog and it’s just nice to read some quiet appreciation of paths less traveled, an antidote to a lot of the glib nonsense written about 80’s music and also some experiences that mirror my own. As a provincial (Glasgow) I often used to wonder if there were people out there that liked the music I liked (without me brainwashing it into them) and it’s always nice to find some small trace of kindred spirit.

  3. I lived in Stockholm/Uppsala in the late 80s-90s and bought this CD based on a recommendation by a colleague. It is still one of my favorites. Great for melancholy days. Interesting to find a blog on it, written in Aug 2020. It is indeed an arcane delight

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