THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It has been said that difficult circumstances can inspire creativity. This has proven true for Arron “Cap’n Al” Bergstrom. For two decades, the Minneapolis based musician has been an in-demand bass player and background vocalist in original and cover bands. Yet songwriting only came to the foreground a few years ago as a salvation while Cap’n Al was mired in struggles with alcoholism and a toxic romantic relationship.
Today, sober and happily / healthily coupled, Cap’n Al has just released The Enchanting World Of… It’s a triumphant, 14-song collection of finely crafted indie-rock that in its sophisticated accessibility evokes the sharp-hooks of songwriters such as Prince, Paul McCartney, Sting/The Police and the tuneful-but-edgy alt-rock of Weezer and Green Day.
“I started writing these songs as an outlet for my emotions, and to also maintain my sanity,” Cap’n Al shares. He continues: “This album represents a new chapter for me — I discovered something that no one really expected from me. I’ve spent so many years backing people up, and now it feels time to step out front.”
The Enchanting World Of… is an eclectic and emotive album informed by Cap’n Al’s personal experiences, his expansive musical tastes, and his formal study of composition for which he earned a Bachelor’s degree in music. Cap’n Al is his beloved bowling name, and though he is the project’s primary singer-songwriter, Cap’n Al will perform live as a band.
The new collection is a prismatic pop-rock experience featuring touches of classic rock, jazz, funk, 1980s new wave, pop, art-rock, and indie-rock. Julep Kiss is an artfully askewed funk-rock track with some twisted, Tom Waits-style riffage. Here, Cap’n Al lays out a thrilling narrative about two romantically linked bandits and the detective hot on their trail. This engrossing but ill-fated tale features snappy wordplay such as:
“And love on the road a home on the skids
Agent men on their tail ever since they was kids
With a duffle bag mint and a julep kiss.”
Cap’n Al cleverly uses double entendre lyric devices on the propulsive 1980s-flavored pop-rocker Under The Weather. He leaves open-ended whether inclement circumstances or illness have put the damper on the narrator’s plans and intentions.
The jaunty Spaceman is a bold autobiographical track with McCartney-flavored verses that yield to big and hooky Green Day choruses. “That song is about my booze problems, and it’s a warning to myself,” Cap’n Al admits. To make the message more impactful, he references artists whose demons took them out too soon. The working title actually was WWESD? (What would Elliot Smith do?). Fans of the late singer-songwriter will savor picking out Smith’s song title references nestled within the Spaceman lyrics. Cap’n Al tastefully flexes his bass chops on a lyrical, Jaco Pastorius-esque solo bass rendition of The Beach Boys’ God Only Knows.
Joining Cap’n Al on his maiden solo voyage are distinguished guests from his beloved Minneapolis hometown. These musicians and producers include Tommy Barbarella (Prince & The New Power Generation) on piano, Billy Thommes (Soul Asylum, Jonny Lang) on drums, and mastering engineer Greg Reierson from Rare Form Mastering (Prince, The Cure, Miles Davis), among other accomplished working musician friends. The Enchanting World Of… was produced by Minneapolis music icon John Scalia, with whom Cap’n Al has formed Baby Dragon Records, a musical tandem that will release their own material as well as the works of other musicians and creatives.”