Singin’ In The Ruin

Vintage c-cassette recordings written and performed by Rafael de Swarte.

Listen Peace song


Singin’ In The Ruin

Vintage c-cassette recordings written and performed by Rafael de Swarte.

7 tracks transferred to computer - now on CD and all main Streaming and Download stores.

Song 1 is like a blues holler with some Lemon Jefferson-esque second guitar accompaniment and song 6, solo acoustic song, is like proto-grunge!

Rare home recordings from an interesting songwriter.

Limited Edition (50) CD Includes lyrics booklet.

Available from 8Raita and LevykauppaX Turku instore, or from their websites.

Release Date: 22 March 2024

Shades Of Glory

50th Anniversary Recordings 1973 - 2023

Written and performed by Rafael de Swarte on acoustic guitar and vocals, the album includes home tape recordings (songs 3 - 9) with friends on second guitar, some with bass, plus studio (songs 1, 2 & 10) and gig tape recordings (song 11) with some great caribbean musicians. Good, meaningful songs, vintage sound, transferred from studio and home tape recordings from 1973. Mastered 2023.
Edition of 50 CDs with Lyrics Booklet.

Release Date: 29 September 2023


'Peace' For Your Ears

Outstanding new album by songwriter Rafael de Swarte featuring 7 great tracks!

Songs 1 - 4 are in a reggae vein including the title track 'Peace' which has a dubby and sub bass feeling with a vital message.

Song 5 is a jazzy, latin-vibe groover with rich meaning, song 6 is a downtempo moody & biting. alt rap composition and song 7 features rhythmic beats in an alt rap work with atmospheric slide guitar outro.

GrooveWithMeaning From one of the best songwriter/lyricists.

Very Limited Edition CD with Lyric Booklet.

Track List:

1. Peace
2. Blue Mountain Song
3. He Was Born Naked
4. Blue Thyme Blues
5. You Know The Truth
6. Make Up Your Mind
7. Mr Funk And The Devilish Detour

Release Date: 23 September 2022

Order CD from:

Across The Border

Solo album by Rafael de Swarte - songs with meaning, good grooves and atmospheric vibes.

The title track is based on Ukraine and the plight of refugees: Borders seem to be of great concern these days too. Other songs on the album look at the world and what goes on in many different ways and there are quite a few personal experiences and views expressed as well!

Track 6 'Popcorn' is a 1950s, early '60s, pastiche; the subtitle comes from those years when the writer was a kid going to the movies in England: There would be an interval before the main feature film with the announcement: 'There Will Now Be A Short Intermission'.

Song 7 'Homage To The Fallen' (in Finnish Kunnianosoitus kaatuneeille) is an electronic dance track with dynamic retro synth and Spoken Word - a track saluting and giving respect but which is armed with sadness too!

Genres: #AltRap #JazzyFunk #SpokenWord #SoulGroove #AltPop #Dance

Limited Edition 60 CDs with Lyrics Booklet and typographical souvenir card.

Streaming and Download at all main digital stores.

Release Date: 24 June 2022

Order CD from cool independent Turku record store 8raita

To Sirius With Love

New Solo Album Featuring de Swarte's trademark Beautiful Lyrics, Excellent Music and Moody Atmosphere.

Genres: Alternative Folk with Spoken Word, Alternative Soft-Tone Rap and Post-Rock Musings.

Message me on Facebook @rafaeldeswarte if you'd like to buy the CD with lyric booklet its 10e + Post direct from me, or online: & - and in their Turku shops.

Support for my music projects is very much appreciated<3

Release Date: 29 April 2022

Rafael de Swarte and The Angels:
Night Rain

Ten new songs recorded live at a studio in Lieto.

A quite dark but beautiful album with tremendous performances from four inspiring Finnish women musicians!

Themes of alienation, revelation, 'end times', lost love, memories and melancholia!

Excellent design CD includes lyrics booklet (edition of 60)


Rafael de Swarte Guitar, Vocals
Katri Heino Ukulele
Eerika Ketonen Cello
Taina Laiho Accordion
Johanna Schwela Violin

Track list:

01 Night Rain
02 Waiting for the Daylight
03 It's A Beautiful Night
04 Call of the Wild
05 Dead End Rhapsody
06 Sirius
07 Divinity Soliliquy
08 I Walked Alone
09 Path of Dreams
10 Light Shall Rise

Available from 8Raita and LevykauppaX instore at Turku or online at the store websites.
Plus the usual streaming or download at Spotify AppleMusic/iTunes and Deezer etc.

Release Date: 11 December 2020

Skies of Stone
Cassette Recordings 1972 - 1974

The new album features recordings which were made on compact cassettes between 1972 - 1974 in my flat in north London. All the songs were written and performed by me and there's a second guitar on almost all tracks plus 3 songs which were band rehearsals. I hadn't heard these since making them and in many instances I had no other recording of them.

These are not hi-fi recordings but considering the length of time, more than 45 years, that the little tapes have been stored in all kinds of places, the sound is pretty good! The original audio cassette tapes were transferred and Mastered by Joona Lukala.

Many interesting songs with some good rhythms and crossover styles.

A digital lyric booklet is here on my webpage if you'd like to read any of the words.

Online and on Limited Edition CD and Cassette from 18/9 2020

Digital booklet

Jazzin' the Blues

Live studio recording featuring five songs written and performed by Rafael de Swarte with The Sextet: Six terrific Finnish musicians.

Three uptempo songs and two slow, reflective songs. Great solos, and some gently majestic playing.

Cover title-graphic hand-drawn by Jeffery Matthews MBE.

Email me for info about CD (very limited numbers) address at bottom of page.

Tune in at Spotify, iTunes/Apple Music, Amazon, Deezer and Tidal.

Apple Music & iTunesSpotify


Rafael de Swarte + The Angels
Limited Edition, attractively-designed CD.

11 original songs written by Rafael de Swarte, translated and performed in Finnish:The first such album in pop-history.

Beautiful music, great lyrics, Finnish high-quality production.
Kaunista musiikkia, hienoa lyriikkaa, suomalaista tuotantoa.

Live studio recording featuring three remarkable Finnish musicians.

"I just love the translations by Irmeli…beautiful…poetic lyrics" Jussi Vuola CEO V.R. Studio Turku.

Order online now from Levykauppa Äx or 8raita Turku.

Available in these stores:

Apple Music & iTunesSpotify
This album tells about life in music and words.
Tässä albumissa on elämän kirjo sanoin ja sävelin.

Also available on other streaming/download services.

They dance and sing to this tango-infused romantic love song.
Tässä romanttisessa kappaleessa he tanssivat ja laulavat.

'VALO' An uplifting meditative song from the new album 'Pohjan neito' featuring the sublime cello of Eerika Ketonen.
Kohottava meditiivinen laulu uudelta albumilta 'Pohjan neito' mukana Eerika Ketosen ylevää sellonsoittoa.


Artist: Rafael de Swarte

Two albums from Rafael de Swarte featuring 20 songs recorded between 1968 and 1976, transferred from 1/4" analog tape.

The first album begins with two songs by Rafael's 1960s band 'Tyres' - this is the 50th anniversary of the recordings which were made in 1968. Those are followed by a rare acoustic recording made by him in 1971 for YLE Radio.

Highlights for his band Tyres included performances at the same concert as the London debut of Led Zeppelin, November '68, and at an early T Rex/Marc Bolan happening where Bolan and Took played their first hit Deborah.

The new albums feature 19 songs written and performed by Rafael de Swarte from analog studio and home recordings plus one Leonard Cohen song 'There is a War' which Rafael performed Live in 1975 with a group of caribbean musician/friends who also accompany him on some of the other tracks.

The albums are Bluesy Folky Soft Rocking and Rhythmic.

Released in Limited Editions of 50 of each CD

Available at LevykauppaX and 8Raita Turku

Digital booklet


Artist: Rafael de Swarte

Splendid new album from Rafael de Swarte
Release date 1 December 2017

New album of ten songs written and performed by Rafael de Swarte accompanied by many Finnish musicians from Turku area.

Rafael was writing songs in the 1960s and ’70s in London. He’s now resident in Finland since 2012 and started writing again in 2015.

This album is important to me: It has its beginnings more than forty years ago, which is when I first wrote some of these songs.

It’s also important to me because here there are new Finnish friends who have lent their support to this project with superlative displays of playing.

Much of this has been achieved by taking risks and being willing to record in only 1 or 2 takes, with very little editing afterwards, in many instances.

This, I believe, is one of the many reasons why people should get hold of this album; it gives a freshness and an honesty to the music.

Lyrically and musically it has a lot to offer; ranging, as it does, through many "rock" genres and styles (Rock Blues Folk New Orleans). Interesting instrumentation and good quality, universal lyrics, complete this album.

None of the songs has been released before.

Track List
1 Song of the Common Man
2 Sunny Horizons
3 I Told the Blues Goodbye
4 Cold Light of Day
5 Sun
6 Awake at Night
7 Someday I’ll be a Gipsy
8 In the Name of the Blues
9 There is Not a Substitute for Love
10 Dirt Road Serenade


Songs of the common man lyrics

Available in these stores:

Fennica Records Hämeentie 21 00500 Helsinki
Grand, Luckan-shop Piispankatu 28 06100 Porvoo



Acoustic album recorded Live at VR Studio Turku April 2016.
12 of my Songs past and present creations.


Levykauppax iTunes

’Light’ written and performed by Rafael de Swarte accompanied by Ville Vesalainen lapsteel and backing vocal

’Independence Song’ written and performed by Rafael de Swarte accompanied by Eeva-Maija Vehviläinen jouhikko and backing vocal


Lightdreams - Valounelmia

96 pages, more than 40 colour photographic illustrations with poetry in English and Finnish, plus one or two also translated into German and Swedish.
Size: 250mm x 175mm. Hardback.

The artist defines the book and its compilation:

Art springs from living subjectively. Art is thus, in a way, the product – the fruit – of a single, subjective moment or sequence of one life. It is the artist's work to bring together the subjectively objective world in order to give other people the possibility of finding aspects of themselves by viewing, reading or otherwise experiencing the work. The process of creating or shaping art is akin to a healing process and may indeed be just that; depending on circumstances and factors prevailing at the time. The mind of the artist is not separate from the work; art-work is not 'abstract' and it should be more than the sum of its parts. In that sense it can appear 'abstract' but is actually more mysterious or meditative.

'Lightdreams - Valounelmia' focuses on nature, people and locations, and brings them together to create a dreamlike state at once exactly what it appears to be and at the same time intriguing and illusory.

For instance, 'arcadia' (the poem on page 16) accompanies an image, taken from a low vantage point, of an old mansion house. The view invites us to ascend the steps - or at least feel it could be the way to go. The narrative is created around an envisioning of a great composer, in this instance Beethoven, who is at work on a masterpiece. Time is altered by switching back and forth through itself and is then reinforced by the image which is filled with light and shadows with the low-sunlit shadowplay on the windows of the house. This is an example of the 'dreamlike' or meditative state which is precise and yet elusive at the same time.

This ambiguity runs through much of the work - it's raison d'etre is not to confuse but to enhance the readers' experience and to allow them to find themselves. I believe this is possible and that it actually is what happens.

Price is 10 euros plus postage, also available at


info (at)

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