Thursday, February 8th, 2007
Sinister In A State Of Hope
I don’t know why, but the Swedish seem to have an innate gift for mixing unfallible pop sensibilities with wonderfully downbeat melancholy – I suspect it’s got to do with the amount of daylight they get. Further proof of this phenomenon comes in the rather po faced form of Emil Svanangen, aka Loney, Dear.
On Loney, Noir, his second full-length and first for SubPop, he offers an intimate and beguiling collection of songs that sound like someone who’s been lying on the floor for a long time, perhaps/probably heartbroken, slowly but surely getting back onto his feet. The lyrics are kind of weepy, especially when delivered in Svanangen’s falsetto (which reminds me very much of Mew’s Jonas Bjerre), but grafted to some of the prettiest melodies I’ve heard in ages they can’t help but soar. Add into the equation the lightly orchestral/chamber pop instrumentation (all played by Svanangen) and you’ve got a record that ruminates quietly before periodically bursting forth with song in a way that’s almost too pretty to handle.
Everyone is all about Peter Bjorn & John right now (they also released their new album Stateside this week) and while no quarrel with them, they feel like empty calories next to Loney, Dear’s emotional depth. Too much PB&J and I need an insulin level check, but I can ingest as much Loney, Dear as the day is long. I have no clever food analogy for the name so I’m not even going to try.
Svanangen has assembled a band for his upcoming North American tour which bypasses Toronto but does include SxSW, where he’s high on my list of acts to catch. Harp wish to introduce Loney, Dear to their readers while Lunapark has an interview with Svanangen (and Exclaim an ultra-brief one). NPR declares “I Am John”, which is available as an MP3 and video, their song of the day while Idolator offers up an extra track from the record. And you can stream the whole record from AOL.
And speaking of Mew and AOL, Spinner has a 3×3 feature on the band with three video performances from the band performing live in Copenhagen and New York City. Yes, you have to watch a commercial first. Sorry.
Current UK hot young things Klaxons will be at Lee’s Palace on April 8, tickets $15.
And oh man, I was prepared to skip out on Son Volt’s show at the Mod Club on April 12 – saw them in ’05 and they’re not exactly a must-see live act – but guess who they’re touring with? Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell. Hrmmm.
Chart talks to Midlake about setting out on their first proper tour and how much they hate blogs. Said tour brings them to Lee’s Palace on Monday evening and my contest for passes to see them ends tonight so if you’re interested but not quite enough to shell out some money, hop on over.
And obviously shamed by our big announcement yesterday, SxSW has finally posted an initial list of acts appearing this year. Okay, someone parse that thing – it’s making my head explode to look at it. Update: The Tragically Hip? Seriously? Update 2: Kingsnake.com delivers a much more readable list. Yay.