Monday, February 18, 2008

Loney, Dear – Loney, Noir

Mix 1 cup of sincerity with 2 tablespoons of introversion. Fold in half a cup of melody, and sprinkle with equal parts indie pop and folk. Bake at 350 degrees for half a lifetime, and out comes Loney, Noir, the latest album from Loney, Dear.

Loney Dear is the solo work of Emil Svanängen, who writes and records most of the music captured on disk himself. When performing live, he is aided by sometimes up to eight musicians. Acoustic guitar and introspective vocals take center stage on this album, which may be best described as indie pop with deep roots in acoustic folk. The songs are at the same time uplifting and full of melancholy. Right off the bat, Loney, Dear calls early Death Cab for Cutie to mind, as vocalist Emil Svanängen sounds at times similar to Death Cab’s own Ben Gibbard. However Svanangen often extends into an upper range style which owes much to the Bee Gees. The overall folky feel of the album draws some parallels to singer/songwriters such as John Denver, but with a modern flair.

The high point of the album is the use of orchestral arrangements which include everything from flute, clarinet, and string bass to harp. This creates a wonderful backdrop for Svanangen’s smooth voice to paint a wonderful emotional picture. Another surprise on this record was the somewhat abrupt introduction of electronics in “I Won’t Cause Anything At All,” which lies at the end of the album. Svanangan seems to channel Ben Gibbard once again, but this time his work in The Postal Service is paid homage.

This record sounds as if Svanangan toiled for years over it, meticulously choosing lyrics, and fitting each puzzle piece perfectly into the musical jigsaw which he has created. The end result is a catchy, emotionally driven album, accented by tasteful use of less-than-usual instruments.


Post a Comment

<< Home