- Audio CD (16 April 2007)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Regal
- ASIN: B000N3TYTC
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 251,140 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Loney, Noir -Slipcase-
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Has there ever been a better time to be a bedroom genius? Thanks to the wonders of modern technology it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, you can record your music, get it out and get it noticed no matter how uncool you or your home town may be.
Loney Dear are living proof of this. The latest discovery from the legendary Sub Pop label - lest we forget the original home of Nirvana and current home of CSS - Loney Dear is basically the alias of multi instrumentalist Emil Svanangen from Jonkoping in Sweden. He's been quietly releasing music independently for years, Loney Noir is album number four from him and it shows that there's much more to Swedish music than ABBA, Europe or Ace Of Bass.
What we have here is mostly acoustic, almost folky in places although there are some electronics lurking in the mix as well as xylophones, clarinets, pump organs and cellos. The whole thing is held together by Emil's falsetto voice and lovely and subtle stuff it is as well. Think of bands like Sigur Ros, Lambchop or Aberfeldy or even a singer like James Yorkson and you'll get the general idea of what is going on here.
Don't go imagining that this is fey stuff though. Yes, there are songs here called "I Am The Odd One" and "I Will Call You Lover Again" but it never sounds precious. Svanangen's major talent is as an arranger and he is a master of the delicate build up. Album highlight "I Am John" might start softly but by the end things are, if not quite rocking out, certainly sounding more Flaming Lips than Belle and Sebastian. This is the pattern of the whole album; songs here rarely finish in the way that they start and at a brief thirty three minutes not a second of music is wasted.
The whole album is a low key pop delight which reveals more and more secrets with every listen. One to fall in love with. --Brian McCluskey
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window
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It begins with the solemn, yet hopeful "Sinister In A State of Hope." Svanängen's voice is strong in character, yet utterly fragile; sounding like you could shatter it with the slightest breeze. A breathy tenor, he sings earnestly, "All I want is a state of hope," and your heart breaks. The first single from the album, "I am John" is a much more upbeat affair, but no more uplifting lyrically. Svanängen mutters, "And I told you, I was never gonna let you down, never gonna let you down. But I will always let you down." The song climaxes with the smooth roar of a clarinet, drums, and tenor-goodness. It's a beautiful song, and a wonderful introduction to anyone who hasn't heard the artist yet.
"I am the Odd One" begins with the artist lamenting, "I am sorry, honestly I'm sorry, I ruined your day." The song continues with subtle whistles, the familiar clarinet, and a gentle guitar progression and is both inspiring and depressing when Svanängen sings "You got it wrong, you took a glance at me, said I'm the odd one" in the chorus. It's followed by the standout track on the album, and the incredibly remarkable "No One Can Win." The melody here is gorgeous and slowly builds into an all out heartbreaker. A line like "The sun never reaches here. The shadows have won, " is standard whiny indie rock fare, but when Emil sings it with every last bit of humanity within himself, it comes off as poetry of the utmost grandeur!
The album continues with short reflections like "I Will Call You Lover Again" and "The Meter Marks Okay," while also adding in another captivating song in "And I Won't Cause Anything at All." It possesses a steady electronic beat that complements Svanängen's voice perfectly, each at their most-subtle. The album seems to begin like a breath of fresh air. It ends here like a much-needed exhale. Softly, it is released, and it is gone. The experience of listening to "Loney, Noir" is just as refreshing.
The album bleeds with his frailty, and one can't help but think that that's part of it's appeal. While people could compare him to Bright Eyes in many ways, Conor Oberst seems almost fraudulent when compared to Loney, Dear. Perhaps it's just his more-accessible voice, but Svanängen has surprised me by crafting an album that is not only beautiful, complex, and gut-wrenching, but undeniably charming. 2007 continues to impress with so many stellar albums being consistently released. "Loney, Noir" is one of the best so far. I've still never been to Sweden, but I feel about as close to it as ever.
Recommended for fans of Bright Eyes, Sufjan Stevens, I'm From Barcelona, and anyone who needs a breath of fresh air in music form.
1. "Sinister In a State of Hope"
2. "I Am John"
3. "Saturday Waits"
4. "I Am the Odd One"
5. "No One Can Win"
8 out of 10 Stars
This CD will have you singing and humming all day long. as was apparently written elsewhere about a song off of another Loney, Dear CD: if you don't like it, you have a cold heart ( or something like that). anyway, if you don't like you don't appreciate great harmonies and great singing. and great music!! etc. etc. This band rules and I can't believe more has not been written about them. I was just lucky enought to randomly see them at a Sea and Cake show last summer. can't wait to see them again.
Buy it, support this genius who finally utilized the bassoon in a listenable way.