Loney, Dear : Loney, Noir

<img src="http://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/loney.jpg" alt=" " />Somehow, some way, remember the name Emil Svanängen.  He's the X-factor behind Sub Pop's latest find, as in, he plays X amount of instruments and...
8.2 Subpop

 Somehow, some way, remember the name Emil Svanängen.  He’s the X-factor behind Sub Pop’s latest find, as in, he plays X amount of instruments and roles in Loney, Dear.   His Swedish home studio is more simplistically functional than an Ikea showroom, as he’s able to create dense, but fun, and slightly off-kilter party pop.   A thoroughly solid pop jambase and Bee Gees vocal appeal give his newest album, Loney, Noir, massive reach and the perfect match for the label’s friendly, collegiate lineup. Loney, Noir, his fourth album, puts both his distinguished creativity and intricate production skills in the spotlight – where they belong.

For all of the possible deficiencies that being a one-man band could have, each track on Loney, Noir actually feel more complete and harmonious than most expertise or outside help could offer.  Eccentricities are exposed and thoughts feel more complete than if different moods were swirling around someone else’s beat.  Fluid orchestration, infectious lo-fi drumming, and beautifully rambling vocals are the product of a certain level of concentration and ability that few can pull off so prominently.  

Emil’s youthful voice recalls the "best years" of our lives, and each song goes a long way to celebrate something.  It’s somewhat rare to have an album full of joy without sounding like the goofiest kid in the class.  This album is far too complex and well thought out to be so foolish.  From the to infectious disco-folk of "Saturday Waits" to the Nintendo carnival beat of "I Will Call You Lover Again", Loney, Noir is both majestic and care-free, and this duality is an impressive testament to Svanängen’s ability.  

While "I Am John" has a barnyard bounce, "Hard Days" takes a similar acoustic strum and churns it into a rolling, driving fanfare, like some liberating roadtrip.  The element in common is his voice, which would be as catchy in an unplugged session, generally a good indication of how well-written songs really are.  "No One Can Win" simply features a repetitive, shaking bell beat and horns wander the studio space, while Emil’s vocals build a sing-a-long ballad essentially on their own.  This guy truly has skills.

Certainly more friendly to the youthpop indie movement than anything, Loney, Dear’s Loney, Noir will have its greatest impact in colleges around the nation, but more importantly, serve as a youthful reminder of the power of talent and desire, as just one random Swedish guy can create a throughly exciting album with such wide-ranging impact.  He just makes it seem easy.

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