Loney, Dear - Loney, Noir

Charlie Southwell 08/06/2007

Rating: 4.5/5

Loney Dear. Is not a singular friendless stag, as some easy and common misspellings could allow. He is in fact a self promoting multi-instrument playing and home-recording artist Emil Svanängen, from Sweden.

With his unobtrusive melodies and unoffending lyrics, along with a somewhat inscrutable name, one could be forgiven for just glancing straight over his work. But upon further inspection, there are hidden gems to be had here. This is his fourth home made album in the last two years. Songs are more like stories with a cloud dream sequence floating gently by.

Single 'I am John' is a relaxing yet driving song. Always moving forwards with driving drum part, leaving the glorious melodies to emerge from their chrysalises straight into the fluttering foreground

'No One Can Win' as the rest of the album is sung in an elegant falsetto, and a slightly harder accented language than the similar ethereal sound of Sigur Ros. Emil's desperate passion to experiment with new instrumentation gives a vastly different sound than anything currently on the market. Arrangements stem from guitar lines, building into huge crescendos of horns, organs and floor toms blessed with subtle harmonious backing vocals. A truly soulful collection of songs whose vocal lines could be a singular beach boy backed by a mini orchestra.

Loney, Noir is a fantastic album, and it seems ridiculous that nobody has heard of him before this one, I know I hadn't. With Arcade Fire's recent rise to superiority he may be seen to be getting in with this kind of crowd, and it wouldn't surprise me to see them touring together soon. I hope so.