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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Loney, Dear
Loney, Noir
Sub Pop

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


February 12, 2007
Winter brings long stretches of darkness to Sweden, and with the absense of sunlight comes an epidemic of seasonal depression. Fighting off black thoughts is a constant battle and, as the high suicide rate indicates, it's a struggle many, unfortunately, lose. Vodka can only do so much.

From this cold, unforgiving land of my ancestry comes Emil Svanängen, the multi-instrumentalist who records under the cryptic nom de plume Loney, Dear. So, what's it going to be? Moody, melancholy electronica that tugs at the coattails of fellow countrymen Röyksopp? Or how about the morose, emotional bloodletting of another Scandinavian band, The Perishers?

To those suggestions, Svanängen turns a deaf ear. On this, his debut for Sub Pop home-recorded in his small Stockholm apartment studio, Svanängen confounds expectations by producing folky, orchestral indie-pop that's surprisingly effervescent and hopeful. Joy, tempered with ennui, courses through the heartfelt, bittersweet melody of "And I Won't Cause Anything At All" and the circus-like bliss of "I Will Call You Lover Again." And while handclaps, spirited drumming and spritely woodwinds brighten "Hard Days 1.2.3.4," the child-like innocence of "Saturday Waits" emerges from golden acoustic strum, light organ and Svanängen's soft-focus warble.

The Belle And Sebastian lover in him comes out in "I Am John," a blend of up-tempo folk and swirling, head-spinning pop that picks up where Broken Social Scene has left off. More lush and slow, with dreamy backing vocals, distant whistling and longing clarinet, is "I Am The Odd One." Though a bit sad, there is a sense with Loney, Dear that all is not lost, that scars will heal and life is not all misery. Now, come on down off that ledge and join the living.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad

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