When you first press play upon your record player, you will immediately be transported to the days of yesteryear, listening to Warren G and Nate Dogg. Opening track, “Airport Surroundings,” off of Loney, Dear’s newest album, Dear John, is drastically similar to a famed song from years back, but in a more electronic folk presentation. As the album moves forward, Regulators, mount up!
If you could discard the merry tones of Emil Svanangen when listening to this record, you will find that the pleasant acoustic driven album he created last time out with Loney, Noir, has been largely removed with this effort. Sure, the album is pleasantly coated with layer upon layer of various musical elements, but we found that on the last go round. Here, he has immersed himself, and his band, into a darker spectrum.
Electronic sound patchwork beeps throughout, as string instruments carefully accompany the melodies the band created. It all comes across a little denser than the previous effort, which one could be led to attach a darker quality to this album. But, the one thing you can’t do is erase the quality and tone of Emil’s voice, which is the driving force behind this group.
Sure, at times, his voice is shrouded in layer upon layer, but on songs such as “I Was Only Going Out” you find yourself presented with the favorable voice of this songwriter. Like Jason Lytle, there is a deeper tone carried with the vocal, but he still manages to sound extremely humble and personal. Listening, you want to put all your faith in every word that he shares with you, which is perhaps why this record wins you over.
At times, the various elements that present themselves in each song can be a bit overbearing. It’s a more complete sound, more so than on the band’s debut, but at times that can be a bit daunting for listeners. In your search to find some sort of sentiment in the mist of music, you find Emil Svanangen singing to you, almost as if he’s not singing to anyone else at all. Personable voice is one of those rare qualities, but here it will allow you to go through the entirety of the album, even when finishing a song sings like a Herculean task. You’ll thank him for it in the end.
You can find Emil and his band opening for Andrew Bird all across our great nation, and set to hit home here in Austin on February 12th at the Paramount Theater.
Download: Loney, Dear – I Was Only Going Out [MP3]