The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

The Mary Onettes: Portico (Labrador, 2014)

Mopey Melodies

Día dedicado hoy al Pop escandinavo. Durante estos últimos años, por esos lares han tenido a bien facturar algunos de los sonidos más elegantes, refinados y atractivos. Es cierto también que algunas de esas bandas han optado por tomar algunas vías de escape más cercanas al Ambient o incluso a la Electrónica.
Algo así ha ocurrido con The Mary Onettes. Su sonido es algo así como una recreación de ciertos sonidos de los ochenta: guitarras atemperadas, teclados en primer plano, ambientes algo melancólicos e incluso fríos. Y también es cierto que un trabajo como Portico (Labrador, 2014), si no fuera por banderines de enganche como Naive Dream, quizás caería en su interés. El resto de cortes no están a la altura de este sencillo extraído para ser continuación de su exitoso Hit the Waves (Labrador, 2013).


“After making the best record of their career in 2013 with Hit the Wavesthe Mary Onettes returned quickly with the Portico EP. Rather than sounding like a stopgap between full albums as many EPs do, the set is a fully realized, tightly constructed work that scales back some of the sonic explorations of Waves while still retaining the punchy, hooky songs. Starting off with one of the best songs they’ve written, “Silence Is a Gun,” the Ekström brothers showcase their ever improving songwriting skills and their way with a synthy, gloomy hook. The best moments are when they hook their mopey melodies to a fast-moving rhythm track, as on “Silence” and the pulsing “Naive Dream,” and hit a kind of New Order-in-a-snowstorm sweet spot. There are also a couple of moments where the brothers aim for something more glacially epic (“Bells for Stranger”) and majestically sad (“Ritual Mind”) and they hit the mark there, too. Portico is another nice step in the band’s progression and shows that Hit the Waves wasn’t a lucky fluke; they have the goods to make some truly great modern synth pop and come very close again here” (All Music)

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25 julio, 2014 Posted by | The Mary Onettes | Deja un comentario

Cocoanut Groove: How to build a maze (Fortuna Pop! Single, 2014)

“How to Build a Maze” is the title track from the second album from Cocoanut Groove, due for release on 4 November. Fronted by Olov Antonsson, it’s their first as a full band, the debut album Madeleine Street (2008) having essentially been a solo project. Hailing from the North of Sweden, Antonsson wears his1960s baroque pop influences on his sleeve, along with traces of latter day guitar pop like The Smiths and The Clientele, and folk acts like Vashti Bunyan and Nick Drake.

The songs for How to Build a Maze were written and recorded over quite a long period of time. Bleaker and less naive than their debut it’s still no great departure, with Olov continuing to strive for 60s pop perfection, attempting to write something as beautiful as “Beechwood Park” by The Zombies or “World Of You” by The Aerovons. As well, there are quite a few traditional Swedish folk melodies hidden on the album, like the ones you find on the album “Jazz på svenska” by Swedish pianist Jan Johansson.

Recorded in various places around Olov’s hometown Umeå, with no professional recording studios involved whatsoever, the album is about getting lost in different ways – losing your way in city streets, losing friends and watching summers pass. The theme can be summed up by this simple definition from Wikipedia: “A maze is a tour puzzle in the form of a complex branching passage through which the solver must find a route.”

Having taken their name from a Lovin’ Spoonful/Roger Nichols song, Cocoanut Groove formed in 2007 with Olov writing and recording the song “The End Of The Summer On Bookbinder Road”, which became their debut single. Olov writes all the songs and plays guitar, as well as bass, piano and whatever else is needed. Over the years (and on this record) he has been joined by Calle Thoor, Anton Runesson and William Andersson (drums), Josef Ringqvist (bass), Mattias Malm (guitar, keys, vocals, arrangements, percussion and whatnot), Ivar and Gunnar Lantz (strings) and Frida Danielsson (trumpet).

Cocoanut Groove follow in a grand tradition of Swedish indiepop, with a focus on melody and beauty, tinged with melancholy. From the long, dark winters to the respite of the dreamy summers, the songs talk of escaping the city and pining for the countryside, about unemployment and having nothing to do but drink coffee and watch the birds fly.


25 julio, 2014 Posted by | Cocoanut Groove | Deja un comentario


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