Thursday, November 13, 2008

Swedish pop from Fredrik

The first song on the record from Fredrik, called "Black Fur" is one of the best pop songs I've heard this's my review of the whole record, up today in PopMatters.

Na Na Ni
(The Kora)

US release date: 4 November 2008

UK release date: Available as import

by Jennifer Kelly

Soft pop and scratchy rhythms

You wouldn’t think it, but Fredrik’s Na Na Ni is one hell of a running record. What’s that? You say that this kind of cotton-candy pop is for daydreaming, for lazying around the house, for thinking about the one that got away? Fair enough. But Fredrik, a six-piece band out of Malmö, Sweden, has laced its tunes with insistent, prickly rhythms. The staccato scrub of guitar, the stomp of feet, the clang of bells, it all works as architecture for these gentle, wistful tunes, and it’s regular as a metronome. You could set your pace to this record and knock the miles off like clockwork, every one perfectly in time with the other.

There is, in fact, an almost mechanical precision to the way these songs are played and arranged, a hint of inorganic exactness in the repeated sounds and rhythms. The voice, soft and vulnerable, floats atop a junkyard choir of percussion, the swell and subsiding of cello, the regular pulse of progress. And so, unlike many pop bands, Fredrik allows you no time for stasis, meandering or self-pity. The songs work on a forward trajectory. They crest into gentle climaxes, reaching an effortless kind of joy, before melting back into the beat. These are songs, not for staying in bed all day, but for throwing back the curtains, having a big stretch and rushing out into the sunshine. It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it? Why mope around?


You can get a DL of "Black Fur" here

1 comment:

Ian said...

I liked that review today and didn't realize it was one of yours. I'm digging "Black Fur" right now.