Love Is All
Two Thousand and Ten Injuries
So, what the hell is going on in Scandinavia? All sorts of fantastic releases are streaming outta there, especially from Denmark (Mew, Raveonettes, Figurines) and Sweden (The Hives, Peter Bjorn and John, Shout Out Louds). Scandinavia is perhaps better known for the righteousness of its death metal, which inspired Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth to do their thing in the '80s, but that vein is pretty much mined out, and the region is now pumping out tons of groundbreaking indie pop/rock (so much so, in fact, that I dedicated my last show on KPOV to it).
But to the point here, Love Is All, natives of Gothenburg, Sweden, recently released Two Thousand and Ten Injuries, a nice collection of 12 catchy and diverse tunes. The very first thing you'll notice is Josephine Olausson's elvish yelp, which is reminiscent of pre-Bjork Bjork, when she was the lead singer of the Sugarcubes (Iceland's main claim to fame before Sigur Ros). But a few songs in, you'll discern the beautifully simple melodies, vaguely "ethnic" drum arrangements, chirpy keyboards and trilling guitars.
Layered in and around the main construction are chimes, vibes, honking saxes, synth washes and the like. But unlike a lot of so-called "baroque pop" strutting around these days, these embellishments are used to sweeten the emotional effect of the underlying vibe, not as showy displays of multi-instrumentality. And that's the point - the real hook of this album is its simplicity. And at only 34 minutes and change, you're ready for more at the end, which is more a sign of the strength of the album than of its brevity.
Scott Aycock is the host of Variable Velocity which airs on KPOV (106.7FM) Fridays from 6-8pm.