Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is “Airport Surroundings” by Loney Dear off the recently released album Dear John on Polyvinyl Records.
When told that a band is from the amazing music factory that is the icy climes of Sweden, I automatically associate their music with either the sort of sunny, 80s disco-electronica of ABBA or the smiley rock of groups like I’m From Barcelona. Turns out I’ve been living in a cave of sorts in terms of my exposure to Sweden’s musical output as Loney Dear completely usurped my expectations. Instead of bubbly quirk or twee-y guitar riffs, Loney Dear is a bit like The Arcade Fire but set to chill in the snowy banks of their native land. Emil Svanängen, recording at home alone, builds similarly driving, atmospheric pieces, rife with layers and layers of carefully placed instrumentation, but Loney Dear’s tracks reverberate with an underlying tone of coldness. “Airport Surroundings” is a song in motion, a fast-paced excursion through the surprisingly dark emotional landscapes of Svanängen’s romantic life. It pops with a chilled synth keyboard riff and the bouncy vocal harmonies that run along the chorus, at once exuding the aforementioned Swedish quirk as well as a frosty but gentle sadness.
Loney Dear is currently winding across the the United States, on tour with Andrew Bird. Expect them in Seattle on February 23 at the Moore Theater and later at SXSW before they hop back to Sweden. Check out Svanängen’s MySpace page for updates. For now, here’s the video for “Airport Surroundings”: