Kristian Svensson crafts some pretty chill pop music, encompassing a space between the drone-heavy, space-friendly reverb and the upbeat-yet-emotional electronic. His latest work as And Oh, So Slowly He Turned is By Some Godforsaken Lake Up North. Packed with lovable lo-fi pop songs (easily recognizable as Swedish) and containing light hints of experimentation, the album opens with a light guitar riff and full-bodied (but mixed down) percussion in “Demensia”. The vocals, like the percussion, are eerie and soft — they fit in the background while the instrumentation takes a more dominating presence.
The themes within And Oh, So Slowly He Turned seem to be melody and consistency. The songs have a special harmony fit for orchestral pop, while the steady percussion lays down a hypnotic array of beats, thumps and clangs. “Heartache Oh Carlisle” is a prime example. As the album continues, synths become more and more prevalent; instrumentation in “Hello Jules” is based around the keys, and they mesh perfectly with Svensson’s deep vocals. Electronic drums rule in the instrumental “Red Roses Red Wine”, while “For Just As Long As It Takes” sees the band reverting back to the spaced-out guitars.
No matter what genre Svensson combines with pop — electronic, drone, experimental, lounge — it always comes across precise and skilled. And in that, By Some Godforsaken Lake Up North is an interesting blend of pop music, worldly and lo-fi like so many of the releases on Series Two Records. It’s what many familiar with the label have come to expect; and it’s an expectation that never lets down. And Oh, So Slowly He Turned is merely the latest in a long list of bands gracing our presence thanks to a little CD-R label in Nebraska.
Series Two Records [CD, 2009]
2. Heartache Oh Carlisle
4. I’m One Of Those Few
5. Hello Jules
6. Red Roses Red Wine
7. For Just As Long As It Takes
9. The Poo-Ping Palace
10. Beach Junkie
11. Bombs Away