Sweden is well recognized for exporting impressive pop acts, but there is a new genre on the rise. An amalgam of blues, folk, rock and country is typically referred to as Americana music, but when the artist influenced by such sounds is from a Scandinavian country, then the music gets a label of — what else — Scandicana.
Indie rock outfit Slim Loris is one such Stockholm-based artist bringing this new genre to the masses. Their third full-length album Love and Fear was released on May 19, and it is an interesting collection of '60s folk, British invasion-rock, '70s classic rock, and bluegrass. Band members Mattias Cederstam (vocals, bass), Robert Barrefelt (guitars), Leon Lindstrom (backing vocals, guitars), and Jonas Ellenberg (drums) paint their Scandinavian melancholy all over this album, sometimes glazing, sometimes with heavy strokes.
“Sparkling Sun” could easily have been a track found on a rock station in the ‘70s; if you close your eyes and listen for it, Cederstam’s voice somehow channels just the slightest iota of Ozzy. The album then immediately takes a slight right off the rock ‘n roll path with “Going Home,” a good example of the aforementioned glaze. Wonderfully twangy, this track has a bluegrass mentality tinged with lyrical sweetness.
Then there is the lead single “Down” that has pulsating upbeats that alternate with an almost a synthpop-like chorus. All tracks could easily be categorized into different genres, and yet they just as easily all make sense as a collection.
The band toured the U.K. in 2014 in support of their previous critically-acclaimed album Future Echoes and Past Replays. They then returned to the studio that winter and worked with producer Pecka Hammarstedt, and the result is a genre boundary-pushing contemporary canvas that will most likely make it on to a few “top albums of 2015” lists by the end of the year.
For updates on Slim Loris check out their website here.