Sunday, August 16, 2009

we all die by new found land

Memo to bands looking to catch bloggers' attention: compare yourself to another act we love. Granted we'll be terribly incredulous--as I was when New Found Land sent us a Myspace message comparing their work to WBH favorite Loney Dear--but chances are, you'll peak our interest. Lucky for New Found Land, their chutzpa isn't ill-founded. The do in fact share the same sweet but sorrowful world view as their fellow countryman Emil Svanängen. However, the Göteborg duo's sweet chemistry and polished pop makes their debut album We All Die (out now) a distinctly unique and beautiful musical outing. These are the sort of songs you listen to with a smile on your face and a tear in your eye.

Between the mournful voice singer Anna Roxenholt and and Karl Krook's gently strummed guitar, occasionally the Spartan melancholy tilts towards painfully beautiful--as with album highlight, "By Your Side"--which plays like a paean to the ghosts of relationships past, or like the perfect Once b-side.

Simple, but never boring New Found Land also shows the sort of musical variety that makes waiting and wondering about their sophomore album a interesting exercise. "By Your Side" may show the sort of direct sadness and delicate finger-picking that could make Jose Gonzales green with envy, but "Leave it All Behind" find them rocking like a two-person I'm From Barcelona. Meanwhile, album opener "It Would Mean the World to Me" finds Roxenholt tapping into her inner El Perro del Mar, coupled with an almost Concretes-like breezy musicality.

Of course, comparing them to fellow Swedish acts is only a start. With their natural charm, sweet chemistry, and musical grace, New Found Land can move in any direction--musical or geographical--they might choose...and probably capture a few hearts along the way.

(photo new found land: Fredrik Åkum)

mp3: "By Your Side" by New Found Land

3 comments:

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