MP3: Calm Down
VIDEO: LeHibbo Session
Loney Dear will be doing a small run of solo acoustic performances, starting tonight, in support of the Oct. 4 release of his new album, Hall Music. These small, intimate shows will showcase songs from the new album as well as old favorites from the extensive Loney Dear back catalog. Loney Dear will return to North America in early 2012 for a tour featuring a full live band.
After his last time touring the United States in support of 2009’s Dear John (Loney Dear’s fifth album and Polyvinyl debut), Emil Svanangen returned home to Sweden and began to play shows with different orchestras throughout the country.
To successfully accomplish this feat, he was forced to revisit his earlier material — rewriting and rearranging these older songs for performance on a grander scale.
This experience had an indelible influence on the writing and recording of the appropriately titled Hall Music, a record that finds Svanangen finally creating the type of orchestral music he has always sought to bring to life on stage (whether he’s actually playing with an orchestra or not).
Above all, Hall Music – Svanangen’s sixth full-length under the Loney Dear moniker — is a study in merging contrasts, an album of impossible pairings brought to life at the hands of a skillful songwriter further mastering his craft.
The pacing is simultaneously fast and slow, with gently weaving harmonic structures propelled forward by quickly moving notes. On “My heart,” the frenetic synthesized scaffolding belies the relaxed, scuzzy bass vibrating underneath, while “Largo” matches the musical definition of its name more in its unhurried aura than in its actual BPM.
The instrumentation is orchestral and synthesized; organic and invented. A church bell paired effortlessly with horns and an analog keyboard. Apocalyptically pulsing bass (“Durmoll”) and an angelic vibraphone solo (“Calm down”).
At its heart, however, Hall Music is a short album with a tall vision.
Though it occupies your ears for just over a half-hour, it is an all-consuming sonic affair. It is intimate music that effortlessly fills vast, empty spaces — in your head, in your room, in your life — with a grip so delicate yet unyielding that you can’t (and don’t want to) escape it.
While some songs were conceived over the past year, others have been gestating for much longer — eventually coming to fruition as the result of rediscovered lyrics and new musical perspectives.
Accordingly, the compositions on Hall Music transcend any connection to specific times and places and instead, as Svanangen suggests, reside in the “perfect position just in between joy and darkness.”
As such, in a final paradox, the album becomes a dividing bridge: a link between two sides that doesn’t allow full access to either.
Instead, drawing from both of the emotional states it joins together, Hall Music creates its own unique expanse — one you’ll surely want to re-visit again and again.
11/03 Brooklyn, NY Rockwood Music Hall %
11/04 Montreal, QC O Patro Vys $
11/05 Toronto, ON The Drake Hotel
11/07 Chicago, IL Schubas Tavern %
11/09 San Francisco, CA Cafe Du Nord #
11/10 Los Angeles, CA Hotel Cafe ^ *
% = w/ Daniel Knox
$ = w/ Folly and the Hunter
# = w/ Harbours
^ = w/ Sleeping at Last
* = w/ Oregon Bike Trails
Street Date: Oct. 4, 2011
02 My heart
03 Loney Blues
04 Calm down
05 Maria, is that you
06 D major
08 Young hearts
10 I dreamed about you
11 What have I become?