Fredrik: 'Black Fur'
When thinking about Swedish pop music, you might pick out artists like the sweetly whimsical Jens Lekman or the playful chamber pop outfit I'm From Barcelona. But on Na Na Ni, the debut album from experimental sextet Fredrik, the band from Malmo, Sweden shows that its country's musical output is capable of offering even more.
Though Na Na Ni does have a few relatively conventional pop tunes, like the lovely sing-along lullaby of the opener "Black Fur" and its successor "Alina's Place," some of its most fascinating pieces are those that abandon traditional structures and vocals. A song like the instrumental "Hei Hei," with its quietly soothing percussion and plucking of strings, evokes a feeling of being among the serene, grassy landscape depicted on the album's cover art. Later, the title track darkens the mood with an urgent crescendo and ghostly, repetitive chanting, as if that same landscape from before was hit by a rainstorm. Now deep into October, the ambiance of Fredrik's debut makes it the perfect compliment to the changing leaves and darkening skies of the season.
Fredrik began as a side project for electronic duo The LK, in which the musicians switched out their familiar synthesized beats for mostly acoustic ones. The experiment was a successful one, and the band has embarked on a fall U.S. tour to promote Na Na Ni, which is set to be released later this month.
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