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Alternative & Indie - Released March 26, 2021 | Real World Records

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In 2005, releasing the albums Sologne and Loney, Noir, Emil Svanängen alias Loney Dear soared on the wings of absolutely justified praise and hype. That second release featured particularly artful arrangements, a sort of chamber music opus with pop accents (think Beach Boys or Sufjan Stevens), but agile enough to take off into rock or even electronica. This is precision-crafted music enlivened by a falsetto voice the Swedish singer employs with artful reserve, the melody line paramount. Initially a pianist in a jazz trio, this magician has created his own musical world, whether in complete refinement or reveling in the harmonic daring. After a few years of radio silence, Svanängen resurfaced in 2017 on Real World, Peter Gabriel’s label, with the self-titled Loney Dear. Four years later, he returns with a restrained approach favouring the voice above all, meticulous as ever but with instrumentation at the service of lyric and melody; just a piano, understated double bass and strings, and oceanic accents. That’s all… and that minimalism confers a sacred ambience to the album.In making the short, beautiful A Lantern and a Bell (27 minutes, 45 seconds), Loney Dear entrusted production to his friend Emanuel Lundgren, in their studio on Södermalm Island in Stockholm. “The goal was for Emil not to hide, but to dare to come forward”, explains Emanuel. “We have slowly become friends for nine years, but only now could we work so closely together, and the proximity is heard”. Svanängen admits that it took a while for him to surrender. “My previous albums have been ‘collage records’, made in the belief that perfectionism exists, in a mania. Here I wanted to go in exactly the opposite direction and simplify. That’s why we recorded everything ourselves without any other musicians”.  Experiencing the delicacy and depth of this artist requires your full attention as a listener; which is a commensurate show of respect for this fascinating Swede, who waited so many years to release what he considers a personal achievement. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 29, 2017 | Real World Records

Returning to his craft seemingly refreshed and renewed after a six-year gap, dramatic Swede Emil Svanängen revives his Loney Dear recording moniker for a self-titled sixth album. Even Svanängen's earliest records showed a preoccupation with densely layered arrangements, but the scope of his moody chamber pop appeared to have reached some sort of lush zenith on 2011's Hall Music. As beautiful as parts of that album were, it also gave the feeling of being orchestrally oversaturated. While his follow-up is by no means a sparse affair, its various pieces seem better designed to tuck neatly into the mix, creating a more spatial environment where Svanängen's miniature epics can propagate. Taking plenty of time to develop his new approach, the Jönköping native also found a new home to back his efforts, with Peter Gabriel's Real World Records imprint signing him in early 2017. The murmuring of drowsy synth tones introduces "Pun," the album's slowly building opener that soon accelerates into a polyrhythmic gallop of mysterious samples and dramatic shifts. "Humbug" follows a similar trajectory, combining icy Nordic electronica with propulsive organic percussive elements. As a synth pop balladeer, Svanängen is at his best, utilizing his high keening tenor to turn in dreamy highlights like "Isn't It You?" and the lovely closer, "There Are Several Alberts Here." His mix of wistful tenderness and cerebral darkness plays out in the songs' twists and turns as he pits Bon Iver-ian robo-soul and folk gentleness against sometimes menacing basslines and frigid atmospherics. It's an approach that agrees with him on this strong sixth effort. © Timothy Monger /TiVo
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Rock - Released March 19, 2007 | Parlophone UK

Invigorating as a blast of Scandinavian air, Loney, Dear (otherwise known as Emil Svanängen) makes his Sub Pop debut with Loney, Noir. This is power pop mellowed by chamber pop sensibilities, but Svanängen shouldn't be confused with other indie multi-instrumentalists. In opposition to the typical "more is more" attitude of American indie acts like Sufjan Stevens (the artist to whom Svanängen will probably be likened, for better or worse), the throaty flutes and clarinets, optimistic handclaps, and tambourines embroider these songs rather than dominate them. As with other like-minded Swedes (Timo Raisanen, Jens Lekman, and Hello Saferide, just to name a few), Svanängen is a hook-builder, and his sophomore effort is built on breezy, straightforward pop rather than Stevens-esque orchestral noodling. Svanängen, like Raisanen, is blessed with an unbelievably high falsetto, especially apparent on "Saturday Waits." He also possesses a peculiar, rasping voice (when he isn't singing falsetto) and an apparent love of Brian Wilson, as demonstrated by the tight, soaring harmonies. The best moments on Loney, Noir are glowing, rushing, and immediately infectious. The album's first single, "I Am John," encapsulates this with its ebullient drums and breathless, surging vocals. It's the kind of song that becomes the soundtrack for an entire summer. Loney, Noir is an adolescent album, not because Svanängen hasn't yet reached his full potential as a songwriter, but because these songs are deeply interested in adolescent experience ("I'm a teenager, I'm anxious"). More than anything, Loney, Noir is almost ridiculously sweet, and this is by no means a bad thing. © Margaret Reges /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 11, 2020 | Virgin Music UK LAS (S&D)

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Pop - Released January 5, 2009 | Parlophone UK

Since his debut in 2007, Emil Svanängen (the man behind Loney, Dear) has managed to evade easy categorization. It's simply not enough to say that he sounds like Jens Lekman, seeing how the main draw of Svanängen's work has less to do with his lyrics and more to do with mood. He's more like pop-oriented multi-instrumentalists like Tobias Fröberg and Sufjan Stevens; Loney, Dear is a quirky, bittersweet master of atmosphere. Svanängen sophomore effort, 2009's Dear John, picks up where his first album left off; like Loney, Noir, Dear John is chock-full of luminous instrumental textures and heartfelt lyrics. That said, Dear John is clearly more adult than its predecessor; the production is sleeker, the arrangements are more studied. Thankfully, Dear John's maturity doesn't mean that it lacks the fun stuff that made Svanängen's first album shine. Dear John's upbeat moments, ranging from the chic synth flourishes of "Airport Surroundings" to the joyful whistling on "I Was Only Going Out," are simply a delight. Similar to Svanängen's debut, Dear John is strongest when it strikes a balance between mournfulness and optimism. The album only sags when Svanängen lets things get a mite too plodding and somber; "Harm/Slow," perhaps sentencing itself to sogginess by borrowing its tune from Tomaso Albinoni's "Adagio," is simply not the most engaging moment on the album. That said, this is the disc's only real stumble, and overall Svanängen seems to have learned a lesson or two about pacing since Loney, Noir. Dear John shows that Svanängen has really gotten his act together; it makes good on all the tremulous, tender, wistful promise of his debut. © Margaret Reges /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 26, 2021 | Virgin Music UK LAS (S&D)

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 26, 2021 | Virgin Music UK LAS (S&D)

In 2005, releasing the albums Sologne and Loney, Noir, Emil Svanängen alias Loney Dear soared on the wings of absolutely justified praise and hype. That second release featured particularly artful arrangements, a sort of chamber music opus with pop accents (think Beach Boys or Sufjan Stevens), but agile enough to take off into rock or even electronica. This is precision-crafted music enlivened by a falsetto voice the Swedish singer employs with artful reserve, the melody line paramount. Initially a pianist in a jazz trio, this magician has created his own musical world, whether in complete refinement or reveling in the harmonic daring. After a few years of radio silence, Svanängen resurfaced in 2017 on Real World, Peter Gabriel’s label, with the self-titled Loney Dear. Four years later, he returns with a restrained approach favouring the voice above all, meticulous as ever but with instrumentation at the service of lyric and melody; just a piano, understated double bass and strings, and oceanic accents. That’s all… and that minimalism confers a sacred ambience to the album.In making the short, beautiful A Lantern and a Bell (27 minutes, 45 seconds), Loney Dear entrusted production to his friend Emanuel Lundgren, in their studio on Södermalm Island in Stockholm. “The goal was for Emil not to hide, but to dare to come forward”, explains Emanuel. “We have slowly become friends for nine years, but only now could we work so closely together, and the proximity is heard”. Svanängen admits that it took a while for him to surrender. “My previous albums have been ‘collage records’, made in the belief that perfectionism exists, in a mania. Here I wanted to go in exactly the opposite direction and simplify. That’s why we recorded everything ourselves without any other musicians”.  Experiencing the delicacy and depth of this artist requires your full attention as a listener; which is a commensurate show of respect for this fascinating Swede, who waited so many years to release what he considers a personal achievement. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 1, 2017 | Real World Records

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Rock - Released July 13, 2007 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released February 20, 2009 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released April 20, 2007 | Parlophone UK