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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