"Just at the point when you think “right, enough, no more cod teenage psychology thank you very bloody much”, a searing chorus saves the day and you end up singing along. And what is it with the bloody jauntiness? "
Friska Viljor - Tour de Hearts
They’re back, those maddeningly forthright, slightly deranged Swedes, singing about love and loss and teenage girls. Listening to this band is a weird experience for me. On the whole I would say I can’t abide this sort of gut-wrenching, heart-aching sentimental quirky pop. I’m too old to care. And I don’t like sentimental irony. But somehow the choruses in Friska Viljor songs always win me round. On and On is a classic example. Just at the point when you think “right, enough, no more cod teenage psychology thank you very bloody much”, a searing chorus saves the day and you end up singing along. And what is it with the bloody jauntiness?
Still, as I said, despite the lyrics (usually along the lines of we don’t care, our youthful honesty and enthusiasm will always find a way etc, etc ad nauseum) the brass section and the arrangements in the chorus on, say Old Man or Oh No (or The Street Sounds Like for that matter) lift the tracks up into great stomping sing-alongs. It’s some template they’ve got going for themselves.
Maybe it’s the brazen lack of any sense of personal dignity or emotional proportion that means the band can juggle their undoubted gifts of writing a snappy tune against the slightly hysterical lyrical content in so successful a manner. Or maybe I’m being too British. Who cares? Top tracks on here are the sublime pop song Taste of Her Kiss and the stumbling twee-pop of Arpeggio.
A recommended listen. I can’t fathom why.
Words: Richard Foster