Lars Ludvig Löfgren – Heterochromia

http://www.subroutine.nl

 

An interesting record; in that there are many reasons why I shouldn’t actually like this, I’m not sure actually if I do, but it’s been on near constant rotation this past 3 weeks or so. I’m not crazy for singer songwriters, especially those who look to make out and out pop records, and I’m not sure about a lot of Swedish music, there’s something slightly hysterical and overly gawky that sets my teeth on edge.

There are elements of that pop-folk-hipster schlock in this record: for one, there’s that sub-Wilsonish sticky sentiment that brings a gloopy vibe in tracks like Canadian Maple Leaves. Now and again, and far worse, things stray into Lemonheads territory (I always –irrationally I'm sure - loathed the Lemonheads...).

And at times the insistence on playing in the same key with little attention to instrumental arrangements or propulsions, other than a guitar-strum (at varying speeds), can drive you to distraction. The record feels it is inspired by camp fire strum-alongs, or troubadour behaviour under girls’ windows; (with the song Across Your House you can actually visualise this happening). The best tracks are when the temperature and the melodies rises above, or subtle inflections counters, the unending wash of semi acoustic and acoustic guitar. Round Your Heart and Hope You’re Thinking of Me are fine songs with a clear melodies (though I could throttle the lad for the lyrics at times) and Give the Dog a Bone and It’s Ridiculous have a nice, unplugged Modern Lovers vibe about them.

It’s melancholy and a little too sticky at times, but there is something about it, and Löfgren’s Sunday School vibe. Why can’t I stop playing it?