Swedish band Slim Loris is set to release its third studio album, Love and Fear, later this month. Band members Mattias Cederstam (vocals, bass), Robert Barrefelt (guitars), Leon Lindström (backing vocals, guitars), and Jonas Ellenberg (drums) manage to fuse together quite a hodgepodge of sounds on it: 1960s British invasion influence, melancholy, peppiness, pop flavours, and somber moods, with a hint of folk and even a flavour of the Caribbean.
The British Invasion rock influence is obvious from the very first bars of the opening track, “Never Danced Sober”. The contrast between the somber lyrics and the lighthearted use of almost delicate guitar plucking and subtle but strong drums gives the song a dream-like quality. This melody accompanies the lyrics well, which touch upon letting oneself take risks to achieve one’s dreams. It is further enhanced by Cederstam’s raspy vocals. The following track builds on the lighter side of the band’s outlook on life: “Higher”’s lyrics similarly touch upon one’s successes making one’s soul soar. Its predecessor makes the anthemic “Sparkling Sun” a victory track of sorts.
Slim Loris adds on a folksy flavor in the nostalgic and almost fragile “Going Home”, which features even more delicate guitars, hand-played drums, and an almost Caribbean-like beat that sweeps listeners into the story of how an encounter with a lover can both bring great joy and great pain. Lead single “Down” is built around a dynamic, drum-driven, midtempo beat that adds a pop rock flavour to the album. Yet again, there is a contrast between the almost cheerful melody that will make many a head bob, and the dark lyrics that describe the self-destruction of a band because of a woman. It does feel at times that Cederstam’s vocals can’t keep up with the melody, but for the most part, it works.
The penultimate “A House of Our Own” brings every aspect of the album up by a notch. The tempo is at its highest, the number of instruments is increased what with the use of upbeat horns, and the spirit of joy is further amplified with energetic guitars and the chorus’s peppy sing-along quality. In sharp contrast, the band brings things to a quiet close with “Once”, welcoming back nostalgia and even melancholy.
Providing listeners with a ride through a variety of emotions and feelings that seem to capture life’s ups and downs, Slim Loris has put together in Love and Fear a collection of songs that listeners will find suitable for both the sunniest and darkest of days. More information about the band is available on their official website; a partial selection of their music is available on SoundCloud.