When I eventually sit down to figure out my favorite live shows of '09, there's one spot filled for sure: Loney Dear's springtime set at Allston's Great Scott. It wasn't my first time seeing Sweden's Emil Svanangen and his wonderful backing band, but it was easily the most intimate, and most moving, so far.
There's something very special about Emil, a welcoming, warm demeanor that brings you into his world, that allows easy access to his hopes and heartbreak, that lets you ride the rise and fall of his gorgeous songs and their breezy melodies. There are pop songs with heart, speedy tunes that propel perfectly forward, and delicate numbers that build like spiderwebs and disappear in the wind of their final chords. There was one particular moment that May evening, just after the first few notes of "I Love You", that Emil stepped to the front of the small stage, almost into the crowd, leaving the microphone behind him. His voice unamplified, accompanied only by his guitar, singing directly to those of us up close... it felt like we were being let in on a secret. The band joined in subtly - a light cymbal wash, some soft keyboard, light floor tom - and the secret spread as he stepped back to the microphone and the music swelled behind him. Just magical.
And lucky us, we get a chance to experience these moments of magic again this very night, when Loney Dear returns to that same venue on the tail-end of a two-week cross-country tour with Asobi Seksu and fellow Swede Anna Ternheim. If you don't already have a ticket, take a listen to the shared songs below, and head over here to remedy that. I'll see you at Great Scott tonight, and if Emil asks you to hang around for a 'minor party' after the show, take him up on it.
Additional Audio: There are a couple of mp3s ("Airport Surroundings" and "Ignorant Boy, Beautiful Girl") available on the Polyvinyl page. The later song can be found on Polyvinyl's upcoming re-release of Loney Dear's excellent 2004 "Citadel Band" album. The disc was a relative rarity until now, and will be available on vinyl for the first time ever. Pre-order it here for arrival next month. And while you're there, purchase Loney Dear's latest, "Dear John", which arrived last January and still sits squarely in my '09 faves list.
Video: There are, of course, a number of videos on YouTube, including official clips for "I Am John", "Airport Surroundings", and "I Was Only Going Out". Baeble Music welcomed a four-piece version of the band to their Manhattan "Guest Apartment", where they performed the seldom-heard "Here Comes The Lonely Ones" and live set highlight "Violent" on a comfy couch. OPBMusic had them in their studios for a five song performance and interview session.
Upcoming tourdates: Just a few dates left on the current tour...
Tonight, 10/14/09 @ in Allston, MA at Great Scott Thursday, 10/15/09 in Hoboken, NJ at Maxwell's Friday, 10/16/09 in New York, NY at Bowery Ballroom Saturday, 10/17/09 in Philadelphia, PA at Johnny Brenda's
the fine print... If anyone has an issue with these tracks being made available, just let me know (my contact info is in the 'nac faq linked above). Live sets are captured with a Sony minidisc recorder, converted to .wav, then edited to 192kbps Mp3s. Files are made available for a limited time, and are not reposted once removed.