It’s been a month or more, but welcome to another edition of Daddy Music. Mom’s out of town, Sister is at a Girl Scouts event, so The Boy and I decided to do another installment. Today’s selection (randomized) is from Loney Dear, an artist I’ve heard of but not really listened to.
Loney Dear is the nom de musique of a Swedish singer-songwriter named Emil Svanängen.
Dad: So what did you think of this song?
Boy: I really liked it, but I don’t really see why it was called “Summers.”
D: The lyrics were a little hard to make out. I did hear him say “summers” at one point.
B: I didn’t.
D: What did you like about it?
B: I like the music, how it sounded. Was it only one instrument? Because I only saw him playing guitar.
D: Well, there are keyboards too.
B: He plays guitar and keyboards?
D: Songs like this are usually recorded on multiple tracks, so he might have played guitar on a track, then played keyboards, then sang, and all of those tracks would have been mixed together. He may have had a drummer, too.
So what was it about the music that you liked? How did it make you feel?
B: I like that it was harmonic. It was exciting yet soothing. Like a celebration after a long day.
D: I see what you mean. I like the way it sounds like a lot of different layers of sounds. (That’s from the multiple tracks mixed together.) There are a lot of sounds harmonizing together.
What about his voice?
B: He sounds young. I like his voice. He mostly sings high. I wonder how low he can go.
D: He has a kind of breathy, folk singer sound – I could imagine a guy sitting in a coffee house strumming a guitar. But with a full band behind him.
B: It sounds like there’s someone else singing.
D: It’s possible he has backup vocals, but that background droning could just be keyboards and the orchestration. Do you have any other thoughts about the song.
B: It seems longer than some of the others.
D: You’re bouncing in your seat. Do you like the rhythm?
B: Yes. And the beat. The beat. The beat.
D: Anything else to say about this song?
B: I would like to know how long it took him to make it. Because it could have taken him a lot less time to write the song than it took to process it.
D: That’s probably true, because he would have had to record the different tracks and then put them together and edit. Anything else, or are you tapped out?
B: Tapped out. But now I have to say my special goodbye. I know what I’ll do – I’ll do a bunch of different languages saying “goodbye.” Adios. Shalom. What’s French?
D: Au revoir.
B: Oh yeah, now I remember! I guess I’ll save the others for another time.
I am surprised by how much I liked this song. Loney Dear is not necessarily an artist I would have considered – I think he may have been at one of the Pitchfork festivals I was at, but I don’t really recall him – and this style, with its soft, thick blankets of layered sounds, and soulful, melancholy vocals, is not my usual first choice. Still, every once in a while, a song like this comes along that just catches under my skin. (The last one I can think of was “Heydays” by Great Lakes Myth Society, which is on my 5-star rotation.) This one is good enough that I will now look into other Loney Dear tunes.