The debut album of Stockholm-based five-piece Amason was released at the end of January and is the soundtrack by which the band members have discovered their inner indie-folk selves. Buckle-up and join us on a road trip, as we shed light on the ‘Amasonian’ sound in this luistertip.
Somewhat of a Swedish super-group, Amason is made up of well-established musicians that might be familiar under different guises: Amanda Bergman (who performs as Idiot Wind), Gustav Ejstes (from Dungen), Petter Winnberg and Nils Törnqvist (from Little Majorette), and Pontus Winnberg (from Miike Snow).
Sky City (released on 27 January on Fairfax Recordings) is a 12-track record that takes you on a journey, with the destinations jumping between Sweden and the States (most tracks are in English, with only a few in the band’s native tongue). At the outset, I had this album down as having a strict Americana-vibe, which does ring true with Bergman’s lead vocals on a number of tracks. The beginning of track ‘NFB’, with its plinky-plonky piano, has me imagining myself sitting in some sort of a modern-day saloon in the mid-west (but maybe that’s just me). By the end, this track has morphed into a grand, almost choral cacophony – which makes the creative collaborations between the various musicians in Amason all the more clear. The band members are said to have ‘haphazardly discovered their sound – a type of newfangled, indie-folk, unlike any of their respective previous projects’.
It was first single Duvan that drew me to the band, with its gentle grooves. It could be a driving song, with desert landscapes drifting past the window. (Apparently, the band’s name comes from the Volvo model of the same title, which appropriates any driving/road-trip connotations) There are also more than a few moody mini-jams (on Älgen and Elefanten), 80s-style synths and sax solos (listen out for it half-way through Kelly), ephemeral, woozy (almost spooky) harmonies (near the end of Velodrome) and some definite pop instances (is that Annie Lennox or Kate Bush that is being conjured up in Bergman’s vocals on Yellow Moon?). All-in-all this is a melodic, gentle groove-laden album that is forging a path of its own, and all I know is that I want to be swept along by its glory.
Sky City – Released 27 January 2015:
02. Duvan (single)
05. Went To War
08. Yellow Moon
10. Pink Amason
11. The Moon As a Kite
12. Clay Birds
Available via iTunes