A Perfect Friend

A Perfect Friend

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The 2000s have brought folksingers using electronics to update their sound and electronicians drawing inspiration from the song format to ground their otherwise abstract music (like Fennesz, to name only one). A Perfect Friend, a duo from Sweden, follow a similar musical path; however, here the fusion between folk music and electronica is embodied by the very collaboration between C-J Larsgarden and Thomas Denver Jonsson. You see, Larsgarden is actually an experimental sound artist, while Jonsson already has a few solo albums to his credit as a singer/songwriter. Together, they are designing sweet and atmospheric indie songs. Larsgarden provides the keyboards, programmed beats, field recordings, and other textural elements, while Jonsson sings and contributes the instrumental arsenal of a modern underground folksinger: guitars, glockenspiel, accordion, harmonica, and toy organ. Lightly experimental but quite accessible, their songs have a naïve charm pointing to the Swedish underground, sure, but also to Martyn Bates and the Iditarod. The opening instrumental track, "Rush Hour," is more post-rockish than anything else on the album. "APF" is a bit too hollow to strike as a song, but "TDR TDR TDR," "Welcome Aboard," and the short yet charming "Strings of Hayden" all showcase A Perfect Friend's knack for bringing their sound worlds together. Overall, this eponymous debut is still a bit shaky, with some tracks taking too long to develop, but it makes an interesting listen, on par with the Stilll label's quieter releases, and, more important, it is a promising first effort.

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