Adiam Dymott

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A far cry from your typical twenty-something Scandinavian songstress -- among her Razzia labelmates, she has as much in common with guitar-heavy (male) rock acts like I Are Droid and Dundert├ąget/Thunder Express as with the gentler, more girlish likes of Firefox AK, Maia Hirasawa, and Hello Saferide -- Stockholm's Adiam Dymott distinguishes herself on this succinct and immensely likable debut with a fresh and impressively assured take on classic rock/pop songcraft. The opening cut may be named for John Denver (it's about freewheeling down country roads with a certain unspecified song of his playing on the radio), but a better clue to her affinities is her choice to cover Neil Young's "Too Far Gone" (which provides this album's sweetest, sparest moment). Like Young, Tom Petty, and even Bruce Springsteen, her songs convey a certain literate but unpretentious populism, filtered through a raggedly rootsy, vaguely punkish musical sensibility: good old American rock & roll, albeit from the perspective of an African-descended Swede. Add to that a rich and throaty singing voice reminiscent of P!nk and Liz Phair, inflected with pop and soul in equal measure, and you've got the makings of a refreshing and distinctive new talent. The uptempo rockers here are a total blast -- especially the handclappy singalong single "Miss You" and the driving anti-mainstream youth anthem "Pizza" (which features the delicious call-and-response chorus "My generation's fucked/You left a pile of garbage/Way too big to clean up") -- but there are some real gems among the slower, quirkier numbers as well, like the mellow-grooving "Mrs. Dymott," which muses on the difficulties of having a strange name. The song's chorus spells her name out for listeners (and even offers an etymology) -- pay attention; it's one worth remembering.

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