The Deer Tracks

The Archer Trilogy, Pt. 2

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Following shortly after the entertaining, and at points surprising, first part of the three-release sequence, The Archer Trilogy, Pt. 2 finds the duo of David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors continuing their general approach of delicate songwriting, sometimes explosive twists in the electronic arrangements, and flashes of unsettling imagery. It says something that the guitar in "Meant to Be" is used less as riff than as sampled, twisted shading, as one element among many; it's a common enough approach, but here, coupled with Lindfors' singing, swirling keyboards and the now familiar romantic string parts, it takes on a stronger life. If there's a slight change here, though, it's that there's a little less variety than on the first part, making this entry seem almost like the pop album installation full on: restrained and exploratory in parts, but otherwise going for it with a sweet propulsive gusto. Title aside, "Fra Ro Raa Ro Ra Fraa" has a chorus that aims right for four-to-the-floor immediacy, albeit filtered via the Sainte Etienne indie pop vein, while "Tiger" goes for a full-on triumphalism in the chorus. "Dark Passenger," with its stuttering beats and moaning backing vocals, brings out some moody undercurrents, but there's still something sweetly inviting rather than disturbing at work here, especially when -- like in many of their other songs -- the opening first settles into a steadier groove and then morphs into a shimmering, exultant new verse with orchestration building upon everything else. Musically, at least. Vocally, there's always a calm little distance shading the delivery of otherwise blunt lines like "I cannot help it, sometimes I want to break your neck/Just to give you a reality check," stuttered into a sweeping, soaring chorus on "Fa-Fire."

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