Hello Saferide

Would You Let Me Play This EP 10 Times a Day?

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This charming between-album release from Sweden's Hello Saferide finds Annika Norlin attempting to be pragmatic about her chronic romantic desperation. She makes a New Year's resolution to be with you ("2006"), attempts to seduce you at a costume party ("Best Night of Your Life"), and vows to stop writing spiteful songs about past failed relationships ("Last Bitter Song.") In "The Quiz," the EP's center piece and best song, she even drafts a questionnaire for prospective suitors (the EP's titular query is not included in this roll-call of co-dependence, but it's roughly representative.) Of course, none of this works...after all's said and done, she's still walking away from a good thing without even understanding why, in the poignant "Leaving You Behind," whose arrangement recalls the sweet melancholy of "Surfer Girl." It makes for a nicely cohesive song suite, although all this emotional instability and confessional hand-wringing could certainly get grating if it weren't set to such lovely, understated indie pop tunes.

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