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We’re All In

Fredrik, yet another preciously awesome indie band from Sweden, makes their American debut. It will all end in pop genius, tintinnabulation.

Last week saw the U.S. debut album release, titled Na Na Ni, of yet another group of almost disgustingly talented and natural-sounding Swedish indie poppers. According to their MySpace page, the members of Fredrik carry on the traditional first-name-use-only rule as set forth by their brilliant predecessors and countrymen ABBA, and we see that two of the members are simply going by Fredrik (the others being named Anja, Mikael, Lindefelt, and, on bass, Jerker). Which one would think would become as cumbersome and complicated as having two Jameses in the band James, or two guys named Parliament Funkadelic in Parliament Funkadelic. Only time will tell if it summarily becomes too confusing for Fredrik.

Their music--like much of the music coming from Scandinavia in recent memory--proves their arctic clime's pop genius. It's expertly produced, performed, and packaged. The most aggravating (and, of course, delightful) part of all is how effortless they make it sound. The component parts of "Alina's Place," the second track, seam together without a string out of place as the music gently evolves in tone and timbre throughout. Pounding (yet somehow quiet) drums give way to finger-plucked guitars, and pan-pipe-sounding woodwinds eventually lead to a closing polyphonic tintinnabulation. The resulting sound is cozy but not twee, dark but not morose.

Fredrik will be touring the East coast in support of Na Na Ni through November. If it hasn't yet been made clear enough, they come highly recommended.

TMN Editor Erik Bryan is living the dream. He grew up in Florida, but he’s from all over. He likes playing chess, making cocktails, smarting off, and not freezing to death in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. More by Erik Bryan

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