I have to be honest, upon clicking the play tab I was a little worried that this album was destined to exist only in the realm of coffee shop music, or the background to your more meaningful conversations; thankfully I didn’t run with the assumption for too long, because Love And Fear by the Swedish Quartet Slim Loris is an interesting and unique sound worthy of paying attention to.
There are a lot of potential influences in their sound that range from classic Bowie to Fleetwood Mac to Arcade Fire, and there is nothing wrong with those influences in the least, especially when they handle what they take with such care. Nothing here feels like a rip-off or cut and paste musical sound, and the production value is clearly being taken very seriously by everyone involved. The album is clean and crisp in sound, filled with an interesting use of moody synths and drum beats that border almost too closely to my eternal musical nemesis; the sound of 80’s. One cannot fully appreciate my absolute distaste of this dark era of music without enduring one of my legendary rants on the subject in person, so when I continue to listen to an album that takes from that time of music so heavily, instead of immediately throwing off my headphones, that is saying something, so hats-off to Slim Loris for keeping me interested this long.
A few songs in and I am quite aware of how diverse this band really is, to even to their own sound. Every song is different from the previous track, and the production value is top notch. Every instrument is given its proper place among the interesting vocal lines from the talented and smooth main vocals of Mattias Cederstam, combined with the equally silky background vocals of Leon Lindström. Nothing feels overbearing or distasteful here, and over two minutes into the song Down I find myself wanting to restart the song over, just so I can experience the journey of this upbeat track once again.
This is easily Slim Loris’s greatest strength on this album, their natural ability to bring you into their own unique sound without having to turn the volume up past ten, although it sounds even better turned up loud.
Every song is its own entity on Love And Fear, and it feels as though the band made a real effort to showcase their diversity this time around, which is successfully achieved on this artsy sophomoric album.
If you are looking for a creative and well written album that does not belong only in coffee shops, but would easily work well in one, this is one of those uplifting albums you should take a chance on; and after a few more listens to this interesting album that could easily have choked to death on its 80’s-inspired tracks, I am sure glad I did.