Friday, February 2, 2007

MP3 of the Day - El Perro Del Mar

Fri, Feb 2, 2007 at 5:04 PM

In case you missed it, El Perro Del Mar's eponymous debut released last year is a treasure worth unburying. In the first seconds of the opener, "Candy," a lone timpani beat echoes out, orienting listeners onto a blank palette, whereby Swedish singer Sarah Assbring's sweetly pained voice emerges, teetering somewhere between despair and forced optimism. Backed by a slow, strumming acoustic guitar; shimmering chimes; and the steady chords of an organ, Assbring announces repeatedly in the chorus, "I'm going for to buy me some candy." It's the juxtaposition of such hopelessness with innocent nostalgia that makes El Perro Del Mar an irresistible listen. Musically, her songs evoke a kind of sacredness, but they're tempered by an undercurrent of 1960s Motown and a "shoo be doo wop" girl-group aesthetic. Listeners may wonder whether to descend into sadness ("This Loneliness") or start shimmying ("It's All Good"). Either way, you'll be pleased. --Kathleen Richards

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