Tiny Desk

Fredrik

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11 min 57 sec

I first fell in love with the beautiful world of sound crafted by the Swedish band Fredrik in the fall of 2008, shortly after the group released its mesmerizing debut, Na Na Ni. At the time, Fredrik had grown from a duo to a sextet with a gift for lush, multilayered orchestrations and soaring group harmonies. (Listen to "Black Fur," the opening cut to Na Na Ni, to hear for yourself.) Since then, the band has scaled back to a duo again, with founding members Fredrik Hultin on vocals and guitar and Ola Lindfelt on electronics and percussion.

Fredrik's new album, Trilogi, is a bit more restrained than the band's debut. It's also stranger and darker. A concept album, it's broken into three parts, with each part named after fictional locations. There's "Holm," which means "frozen forest island"; "Ava," which means "water through sound"; and "Ner," which means "inside the underground." Trilogi is Hultin and Lindfelt's soundtrack for this imaginary world. They say they wrote the music as they "traveled through the locations" in their minds. They also say they were inspired by the writings of horror and fantasy author H.P. Lovecraft.

But you really don't need to follow all of that to enjoy the music. Trilogi is simply gorgeous and hypnotic. It's also very much a studio album, so we were curious to see how Fredrik would pull it off as a Tiny Desk Concert. Lindfelt manned a snare and maraca and triggered odd sounds with a little keyboard, while Hultin strummed guitar and sang. They even offered a stripped-down version of "Black Fur," that soaring opener to Na Na Ni. It all came together beautifully.

Set List
  • "Ner"
  • "Locked in the Basement"
  • "Black Fur"
Credits

Frannie Kelley and Bob Boilen (cameras); edited by Michael Katzif; photo by May-Ying Lam

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