Loney Dear: Tenderness, Pain And Joy


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hide captionLoney Dear is the one-man studio band of Swedish songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emil Svanangen.

Jim Bennett

Loney Dear returned to KEXP for a gorgeous live studio session in February and, once again, I was rapt in reverie and wonder at the emotional performance. Swedish songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emil Svanangen sounded amazing, as he and his live band — Samuel Starck (keyboards), Ola Hultgren (drums), David Lindvall (bass) and Oscar Svenningsson (keyboard, guitar and percussion) — enchanted our listeners with a glorious and moody set of synth-laden orchestral pop.

Goosebumps broke out on my arms as the first song began with a delicate and fragile whisper, gentle drum taps and quiet organ gently weaving into the fabric of the song, as Svanangen's delicate voice built to a plaintive cry, finally breaking into melancholy whistling. It's no wonder he was asked to support Andrew Bird on a 2009 tour.

The songs, all from Loney Dear's recent album Dear John, were tender and fragile one moment, packed with energy the next. With glorious keyboard flourishes and atmospheric layers, Svanangen whimpered, sang, whistled and shouted his reflective and heartfelt lyrics, creating a melancholy yet joyous tone. It was haunting and beautiful, and left me wanting more.

Credits: Host Cheryl Waters. Engineer Kevin Suggs.

Listen to the previous Favorite Session, or see our full archive.



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