Sweden - Full Moon 217 - 05/14/14
Swedish trio Simian Ghost create pure, blissful pop music, and they have with their third album, The Veil come up with a jarful of ear-candy; 18 tracks clocking in at a little over
In the beginning Sebastian Arnström was Simian Ghost, but now Arnström (vocals, guitar, programming), along with Mathias Zachrisson (guitar, backing vocals) and Erik Klinga (drums)
form this three-headed Swedish pop-troll, with their catchy pop riffs and chord changes, sweet, swirling vocal harmonies and neat instrumentation. Arnström must be one of them thrue pop
geniuses, and Simian Ghost's first album, Infinite Traffic Everywhere (2011) was an instant hit to both the (Swedish) public as well as among the critics. Second album, Youth
(2012) was universally praised immediately when it appeared. The Guardian wrote: "This Swedish boy wonder has made an early contender for album of
the year", at January 4th (!) 2012, while The Times followed up describing the album being "...a vibrant, 21st century soundtrack to a multicoloured
dream". Now, The Veil is unveiled, releasing a smashing collection of pop songs.
With opener "Float" they dive into The Beach Boys' pop waves right away. Add some The Hollies and The Zombies, and you know what to expect. A line of catchy, spellbinding pop songs follows. The
Veil is written, recorded and produced by the threesome, with some additional swirling duet vocals by talented singer Maja Agnevik. The band and their label admits the album to be long,
yes, but they continue: "...there are no weak tracks on it. It is very well worth the journey." Well, yes, the album is long. And, there are
very, very few weak tracks - if there are someone at all. That said, when having a big bag of sweets and candy: if you don't take a break, or take care when consuming, you can get too
much of goodies, right. Anyway, The Veil flows over with treats and treasures: "Float", "A Million Shining Colours", "Cut-Off Point", "Summer Triptych", "Echoes Of Songs (For Trish Keenan)",
"I Will Speak Until I'm Done", "The Ocean Is A Whisper", "August Sun", "Be A Good Kid", "Scattered And Careless", "The River Ouse". The list is long. Some tracks are immediate, aiming for
heart and brain from the second they shoot out, while others are more laidback and controlled, taking their time before hitting, finding their form and place. So, not much weakness included here,
maybe just a few more anonymous moments.
Like I said when describing "A Million Shining Colours": "Sugar-coated pop music for the summer seasons. No,
in fact for all seasons. Snap. Sparkle. Pop." Just take two of the song titles from The Veil; "Endless Chord" and "Summer Triptych". Mix and switch the two of them and we end
up with a title of an indeed famous compilation album from 1974, and/or the title of a 1966 documentary film: Endless Summer. On the other hand we get 'Chord Tritych', which
could be the musical tag to descibe Simian Ghost's music. Summer starts here, and it never ends!
Copyright © 2014 Håvard Oppøyen