Review Of “Hall Music” By Loney Dear


Loney Dear

Artist: Loney Dear
Title: Hall Music
Record Label: Polyvinyl
Rating: 9

This sincere record presents songs about love that echo sadness meanwhile being stoked in optimism and beauty. With a voice strong through depth of emotion and perspective, you get the feeling Loney Dear’s music could alter the deepest depths of misery; so it is on the Swedish recording artist’s latest LP ‘Hall Music’.

The songs on ‘Hall Music’ transmit many heavy emotions that can be found in love’s intensity here sonically softened and matured through the music, that is, skilled orchestral instrumentation both organically and synthetically produced.

First song “Name” sounds traditional like a Gaelic lullaby Loney Dear’s clear vocals and slow- building synth sounds reminding us that simplicity in art does not diminish its power.

“My heart” (currently free to download via Polyvinyl’s website) shares downer lyrics (‘My heart, what have I done to you?/ (No) sadness, no disappointment’) but through innovative use of a basic church bell sound, the song becomes magically inspiring and upbeat. It’s a common theme on the record for Loney Dear, adding a new instrument at the end; the new expression of sound brings something significant.

After touring the U.S. for the ‘Dear John’ record in 2009, Emil Svanangen (a.k.a. Loney Dear) played shows with a chamber orchestra throughout Sweden. This comes into action around fourth song “Calm Down”, the song drawing on a spectrum of orchestral instrumentation. The highlight, a xylophone to close the number with notes of sheer happiness.

Where “I Dreamed About You” focuses stringed instruments, “Largo” uses synthesizer- based percussive warmth and a horn section. ‘Hall Music’ brings such variety of sounds and instrumentation in coalition with genuine vocals. For it is the emotive quality in Loney Dear’s voice— and truth in his lyrics— that make the deep impact.

Sarah Ferguson


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