Review : Fredrik Kempe - Trilogi
PitchforkIt's easier to seem resourceful when you're working with slender means, as any glo-fi upstart could tell you. But this Swedish ensemble, centered around the LK's Fredrik and Lindefelt, is sophisticated and ingenious. Trilogi, a collection of three limited-edition EPs doubling as a sophomore LP, has a sneaky, consistent sound that's immediate and yet full of surprises. The glinting guitar and twisty vocal harmonies of opening track "Vinterbarn" establish the album's gusty cadence, but piano ornaments keep it from stagnating. The songs finally begin to run together in the final third or so, but it's gorgeous and clever throughout.
Massed, ethereal singing dominates, half the time in wordless harmonies; the other half in winsome folk-pop verses. It's indebted to Scandinavian folk music, but might remind North American listeners of Thom Yorke, or Neil Young at his most otherworldly-- especially on the lingering "Milo". Fredrik rely heavily on finger-picked arpeggios, textured finely with reverb effects. Minimal electronic rhythms pulse through lean, cavernous arrangements. There are waltzes and ballads, chased with trip-hop and synth-pop. The songs come together like puzzles, the pieces scattered on the floor and gradually snapped together in way that feels both meticulous and organic....full text
PopmattersFredrik, an outgrowth of the Swedish group the LK, released its first album in 2008. Trilogi seems a little softer, a little less song-reliant, and a little more trusting of the listener’s willingness to absorb an atmosphere that is something like the mysterious and distant organic stir you hear when you put your head underwater. It’s a tink and an mmm fluttering in the current. A thumb piano, a harp, an ooh-ooh chorus, and some husky, harmless male singing creates an altogether ethereal, foresty sound. The spaces between the sharper notes in “Vanmyren” suggest a classical Japanese influence, and the human voice here is sometimes intrusive, nailing the ethereal to the present with the specificity of words. It might be at its best in “Ner” where every line it sings is echoed by a harp and then swarmed by the angel choir, leaving it on the borderline between being concealed and revealing everything, a stripteasing phantom....full text
QromagWhen reading about Fredrik, you'll see a healthy dose of Animal Collective (QRO album review), Grizzly Bear
(QRO live review), and Sigur Rós (QRO live review) tossed in to describe the Swedish duo's one-of-a-kind, understated folk, infused, experimental pop. There may be hints of those indie music icons, but the Malmö-based duo's sonic creations suggest obliviousness to the contemporary pop culture. After all, according to frdrk.org, they are "dimension-traveling forest foxes". These sylvan creatures, Fredrik Hultin and Lindefelt, with help of four backing members, evoke the mystery and aura of a timeless, woodsy surreal world on their sophomore effort, Trilogi.
Fredrik's acclaimed debut, Na Na Ni, embarked on a sound oddity journey to a dark, windy world with a childhood innocence; the follow up, Trilogi, continues the trek but the author(s) have grown up to be an introspective young adult with fantastic nightmares. Comprised of three limited edition EPs, Trilogi's 13 songs, which are titled in Swedish but sung in English, may be more challenging than other artsy, high concept album like Owen Pallett's Heartland (QRO review). The first three songs are from Holm, approximately translates to "Frozen Forest Island", the next four songs belong to Ava ("Water Through Sound"), and the last five tracks fall in Ner ("The Inside Underground"). The press release for the album doesn't make it any easier for the casual listener to understand: "They represent a trilogy of contemporized viewpoints of the Lovecraftian dream passage - orientation at great cost and understanding at the risk of sanity."...full text
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