Review : Fredrik - Flora
PitchforkThe third album by the Swedish band Fredrik is cut from same cloth as Trilogi, their beguiling second release. They like finely textured guitars and electronics, quasi-classical embellishments, miniature clockwork percussion, and windy vocals placed high in the mix. Flora definitely has that Fredrik feel, which is like a Scandinavian Radiohead, or the Notwist at their duskiest. But while Trilogi was rooted in folk and trip-hop, Flora seems to take more cues from dance music, in its distant post-rock way. The motif at the beginning of "Rites of Spring" passes within spitting distance of Culture Beat's "Mr. Vain", and you'll hear a greater emphasis on pittering snares, hand percussion, and arpeggiated synths than before. Where Trilogi was more focused on rococo leaps and hesitations, Flora draws out a stiffened pulse.
The record opens with the kind of sonic foliage that was allowed to flourish more freely on Trilogi: "Ylva", where an otherworldly voice lifts out of chimes. But the first proper song, "Vattenfront", takes a crashing turn. Waves of horns course through a tight circuit of bass and snippy percussion, establishing a feint-and-attack pattern that carries on into the Knife-like "Chrome Cavities" and several other songs. This new approach is kind of a trade-off. The downside is that the subtleties feel flatted by all the smoke and thunder; the upside is that some adrenaline pumps into Fredrik's even-tempered sound. But a couple of the most unequivocally appealing songs clear out more space around the singing. On "Inventress of Ill (and Everything)", the kind of squeal that steamrolls some songs is relegated to a more helpful role, coloring a quiet melody in the background. There's some room to breathe and sink into this pulse Fredrik are exploring. You want to lean in, rather than back....full text
ThephoenixDreamy Swedish electropop outfit Fredrik bring a mellow collection of tunes stateside with their third album. The music is much easier to understand than furniture-assembly directions from another popular Swedish export, and like that furniture, Flora isn't particularly flashy, but it's so outrageously lovely, it seems to fit any time, mood, or place. The catchy "Chrome Cavities" is as gentle as rain, perking up with pattering percussion under an eerie, whining synth, a creepy, childlike xylophone cutting in and out under the electronics. "Rites of Spring" kicks up the pace through electronic beats and clattering synth rhythms that drive the music under velvety vocals from singer Fredrik Hultin and harmonies from Anna Moberg. Uninitiated Fredrik listeners might get hooked on "Vattenfront," a track full of warm twinkling beats featuring woodsy percussion similar to that heard last year on Go, the solo record from Sigur Rós's Jónsi. For the downright weird, "The Shape and Color of Things Gone Blind" is eerily beautiful, thanks to insistent xylophone-like percussion, spacy synths, and breathy melodies. It can be tough to create mood-driven music without becoming overdramatic; Flora showcases Fredrik's sonic intuition and passion for the obscure....full text
VentvoxSwedish electronic trio Fredrik are streaming their new album “Flora” on the front page of YouTube today! Check out the dense and folksy tracks while following a wolf hood ornament through the beautiful woodsy terrain of the band’s scenic hometown of Malmo. “Flora” is available via Kora Records on April 12th but you’ll be slighting yourself if you miss out on the stunning visuals....full text
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