I have just got hold of the newest release by the Swedish symphonic-pop band Sambassadeur, European. The band hails down from the mysterious city of Göteborg. This city is hometown to some of the most unprecedented music acts today, including: Jens Lekman, jj, Studio, The Knife, Air France, The Tough Alliance, José Gonzalez, El Perro Del Mar, Detektivbyrån, CEO, as well as long gone Ace of Base.
Needless to say, the album is a summery mix between Glaswegian band Camera Obscura and Stockholm-based Concretes, Air France meets The Tough Alliance, lo-fi indie pop and extroverted balearic dance music. Originally being signed by Swedish Labrador Records, it was certain that the band had an immense potential. They were a do-it-yourself take on ABBA, with European marking their transition to musical maturity.
European has an anthemic air over itself. It is their best album to date, with an incredible consistence throughout the entire body of music (c.f. Camera Obscura's album My Maudlin Career).
The portmanteau Sambassaudeur (Samba + Ambassadeur) appropriately encapsulates the spirit of the band: The output is balearic and is a good representative of Swedish music to the exterior world beyond the borders of Scandinavia.
Sandy Dunes: Infused with a beautiful combination of horns and strings, it is a celebratory accolade to the realms of the musical experience. With the same epic-nature of Jóhann Jóhannsson's Virðulega Forsetar, the pop-like status of Coldplay's Viva La Vida and the 50's, 60's girlpop stature of Camera Obscura, it is not difficult to be swayed by this piece.
Days: In the tradition of Swedish balearic pop that, while celebratory, is concerned with isolation and despair, Days is a sad song concealed behind musical grandeur: "Loneliness is something you’re accustomed to". Camus would have nodded in approval.