Slim Loris ushering in the British Invasion with “Love and Fear”
Mattias Cederstam (singer/bassist) and Robert Barrefelt (guitarist) realized in 2009 that they had something. I guess they didn’t know what yet, but with the addition of Jonas Ellenberg (drummer) and Leon Lindström (singer/guitarist), they had Slim Loris. After releasing a set of demos titled Amateur Night at the Asylum and the album Down to Earth in 2010 and 2011 respectively, the world began to take notice of their poppy 60’s British Invasion sound. Pretty soon, the quartet would move on to release even more successful albums that would earn them high praise for their joyful anthems and somber ballads. With Slim Loris, it seems as though the much-loved British rock/pop of the past might be able to make a swift return to the airwaves.
Their latest album titled Love and Fear starts off with the track “Never Danced Sober”, and it really does sound like it. I wasn’t very impressed to start off, but the soothing track soon grew on me, and before long I was swaying to the harmonies. Leon and Mattias’s voices seem to just magically weave together perfectly in a lackadaisical, but pleasant manner which gives the song a certain oomph despite the relaxed pace.
Another track which piqued my interest was “Sparkling Sun”, a song which just screams old-time British pop. Small observation: Slim Loris certainly knows how to make someone move. It’s in tracks like these where someone can best pick out the great electric guitar that really adds the kick which keeps the psychedelic tracks moving forward. Even in “Once”, which is the final song on the album, the electric guitar is hauntingly conspicuous. The fantastic combination of vocals and strings in this track really sent chills down my spine, and certainly has my vote for the most memorable track on the album. Although a bit less cheery in comparison to the others (odd that they would finish up with this in that sense), it certainly shows that Slim Loris is not a one-dimensional band in the least.
But if we put too much focus on one instrument, it might lead us to neglect another spectacular talent on the band’s roster. In “Going Home”, you hear Ellenburg’s spectacular drumming which is somehow reminiscent of reggae (an entirely different genre altogether), adding another dimension of flavour to the already impressive sound which Slim Loris puts on display in their album. “Better Than I” also has exemplary performances from both the guitars and percussion, as the acoustic leads the drums while wonderfully soothing vocals mix and mingle in harmony to churn out one of the most soothing songs I’ve heard in a long time.
Another track of note is “A House of Our Own”, which again brings back the reggae vibe, complete with a set of nice horns and a beat you can rock to all night long. It seems that if Slim Loris is to be found lacking in any department, it won’t be range. They pull this song off with aplomb, summoning up a very happy-go-lucky vibe that can keep your head bobbing long after the song has ended.
All in all, Slim Loris is something else. In spite of the risk of sounding uncultured, I’ll admit it. British pop/rock is not any of the usual sounds coming out of my earphones (if at all) but I’ve decided to change that fact. What the band has here is a truly unique, multidimensional album that isn’t afraid to poke a toe in other genres. I would highly recommend giving these guys and their new album Love and Fear a listen if you haven’t already.