A few days ago I recall tweeting something along the lines of “all I want for Christmas is a new El Perro Del Mar album”. Am I going to get what I asked for? No, frankly, as Pale Fire, the new album by Swedish chanteuse Sarah Assbring is set to arrive – according to her freshly launched website – at some point in 2012. Still, if ‘What Do You Expect’ is anything to go by, the agonising wait for new material has been more than worth it.
Obviously influenced heavily by the skeletal beats and ice cold intimacy of The xx (who Assbring covered wonderfully throughout her 2009 tour), ‘What Do You Expect’ is a strange beast indeed. Stripped entirely of the usual traits you’d expect to find in an EPDM song – most noticably Assbring’s achingly gorgeous croon – what we have here is an instrumental with scattershot samples of social commentary: “This community has been neglected by the government / What do you expect?” –
perhaps hinting at the recent London riots or the ever changing political landcscape of Assbring’s Swedish homeland. Regardless, for a comeback track this is as bold and different as it gets and one that we can only applaud.
EDIT: Discovered this explanation of the song over on EPDM’s new – fairly discreetly hidden – tumblr.
Around the time of the riots flaring across the UK, I was wrapped up in work on an album which in many ways is about living in a time where there’s little hope, little future and what times like these do to people. I felt I needed to say something about the incidents since I feel they speak volumes not only of one society in specific but about the society and time we live in at large.