Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

"Swedish Love Story"

Owen Pallett – Swedish Love Story
29 September 2010, 12:00 Written by Danny Wadeson

Owen Pallett’s last release was the beautiful, neo-classical epic Heartland, a record that was progressive, avant-garde and of peerless beauty and vision. It’s no surprise then that I anticipated a romance of my own with his new four-track EP Swedish Love Story.

Surreally titled opening track ‘The Man With No Ankles’ sounds instantly like a more melodic off-cut from Heartland in the best possible sense. It’s also a little more straightforward; the track gallops along, joyous refrain following joyous refrain in a more accessible vein, despite the really quite upsetting imagery of the song title.

Second track ‘Scandal At The Parkade’ proceeds then to knock ‘The Man With No Ankles’ right out of the park…ade. Taut, urgent, violin flurries are overlaid with a pizzicato melody that speaks of gorgeous vistas and maybe flying. Pallet’s vocals coalesce briefly for a line here, then evaporate into a sumptuous tone shift there. The violins keep the pace up wonderfully and by the time the arrangement fades suddenly to a single string that is picked up by a brief minor key change to end the song, I was left breathless. I played it back about three times in succession before even trying out the rest of the EP.

The remaining two songs are both similarly melodic, veering away from some of the darker, but ultimately life-giving passages of Pallett’s last LP. It’s an approach that makes this four-track accessible and rewarding, and though the lack of modal diversity does leave it feeling a little light hearted, I think Pallett deserves the break.

Unashamedly pretty and very compelling, Owen Pallett has just proved to me that he’s as wonderful in 17-minute chunks as he is in hour-long heart-rending epics. The man formerly known as Final Fantasy is not the only living artist to fuse classical sensibilities with indie credentials but rarely is it done with such consummate skill as this. Spin this and you’re likely to be transported into Pallett’s favourite film from which the title is taken, blossoming romance and all.


Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next