Old Amica are a two-man band from Sweden, but are not a two-man band from the same location in Sweden. Johan lives in the capital Stockholm, while Linus lives 650km away in Umeå. Despite this long distance relationship, the pair somehow manage to create intimate and heartfelt music, taking the fundamentals of folk (pretty melodies and vocal harmonies) and sending them spinning through a filter of shimmering electronics. Their previous two releases, The Burning Dot Parts 1 and 2 soundtracked a celestial, post-apocalyptic landscape, a story of lost love and deep space. (Part 2 featured on our favourite free music list). Now the band are readying a brand new album, Fabula, and we were lucky enough to be given a chance to give it a spin ahead of release.
‘Old Oaken Pond’ is the album’s first track to be revealed by the band. It has a breezy beat and some realy nice yearning vocals, particularly in the chorus. The track is also a good illustration of the tone of the record, with a sense of nostalgia and longing palpable.
To my ears, the two standout tracks are the two which break the seven minute barrier – ‘Showers of Light’ and ‘Falling Asleep’. Both are insanely beautiful, the former opening as a hazily strummed folk song with added glockenspiel, before morphing into something altogether bigger, with swirling electronics and electric guitar.The latter is another pretty lo-fi strum until around the two minute mark, where everything converges and then falls once more, before slowly fading out with a forlorn piano line and the refrain.
Fabula is an intricate piece, lovingly crafted with great attention to detail. Old Amica realise that a simple song is not enough, that the small details often matter most. The press release from Moonpalace records puts it rather beautifully, “the songs want to be heard more than once – it is like digging up a treasure chest – and that treasure is filled with an anxious longing for something you fear was only a dream”. I love it when I come across albums such as this, from bands who clearly care about the music they make. The internet gets a lot of negative publicity in regards to its effect on the music industry, but its ability to provide a platform for smaller artists all around the world really is unmatched. I’m just grateful that bands like this exist, and that the internet gives me the opportunity to hear them. This is one of my favourite records of 2014 so far, and I suggest you check it out too.
Fabula will be released on the 26th of March on Moonpalace Records.
P.S. You can also buy a physical copy of both Old Amica’s The Burning Dot releases via the same label. Highly recommended.