a melancholy edge
    • FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2009

    • Posted by:

    There is something distinctive about Swedish indiepop, something innate that coats everything in a cotton candy glossy pop melt, a joyous cutesiness that might seem contrived in another context, but for the Swedes, comes without any effort. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, much of Scandinavian indiepop carries a faint melancholy edge (perhaps a defense against, then a reaction to their long winters). Stockholm based Lacrosse exemplifies both of these qualities with incredible enthusiasm in their sophomore album Bandages for the Heart. While their debut album seemed a perfect capture of easy, catchy, punchy, sunshine pop, Bandages for the Heart explores a darker side...often with the same eagerness to capture pain in the upbeat, dancing and singalong inspiring melodies and choruses as the genuine happiness of their previous record.

    The contrast is a stark advantage. When a song like "I See A Brightness" makes the listener want to leap into the air and punch fists with careless happiness, it does so with with an initial impression of utter euphoria...despite lyrics that beg for a lost friend. Somehow the desperation and need expressed in such an unlikely way makes it all the better. "It's Always Sunday Around Here" is a song about the hopelessness of a life gone awry in every way, mistakes and wrong turns, a self aware request for a story with the happy ending, "put some unicorns in there/and some animals that speak. I don't know where I go wrong, but it always ends this way." A plea for the impossible delights of the world, and a song without conviction of things going better nevertheless kicks with flourishes of guitars and a shout along chorus, a spirited fight against the inevitable doom of life, pocketknives slashed in big bright colored INDIEPOP! balloons.

    "My Stop" is a song about suicide, but sang with the cheeky guitars and snaps, verses with ba da da backings, handclaps, and a thrilling ecstatic build up to the chorus that doesn't seem to suit the mood. "Tell all my friends, it's gonna get a whole lot worse" in the form of chanted choruses and angst sliced between the catchiest pop song. Then, of course, there is "We Are Kids," a perfect modern indiepop anthem, with an easily stuck in your head melody, a chorus that demands audience singalong, a song about the problems of identity and decisions, forgetting and regrets, relatable, expressed in this gem with a dark joy that Lacrosse has absolutely perfected. - Laura Yan

    Lacrosse on Tour

    Jul 25 - Contempopranea Festival - Alburquerque Spain

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