Solace in Sore Hands


The new Swedish Invasion will not be televised. In fact, it’ll be so quiet and polite you’ll barely notice that it has taken place. Unlike the Swedish garage-rock phenomenon of the early 2000s (the International Noise Conspiracy; The Hives), Amandine belongs to the latest crop of Scandanvian imports, like Peter Björn and John and Nicolai Dunger, whose music is more influenced by classic American folk rock: slow, sad and pretty. Acoustic guitar and piano drive the songs, along with banjo and strings, and Olof Gidlöf’s voice recalls the plaintive urgency of Sufjan Stevens (though Amandine’s songs are not as minimalist and repetitive) and the hushed reverence of Iron and Wine (though their arrangements have more bite and electric guitars). Thanks to Amandine, in 50 years, we may to have to start saying that folk bands from Kansas are influenced by something called “Swedicana.” Do you want this to happen, America? It may already be too late.