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. Unlike the Swedish garage-rockers of the early 2000s (the (International) Noise Conspiracy, the Hives), Amandine belongs to that recent crop of Scandinavian imports, like Peter Bjorn and John and Nicolai Dunger, whose music derives more from 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 and the hushed reverence of Iron & Wine. Thanks to Amandine, we may one day have to say that folk bands from Kansas are influenced by something called “Swedicana.” Do you want this to happen, America? It may already be too late.