I tend to like it when a record carries that slick, careful craftsmanship characterized by Swedish pop. (Listen closely, it's not too hard to hear). I like it when an album is championed by Mr. New York Times Magazine write-up Andrew Bird. I also like it when an album brings to mind some weird mixture of Belle and Sebastian, Nico, Xiu Xiu and somehow more self-loathing than Thom Yorke, without what would seem to be an inevitable layer of pretension.
The new album Dear John by Emil Svanangen (who is indeed an actual Swede), a.k.a. Loney Dear manages, yes, to fit into all three of those categories.
Since some of us (hello, New York) are under a few inches of snow, with the light at the end of winter's tunnel a very vague twinkle, a record like this seems quite well-timed.