Slim Loris are an alternative indie/folk rock band from Stockholm, Sweden. They say about themselves: “Slim Loris blends Indie Pop/Rock with Americana and a pinch of Swedish melancholy.” The band consists of just two members; Mattias Cederstam (vocals, bass, piano) and Robert Barrefelt (guitars). But when the band play live Jonas Ellenberg (drums) and Leon Lindström (guitars and vocals) join the group. The band formed in 2009 from the remnants of two indie acts and released a collection of demos entitled Amateur Night at the Asylum the year after.
In 2011, Slim Loris’ debut album Down To Earth was released led by the first single Low, showing the band’s fine-tuned song writing skills and classic rock sense of melody. Now Slim Loris are releasing their follow up album entitled Future Echoes and Past Replays which is an album with a mature, emotionally charged sound showing progression in the band’s song-writing and production. The new record is due to be released on May 19.
To get an idea of Slim Loris’ sound think of Del Amitri, Ryan Adams and City and Colour. Now take all the best bits from these artists and you have a good description of Slim Loris’ music. They are a bit alternative rock, country and folk all rolled into one. Cederstam’s vocals are gravelly, husky yet surprisingly pleasant.
Future Echoes and Past Replays starts off as an upbeat album musically while the lyrics are quite dark, these things juxtapose each other making it an immediately interesting album – it’s not all airy fairy and pleasantries here. The album does get even darker and by the third track Domestic, the record has taken a turn. Track one Fear of Flying is very Del Amitri-esque while track two Head On The Floor is more folk inspired with the banjo being a prominent instrument from the first second. Track three Domestic is a fantastic track which has some blues influences seeping through. It also features a woman’s voice which really adds something to the song, it’s definitely one of the best songs on the record. The brilliant blues inspired guitar riff at the beginning sets a more melancholy sound than previous tracks. The spot-on harmonies and call and response type lyrics of “You used to laugh at all my jokes and you’d never turn me down but now you’re closed/Your new dress code is comfortable but you’re never late/You point out all the faults I make/And you’ll stay right here with me…You used to bring me flowers for no reason/We’d talk for hours without end/Now you are just sat there staring at the screen, expecting to get waited on…” are absorbing. You are instantly captivated – it’s like you’re placed into an argument as the middle man. While I Breathe, In Silence and I Will Forget are the ballads of the album.
Visions of Tomorrow is another wonderful song which sums up the title of the record. It’s a song all about regrets. It’s about wondering what you could have done better, it’s quite sad in its own way. The lyrics “Happiness found its way passed me, found a way to flee/Loneliness has walked right next to me and now it’s all I see/It’s all I’ll ever be/And everything I’ve lost is all I’ve ever known has made me turn my head…to the place where I once walked and what I should have done/It’s made me turn my head around…” demonstrates the past regrets held and the strong willingness to change, to stop there being any more regrets. It’s a real eye-opener of a song, just listen carefully to the lyrics and you’ll see a whole other side to this track.
Clean As A Whistle builds the album back up from the slightly depressing songs in the middle ground of the record, it’s a fun song. It has strong folk influences from the beginning. Clean As A Whistle is a relatively bouncy number in comparison to the previous tracks. Norah is very much like the beginning of a Ryan Adams song. It’s more country than the other songs on the album. It’s a really pleasant song with a lot of different layers allowing you to become fully immersed in it. The verses are quite stripped back and the vocals are croaky, passionately sung and almost as if Cederstam is choked up with emotion.
Awakening is the last song on album. Awakening is full of emotion. The first lyrics are sung with cracked vocals, “All a mess inside/My thoughts have left me/Not knowing what’s in or out/I grab hold of whatever I can/Clinging on so hard/It leaves a mark inside my hands.” The chorus “I will follow you whenever/To crawl from me/Despite of my fear/I will leave this broken creature far behind and go/Just help me carry my mental load…” introduces an intriguingly vulnerable character. These intense lyrics combined with the softly played piano really tugs at the heart strings. It’s a raw song where vulnerable feelings are being expressed. It’s a masterpiece of emotions. The song slowly builds but the emotion behind the song is not comprised.
Slim Loris’ Future Echoes and Past Replays is a brilliant album full of passion, emotion and the odd few uplifting numbers. Slim Loris have been described as Sweden’s Mumford & Sons but there is definitely a more serious and melancholy side to Slim Loris. Their songs capture the essence of human emotions in a raw, provocative and enhancing way. Future Echoes and Past Replays is not to be missed.
Future Echoes and Past Replays is available from May 19. Visit Slim Loris for more details.