Published Mar 31, 2009I wasn't the only one who wasn't blown away with El Perro del Mar's follow-up to her breathtaking self-titled debut full-length. Our reviewer also felt From the Valley to the Stars severely lacked the atmosphere of its predecessor, and that Sarah Assbring underperformed with her songwriting. But when word came that Ms. Assbring would be stepping into the studio with countryman Rasmus Hägg from, erm, Studio, well, there was potential for something perhaps even more magical than her first album.
A new EP of that collaboration has now arrived in the form of Love Is Not Pop. First single "Change of Heart" has been floating around the web for a month or so but it's the lead-off track, "I Gotta Get Smart," that immediately erases any prior disappointment from my memory. Hägg's warm, breezy instrumentation recalls a bit of Zen-like Steely Dan, Spiritualized's Lazer Guided Melodies and of course, Studio's Balearic beach placidity. This, wrapped around Assbring's tender pipes, makes for the exact listening experience I was hoping for from this partnership.
No word has been given as to whether it will get a North American release yet but on Wednesday (April 1), Assbring's Swedish label Licking Fingers will be putting out the record, which I assume will be available digitally for the world to own.
El Perro del Mar "I Gotta Get Smart"