Granada Takes A Lot Of Walking

I guess not every musician in Sweden wants to be Iggy Pop after all. From the sound of Granada, some want to be Neil Young. This six-piece folk-pop collective — think Belle & Sebastian with a country flair — have here crafted a thoroughly intoxicating blend of Young’s rough-hewn Harvest sound with the dynamics of The Velvet Underground & Nico. Co-lead vocalists Anna Jarvinen and Magnus Vikstrom make for a compelling pair, but it is her icily clear soprano that cuts deepest, best heard on the delicate piano ballad "Everyplace We Went.” The rest of the band does well to toil in the background, only asserting themselves when absolutely necessary, as with the gorgeous introductory soundscape on "To Die For” and on the Fairport-ish "Going Back To The City.” As with Sigur Rós, this is clearly music from a cold, desolate country, and something we here in Canada should easily connect with too. But Granada also has good songs, a fact that can’t be overlooked when so many bands lately are sacrificing them in favour of atmospherics. A gracefully understated effort and one worth discovering. (Look Left)