Next Stop: Horizon We Know Exactly Where We Are Going

Next Stop: Horizon We Know Exactly Where We Are Going
The biggest problem with the debut album by Sweden's Pär Hagström and Jenny Roos is their choice of band name. Next Stop: Horizon is rather awkward and forgettable, two notions that nothing audible on We Know Exactly Where We Are Going comes close to approaching. Rather, the album is elegant and moving, with the quality of lyricism and composition in the individual songs making the press release's reference to Kurt Weill entirely apt. Some of the tracks are truly heart wrenching, yet never too far from an undercurrent of quirkiness, thanks to their unusual and evolving instrumentation. A field recording loop of coins, typewriter and other sounds takes sea chantey "Telekinesis" into an accordion riff and bullhorn vocals, later joined by radio static and screaming children, punctuated by a drunken falsetto choir. The use of chicken-like vocals replicating brass on "She's A Ghost" is a stroke of genius, a technique bent to different uses on other tracks, like piano-driven psych rag "Tiny Wings" and gut-punching ballad "Ship in a Bottle." Everyone will likely identify with "One of those Nights," with Hagström's Dan Mangan-like rasp weeping about cutting himself (out) over a stripped down electric guitar and accordion drone instrumental. Contrastingly, "Love ss All" is a continually rising carnival-esque sing-along marching to the Butterfly Ball. We Know Exactly Where We Are Going is sonically interesting and thematically engaging, destined to age like fine wine. If heard by all, it would be an instant classic. I just hope that vague, colon penetrated name doesn't hold them back. (Tapete)