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You could call the music of Swedish quintet The Amazing psychedelic, or folk, or whatever you like, but vocalist Christoffer Gunrup is uncomfortable with labels. "If you theorize about the songs, it ruins the tension and passion," he said. "Just shut the f--k up and play, but play good."
The Amazing do, in fact, play good. The group's third album, Picture You, is an effortlessly consuming mix of intertwining guitars and soothing yet melancholic vocals, all set against a pastoral sonic backdrop.
Christoffer Gunrup (vocals, guitar), Moussa Fadera (drums), and Fredrik Swahn (guitar, keys) spoke to The Week about songs that are forgotten gems, and which tunes will put them to sleep. Below, six songs they recommend:
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1. The Cure, "Plainsong"
Gunrup: "It's the best opening song ever to an album in the sense that it puts you right to sleep."
2. Sun Kil Moon, "Alesund"
Gunrup: "That's Mark Kozelek doing just nylon string guitars for the whole album, and this song is one of the most beautiful ones I've heard in many years. And it also sends me to sleep. I always lay down with headphones and try to sleep."
3. Franska Trion, "Karlekens Helvete"
Fadera: "I chose a song from a Swedish band. It's a trio with piano, bass, and drums, and the piano player's singing on it. I really like the way he sings, and the way they play together."
4. Jim Sullivan, "UFO"
Fadera: "It's kind of the same thing there. I like the sound of this song and everything about it."
5. Richard Twice, "If I Knew You Were the One"
Swahn: "This is my favorite song. I think the arrangement and the whole vibe of it is just incredible. It's not so known, so everyone should hear it."
6. Ramona Lisa, "Arcadia"
Swahn: "Chairlift is one of my favorite bands, and I think [Chairlift vocalist Caroline Polachek's Ramona Lisa project] also deserves more attention."
Picture You is out now on Partisan.
(This interview was condensed and edited by Samantha Rollins.)
Watch the video for The Amazing's "Picture You" below:
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