La Blogothèque

Loney, Dear

We have to give our apologies to Emil for this one. So here’s the story.

Emil, you had a certain lost air about you that night at la Flèche d’Or, all alone in front of a packed, rowdy audience, left solo to defend the songs you knew were much better when they were supported by a band. You seemed to be elsewhere when we approached you. It was noisy, a little too noisy. Outside, the night was black with rain and incessant wind. We kind of came up and tackled you and dragged you off to the front of a church with our typical impudence (always tinted with enthusiasm). We took you off into the night, under the rain, against the wind, and put you under a weak streetlamp. There were about four or five of us, including Jared from Sparrow House. You put us in a circle and kicked off with a softly sung melody, as you typically do in concert. You smiled. We all smiled. But the look you cast wasn’t the most noble when we took to the Flèche d’Or terrace to avoid the rain, especially with that brutal DJ passing by with his tatapoum…

It all came back to us when we bumped into each other several weeks later, this time with the band. The May weather was beautiful. You didn’t understand why we wanted to re-do the videos. In short, we simply wanted to apologize, and offer you the chance to give us your songs in their finest, most proper form, with the band that knows them best. You yielded to the request and, on the way to the café, explained to me that you didn’t feel so well that last time back in February. “I’m not Jens Lekman,” you admitted with a kind of forced laugh. But this time, however, the band was there.

I had written about Loney Dear’s music quite a long time ago. I spoke about a certain music that began on its tiptoes and then grew into something that couldn’t resist blowing up. And this is exactly what happened that afternoon at the café César. The manager gladly welcomed the musicians, and the clientele reacted with goodwill to the discreet and subdued songs. But as time went on, Loney Dear’s songs swelled into something fuller, stronger, and richer. It wasn’t astounding. But it was a kind of whirlwind that began to swallow the air and monopolize the space, showing just how small the café actually was. Emil sang as if he were running, as if he had never imagined having so much air in his lungs. And behind him, if you look carefully, you’ll see Erika, who could do nothing but smile and beam contentedly from beneath her cap.

The music was far more impressive and beautiful this time around, and Emil was happy to have given it another go. And we were all certainly just as content as he, even if I can’t help but prefer this feverish and artistic version of “Saturday Waits”, which we all sang together that rain-soaked and windy February night…