Review: Fredrik – Trilogi (The Kora Records)

I’m sick today, but I’m mustering up enough energy to tell you this – the new Fredrik album sure is pretty. Read my review for Blurt or below.

Fredrik’s latest album, Trilogi, is full of delicate, precise, particular music. It’s sweet and pretty without being cloying or pretentious, and the arrangements are cinematic and textured without becoming too grandiose or overly expansive. The duo, comprising its namesake, Fredrik, and multi-instrumentalist Lindefelt, create music that sounds beyond the ways and means of two Swedish guys working on their own. These songs sound like they could only be fleshed out by an orchestra, or at least a large ensemble, wrapping guitars, samples, programming, brushed drums, and a variety of other instruments meticulously around each other.

Many of the album’s tracks are instrumentals. But when Fredrik’s mellifluous tenor floats in over the mix, as on “Ava,” a free-spirited song that remains propulsive by way of a soft electronic backbeat, the music goes from atmospheric to clever and emotive pop. The general atmosphere is hushed and library-like, but the constant details and changes in tone that occur throughout each song render even the most careful moments appealing. There is a lot going on in every track, although the two musicians don’t allow their ideas to get away from them. Sometimes, however, they find their pace in simplicity. “Milo” is such a moment, a lo-fi chamber-pop piece that recalls baroque classical music through its instrumentation and melodic through-line.

Fredrik’s musical rallying cry, such as it is, is eclectic, skillful, and full of subtly impressive moments of harmonious reverie. Trilogi‘s success lies in making blissed-out Scandinavian pop built upon a myriad of feelings and melodies difficult to reduce to any one concept.

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