Amason – Sky City (Fairfax Recordings)

Chilly Scandinavian pop to cool down your hot summer

Released Aug 5th, 2015 via Fairfax Recordings / By Ian Stanley
Amason – Sky City (Fairfax Recordings) While this may be the debut album from Sweden’s Amason its members are no strangers to making music. One of the two brothers in the band, Pontus Winnberg, was in Miike Snow and vocalis Amanda Bergman has had her fair share of experience in bands. This could go some way to explaining how Sky City doesn’t seem rushed or over-excited. It has some well measured production on here and the sounds, as well as graphic lyrics about relationships, contribute to it becoming chilly Scandinavian pop to cool down your hot summer.

From its very first track ‘Älgen’, Sky City places Amason alongside the rattling style of Mice Parade, or Mum. The smooth vocals of Amanda Bergman added to the skilled layers of instruments see that the band wastes no time in leaping straight into an icy sea of sound.

Throughout Sky City there are elements taken from their Scandinavian counterparts. For instance, Lykki Li, Emiliana Torrini and First Aid Kit are all brushed upon. And in stand out tracks like ‘NFB’ the track is pushed on by acoustic guitar and chugs forward, very much like Fist Aid Kit. However, on ‘Duvan’ and ‘The Moon As A Kite’ there is an overwhelming footprint of Canada’s Feist - although much of this could be down to similarities in the vocal chirps of Bergman and Feist. Whichever influence shows, Amason clearly have an ability to craft a pop song. Even the songs delivered in Swedish – such as ‘Blackfish’ – have a mainstream or pop element to them.

However, regardless of how this gets to being pop, the album's chilly Scandinavian vibe holds firm and it’s a cooling addition to the summertime records usually launched about now. For the remainder of summer the band is touring around Norway and Sweden, then scooting over the ocean to the US to catch the end of its festival circuit. And with hip swaying melodies like those in ‘Yellow Moon’ they should be able to command the space that their aforementioned Scandinavian counterparts have commanded.

Sky City is crafted to meander and reach through a number of snapshots in life, sentiments and emotions. This results in an album which is stretched, like cling film over a bowl to capture a number of scents and smells. It’s not the greatest, but the range of bands, solo artists and singers that it draws into the final product means it satisfies a number of tastes in a skilful and well-polished way. As well as being an iced bucket for your summer day, it shows promise for a next album and enough of a collective effort to carry out the task.