Loney Dear

Loney Dear Biography

Loney, Dear is the disguise of multi-instrumentalist and audio home-cooking expert Emil Svanängen. While the outside world rushes by unaware, Emil conjures Loney, Dear songs alone in his tiny Stockholm studio apartment, or in the basement of his parents’ house in Jönköping. Using a very modest home studio set-up, with a minidisc microphone and a set of headphones to avoid disturbing his neighbors, he has recorded and then released himself on CD-R four albums in the last two or three years. When Emil recently moved and had to get rid of his floor lamp, he finally budged and bought his first mic stand.

Nils-Emil Svanängen was born on March 26th, 1979 in Jönköping, Sweden (home of The Cardigans). Most musical impressions were made during his early childhood: Kraftwerk, A-ha and especially Brian Eno’s contributions to Joshua Tree perked his ears. At age 8 Emil took up the clarinet, and simultaneously developed an interest in combining synthesizer music with ornate pop. His early teens focused on troubadour-style singing and guitar playing, and in his later teens he fronted his own jazz piano trio. A favorite mix-tape of that time had the Arne Domnérus Septet on one side, and Refused on the reverse. In more recent years Emil has developed a nearly manic approach to his songwriting: hard work and more hard work, with an emphasis on experimentation being the only recipe. Textural new-comers like clarinets, floor toms and pump organs serve to enhance the sonic landscape surrounding beautiful melodies that sometimes echo age-old church hymns.

With Loney, Dear, Emil has managed some impressive small victories, pretty much on his own. By August 2005 Loney, Dear had sold well over three thousand inexpensively produced, hand-made and home-designed albums at shows or by word of mouth alone. Sweden’s biggest daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter published a full story on Loney, Dear, overshadowing whatever else the music industry machinery was shoving down consumer throats at the moment: “I’ll let you in on a secret. One of Sweden’s, if not the world’s, absolutely best bands right now is called Loney, Dear.” Swedish radio has so far been playing random tracks from each of the four albums. Vice magazine had the following to say about the self-released version of Loney, Noir: “I read my horoscope the other day and it said that I would fall in love with my girlfriend, again. Well, I have and Loney, Dear are at least partly responsible…” Loney, Dear has shared stages with Sonic Youth, Bloc Party, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Devendra Banhart, Smog, Joanna Newsom, etc. With the fall 2006 UK release of the Sologne album (via Something in Construction) and Sub Pop’s Feb. 2007 release of Loney, Noir, we’re betting Loney, Dear won’t be a secret for long.

On stage Emil is joined by friends Samuel Starck (keyboards), Malin Ståhlberg (tambourine, vocals, keys), Ola Hultgren (drums), and David Lindvall (bass). Layer upon layer, adding instrumentation and vocals, the songs on Loney, Noir seem to bloom like time-lapse photography, depicting glimpsed scenes of modern disaffection and timeless yearning. Somebody described the music of Loney, Dear as, ”soulful indie folk with a powerful mini orchestra” which is likely the closest call to date. You decide.

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