Swedish producers/vocalists Louise Lindenger and Håkan Persson originally spearheaded indie folk act Stranded Mermaid in 2013. The Småland natives were joined in their venture by a vast and varied ensemble of musicians, consisting of drummer Nathanaël Bartolo, percussionist Jens Torvaldsson, guitarist Andrea Bohlin, violinist Veronika Jönebratt, bassist Gustav Magnusson and vocalist Matilda Westergren.
Citing both traditional folk music and the movie scores of Italian composer Ennio Morricone as influences, the band released their debut album, Dark Downbeat Film Noir soon after their formation. It was followed up by the singles “My Last Summer on Earth” and “In the Jaws of the Wolf” last year, both of which garnered a lot of online praise and attention.
The octet didn’t waste much time before shifting their focus back to writing and recording fresh material for 2015. This led to the creation of their latest offering, “If Dragons Could Cry”, which hit iTunes on May 4th.
The new track echoes slowly in amid a plethora of intriguing musical effects. Hushed but haunting vocals soon arrive to narrate the opening verse. It all gradually unfolds towards a spirited and sonorous chorus that’s brought to life by stirring instrumentation and a heartfelt harmony. While things tone down again afterwards, it doesn’t take long for passionate percussion and rousing guitars to slowly creep back in. They ensure that the proceedings remain busy and characterful between choruses.
Stranded Mermaid have put together a piece that’s quite ambitious and exotic, yet accessible and melodic. Its extraordinary execution maintains a consistently upbeat and affecting ambience. The whole thing exhibits a fascinating fusion of classic folk and distinctive ethnic motifs that afford it a strikingly unique sound.
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