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Let's Dance to Our Own Beats

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Album Review

The Soft Eyes are a low-key trio from Sweden with strong connections to the Concretes and their off-shoot band Heikki, and Let's Dance to Our Own Beats is their first record. Their sound is built around a simple acoustic guitar, bass and drums foundation, accented with various percussion, melodica and keyboards and topped off by Johan Sigerud and Daniel Varjo's gentle and harmonious vocals. Not too far from Heikki, also not far from Kings of Convenience territory, the album is a charming, relaxed and sweet listen. Their songs are mostly unassuming, preferring to nestle into your consciousness rather than leaping in with big hooks. A couple, like the bouncy "Attitude Problems" (which features Heikki's Maria Eriksson on harmony vocals and Jari Haapalainen on banjo) and "Me and the Others" rise above a whisper but do it with restraint and a light touch. The rest are moody ballads, with the best of the bunch being the achingly melancholy "Let Us All Act Psychotic," the autumnal Simon & Garfunkel-esque "Central Station," the glimmering soft rock ballad "Blast from the Past" (with the gorgeous vocals of Sofia Talvik), and the hypnotic album opener "One of a Kind" which does a fine job of setting the mood right away. As good as their original tunes are though, the towering achievement on the album is their positively breathtaking cover of My Bloody Valentine's "When You Sleep" which again features Maria Eriksson on harmony vocals and recasts the song as a country ballad played on acoustic guitars. It is over way too fast and as it ends two thoughts come to mind; MBV wrote fine songs underneath all the noise, and it would be a good idea for the Soft Eyes to cover all of Loveless. Until they do though, this album will do just fine.

Let's Dance to Our Own Beats, The Soft Eyes
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