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Until the Sadness Is Gone

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Album Review

Continuing Friendly Fire Records' somewhat belated catch-up on the prodigious output of Swedish indie poppers David & the Citizens, Until the Sadness Is Gone is a big step up from the somewhat spotty self-titled EP. (Two songs from that EP, "Graycoated Morning" and the winsome, jangly "Let's Not Fall Apart," are repeated here to no ill effect.) The band's obvious points of comparison are still valid, particularly late-era Elephant 6 bands like Of Montreal or Elf Power. Briskly strummed acoustic guitars, rat-a-tat drumming, and a smartly deployed horn section are the key elements in the arrangements, giving the album the crispness and urgency familiar to fans of older Swedish indie acts like the Wannadies and Eggstone, but Until the Sadness Is Gone lacks the airy, occasionally twee quality endemic to some of those bands. (Exhibit A: the Cardigans.) With his somewhat overstuffed, wordy lyrics and knack for smartly deployed bridges and key shifts, leader David Fridlund often recalls both the New Pornographers' Carl Newman and the Decemberists' Colin Meloy, but he's a less distinctive singer and lyricist than either. That said, breathless little indie pop rushes like the rhythmically inventive title track, with its maddeningly catchy bassline hook, and the Ted Leo-like ska-pop bounce and sarcastic lyrics of "Long Day" are hugely satisfying on their own merits.


Formed: 1999 in Malmö, Sweden

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Swedish indie pop band David & the Citizens was begun by vocalist/guitarist David Fridlund in 1999, who by 2000 recruited Conny Fridh (bass), Alexander Madsen (guitar), Mikael Carlsson (drums), and Magnus Bjerkert (trumpet). The band issued a handful of LPs and EPs (mostly on Swedish label Adrian) and found success in their home country (they received a nomination for a Swedish Grammy in 2004), though had not released anything in North America aside from Fridlund's solo album Amaterasu via Hidden...
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Until the Sadness Is Gone, David & The Citizens
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