Dear John is Loney Dear's moment. It's the sound of an artist starting to fly.
Ian Wade 2009
Loney Dear is the work of one man, multi-instrumentalist Emil Sanangen. Since 2003, he's been quietly releasing albums to a gradually building word-of-mouth fanbase, and with Dear John – his fifth – Emil has made what he considers to be his masterpiece.
Emil's music as Loney Dear operates in the area marked 'lovely'. As is mostly the case with his fellow Swedish acts, he shares a sweet melancholy that you can cuddle up to. Dear John is the fifth and final part of his odyssey so far – it's billed as both a love letter to himself and a goodbye note to his loved ones – with delicate thoughts and gestures throughout. Those concerned for Emil's state of mind should relax however, as it doesn't spell the end for Loney Dear, just the 'first phase'.
Dear John sees Emil singing of life, and why it's worth living. Offering 11 doses of ever-evolving magic pitched somewhere around the worlds of Flaming Lips and Brian Wilson - an area that’s been reasonably well ploughed over of late - Emil manages to find fresh new magic with which to melodically beguile.
It's fairly perfect throughout with the gentle shuffling urgency of Everything Turns To You, the soft focus dramatics of I Got Lost and the perfect haze of Summers. Under A Silent Sea calvacades into a light rave crescendo that could be mixed up and have shapes thrown at it, while the album closer and title track emits a slow dazzle of martial drums and brass giving you a pleasing send off into the night.
Dear John is Loney Dear's moment. It's the sound of an artist starting to fly. It's also an invitation to you to discover what came before, and a chance to envelope yourself and investigate a whole new world of a new favourite artist.