Rife with the twang of 12-string Rickenbackers galore, harmonies, melody and swinging beats – this is the embodiment of Arvidson & Butterflies and their self-titled debut album. What makes this a bit more interesting is that this six-piece band hails from Gothenburg, Sweden, where Roger Arvidson is a veteran of the scene there for many years (most notably, having been with The Remains – no, not that Remains!); here, he showcases his knack for writing clean, crisp and flawlessly hummable power-pop anthems and his crack bandmates are as deft at fleshing out these songs as he is at writing them. Picture a mix of The Byrds, Petty, Twilley, a little Big Star/Teenage Fanclub and you’ve got it. Interestingly, amongst his influences include The Who, Paul Weller and The Undertones (scores major points with me, unsurprisingly).
“Tired Of Running” opens the album at a frantic pace – 2:29 of shimmering Ric riffs, tight harmonies and a 1966-kind of vibe, with delicious fills of guitar and Hammond B3; “Lights Go Out” has that kind of pop sweetness that automatically induce positive chills (note the very subtle guitar harmonies) and “Changing All The Time” takes you back to those early runaway train style Tom Petty tracks and some of the finest harmony this side of McGuinn, Clark, Crosby and Hillman. “I Want What I Can’t Have” comes straight from the Dwight Twilley book of mastery and is one of the best moments of this album (which, it has to be said is full of high points); “Say That” is just plain gorgeous with those opening acoustic and electric guitars mixed; “Not A Dream” is lush and dramatic and “The Spring Birds” is softly psychedelic, with staggering orchestral arrangements and is a touching way to close this incredible collection.
This is one of those albums – 12 tracks out of 12 – that simply screams “YES”. Everything about it is right; kudos to Roger Arvidson and his Butterflies for taking it to a new high – I want more.
Arvidson & Butterflies’ s/t debut is available now