Although Slim Loris hails from the land of Ikea and Abba, the Swedish quartet embraces a lot of universal influences, many of whom are of interest to my regular readers. We’re talking 1960s British Invasion, classic rock, and even another genre of music that’s close to my heart: 1990s alternative. That’s not to say that their sound sounds dated. Not at all. In fact, Slim Loris somehow combines the best parts of all of these things and rolls them into one modern-sounding, unstoppable record.
Love and Fear, the band’s sophomore release following 2011’s Down to Earth, finds the band in a good place, just coming off of a tour across the UK, including an appearance at Liverpool’s world-famous Cavern Club, last year. Album opener “Never Danced Sober” embraces a pop backbeat reminiscent of bands like the Searchers, while the rawer feel of “Higher” showcases the band’s introspective side. “Sparkling Sun” conjures some Revolver-era Beatles, “Violet Haze” features a sparkling, catchy guitar riff and playful lyrics, and “Better Than I” shows off the band’s CSNY-like harmonies, proving that there are no filler tracks on the album. Likewise, closer “Once” contains the requisite melancholic summation of thoughts and leaves the listener wanting more.
But it’s lead single “Down” that navigates the band from where they’ve been to where they’re going. The perfect amalgam of their influences and, in fact, the album as a whole, the track is everything that’s right about Slim Loris. Rarely does one hear a band that’s so polished and so poised to take on the titans of Top 40, but this album — especially “Down” — is bound to be one of best indie records of 2015. Do yourself a favor and take a listen, then brag about how you were bewitched by Love and Fear long before any of your hipster friends.