If “입맛이 없어요” is the only song you listen to from Sweden Laundry’s 2012 album From. Paris, you would be set. Just shy of three minutes, it takes every element that makes From. Paris such a joy and puts it into overdrive, making great use of galloping guitar and a melody that makes you want to move. When it’s over, you won’t be able to stop.
Sweden Laundry make some of the best “coffee shop music” to date. The music is engaging but never intrusive, using everything from waltzy rhythms, saxophone, and electric guitar to compliment the acoustic core. On the first half of the album, the music is more active. “As For Me,” for instance, uses a sultry rhythm to convey the emotions of being “such a fool for you.”
I like the way they use two vocal recordings in the bigger moments of this song, with one building up strength and the other trailing downward. It adds a whole new level of excitement to a song that ends with applause and a quick “thank you” from the band.
The singer has great vocal inflections that give her singing an earnest feel. It works in both the upbeat songs and the more sentimental songs. “동행” is a great example of this, where she almost feels like she’s suffocating with emotion in parts. It’s a moving experience and has a great pay-off when the backing vocals take off.
The longest and most affecting song on the album, “우리가 있던 시간,” plays around with how it feels to take away the backing vocals at an incremental moment. Instead, it replaces where you would expect the backing vocals to lift it off its feet with a short but very effective use of auto-tune.
There’s a lot to like about From. Paris, an album that takes control of all the romantic spectrum of the city of love and puts them to their best use. It’s easy-listening, smooth and all-around pleasant, and it never overstays its welcome, rounding off at just over twenty minutes. It’s short but sweet and definitely worth a listen.