El Perro Del Mar rises from the same Gothenburg, Sweden indie pop scene that has produced artists such as Jens Lekman, Jose Gonzalez, Love is All, and others. What unites El Perro Del Mar (a.k.a. singer/songwriter Sarah Assbring) and these artists, besides geography, may be a certain soft-spoken way with Sweden’s famous prowess for international pop, a gentler touch than their Stockholm peers, from ABBA on down to Robyn.
That touch is mostly felt in Assbring's murmuring vocals, soft-edged to the point of shushing off consonants, alluring in a way that makes you want to lean in closer. It’s a delivery that lets her songs about heartache and loneliness feel like a welcome bed of down pillows, instead of the concrete cell those emotions can be in real life.
On new album Pale Fire, Assbring combines those vocals and her typical melancholy with newly electronic backdrops--including one striking sample of Massive Attack’s “Unfinished Sympathy”-- toying with faint echoes of house and especially of ‘90s trip-hop and chill-out music, as with the deep-muted funk bass, piano chords, and busy-skittering backbeat of single “Hold Off the Dawn.” – Eric Grandy, Google Play
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