Solo Swede takes on King Herod’s wife and danceability
Sweden’s Hannes Norrvide makes music with a neat knack of conveying both bleak gloom and a weird, rushing euphoria. His choice of equipment has a lot to do with it: supposedly, when he began the Lust For Youth project four years ago, Norrvide recorded everything on an old toy keyboard, and while ‘Perfect View’ might see him employing better gear, this isn’t a Daft Punk album. Rather, it’s 10 discombobulating and frequently terrific pieces of music for synthesizer and voice.
‘Perfect View’ is not, by most reasonable yardsticks, a shot at the mainstream, but it embraces notions of melody and danceability with considerably more warmth than his previous albums. ‘Found Love’, the album’s opener, coasts along on a pared-down drum-machine rhythm, a blissful electro keyboard pattern and a female voice, manipulated so you’re uncertain whether it’s crying or laughing. Vocals, when they appear, are the main element keeping LFY in the realms of the ‘difficult’: Norrvide tends to bark out his lyrics like a drill sergeant in a very echoey cave.
It works, though, as do many of his other curious artistic choices. He ventures into actual dance music for ‘Barcelona’. One source of inspiration for the album was a Swedish novel about King Herod’s wife, though this isn’t remotely obvious from the actual content. And dressing up like he’s going to an Oasis gig in 1997 for the cover photo… well, maybe Norrvide doesn’t pull that off. But more pertinently, he’s made an engrossing, highly original album with disarmingly simple tools.