[sic] Magazine

Boys – Rest In Peace

Swedish label PNKSLM have a knack for picking up precocious talent. This time around it’s 22-year-old Stockholm artist Nora Karlsson, her severely chill debut album Rest In Peace in tow (of course an artist called Boys wouldn’t be made up of a band of boys – how behind the times are you?!) Karlsson also plays guitar and contributes backing vocals in HOLY and it’s with that band’s Hannes Ferm that she first settled down to record a couple of well-received EPs and then again last year to produce the sumptuous long-player Rest In Peace. And the lightly psychedelic result isn’t really all that far from this year’s overly busy HOLY LP, All These Worlds Are Yours – the stripped-back and kaleidoscopic lounge-pop of “Hemtjänsten” in particular – but Karlsson’s album is a far more nuanced listen overall.

The original version of lead single “End Of Time” was written when Karlsson was just 17 and it’s now an impossibly fragile synth-pop exercise that simply needs wrapping in cotton wool, but it’s the utterly gorgeous “Rabbits” (also part of a 2017 split 7″ with label mates Magic Potion) that continues to make the biggest impression. Featured on our tips-for-2018 feature late last year on the strength of this track alone, its dreaminess practically defines the word swoonsome, 60s lo-fi jangles emoting heavily over wistful reverb and stuttering, slightly oddball borrows from The Flaming Lips school. The Wayne Coyne love-in continues on the only-slightly-less memorable “That Weekend”, which is like gently swaying in a hammock within the interior of a summer’s-day cloud. Elsewhere soft-focus, billowy synth-pop is the order of the day, the heart-warming “It Is Silly” bubbling just under the surface with gentle guitar-fuzz, Karlsson’s elfin vocal perfectly pitched and ever so Scandinavian. That same guitar-fuzz comes on stronger later during “Love Isn’t On My Mind”, taking alternating bridges with Karlsson’s cutesy chirrup, the two coming together with weirdo FX for an out-there finale. Odd moments like this aside, Rest In Peace makes for a quite magical eternal lullaby.

Best track: “Rabbits”

~Rest In Peace is out May 11th 2018 via PNKSLM.~