[sic] Magazine

Emerald Park – For Tomorrow

It’s time to play ‘catch up’ because For Tomorrow was released in November of 2008. Back then [sic] Magazine was a fledgling with mottled wings and no mother hen to teach us how to fly. I found out about this Malmo quintet through a friend. It’s time I returned the favour.

Of course that friend, Lisa (from the amazing Colibri Collective) knew full well just how much I appreciate Scandinavian music and Swedish music in particular. To this scribe, bands like Jeniferever and Kent rank as highly as Sigur Ros or Coldplay – higher in fact, at this particular moment in time. So recommending Emerald Park to me was a pretty safe bet Missy! But we love you for it anyway.

This is neither post-rock nor stadium rock (although ‘Open’ is a bit Kent in it’s structure). How could we describe For Tomorrow? ‘Indie’ is a decent enough start point. ‘Pop’ a close second. And of course pop is something that Swedes do really well. Think, The Concretes. Think, Peter Bjorn and John. Think, I’m From Barcelona and The Knife. I’ve been to Emerald Park’s Myspace and nodded agreeably at their list of musical influences. Another safe bet. These are my musical influences. These are your musical influences and these are everyones musical influences. (If you read something like [sic] Magazine that is) I say forget the influences. Emerald Park are Emerald Park. Emerald Park are one of those wonderful, contradictory surprises – a band that sounds both unique yet familiar. Their incongruous nature is expanded still further. Emerald Park seem innocent yet knowing, their songs instant yet memorable and their records lo-fi yet well-produced

One aspect is unswerving and that’s the melodic nature of the songs. Few bands do the boy/girl vocal thing as well as Emerald Park ‘Varnhem’ is a warm, folksy reverie that you could bathe in. ‘Lights Of Sunday’, critically acclaimed across Europe, begins in equally folk territory before moving popward. This is hummable, strummable stuff which you might be entitled to expect given that everything was first conceived via the acoustic guitar. Don’t misunderstand me. The album tracks are all fully arranged.

An Emerald Park song is both unplugged yet electrifying.

For Tomorrow is a charming record from a charming band. If they could make the material totally heartbreaking while retaining their songwriting sensibilities they would really be onto something.
Hang on – did Martina Johansson just sing, “Pasadena, you just made me come”? (Intriguing!) I won’t make similar claims for the album but its fun enough that when it finishes you might just want to smoke a cigarette and do it all over again.