There is a beauty in the latest release from Sweden’s Slim Loris, yet is not easily definable. At times it is the way that vocalist/bassist/pianist Mattias Cederstam’s slightly gravelly vocals slide across each song like a breeze drifting over water. In other moments it is the nature of the lyrics, which run the gamut from thought-provoking to happy, with stops in between at humorous and bittersweet, all of which give the album an inherent and undeniable meatiness. Sometimes it’s just the music itself, which is a pleasing combination of Americana, rock and folk, with tinges of pop and country thrown in for good measure. This is a well-crafted releases that begs for your attention so you can decide for yourself just how many different ways it is beautiful.
Cederstam & Co. introduce us to a range of emotions that get your attention. The opener, “Fear of Flying,” is lively, upbeat and just plain whimsical, and “Head on the Floor” is some enjoyable handclap-happy Americana that will make you want to join in the fun. The somber piano and strings ballad “While I Breathe” changes the pace a bit and “Awakening” has the sort of swelling rock and roll sound that well make the hair on your neck stand up as it deftly mirrors a moment of clarity and purpose in a person’s life.
Add to this the lyrical depth on this record and you have a powerhouse experience. Whether Cederstam says, “Happiness found its way past me/ And I just let it be” on the Americana rock track “Visions of Tomorrow,” or brings some levity to the album with lines like “I am clean as a whistle/ Clean as a whistle/ Depending on where/ The whistle has been” from “Clean as a Whistle,” there is a vulnerability on this record that is spectacular to behold. And on perhaps the album’s most stirring moment, when he sings, “You are the pride of my life/ I will save/ The memory of you till the last/ But I’ll forget you in the end” on the heartbreaking “I Will Forget,” it is next to impossible not to be moved by this sequence.
This is one hell of a record. You might not know who Slim Loris is, but you should take the time to get acquainted with them. Future Echoes and Past Replays is a delicate, rapturous look at the future and the past and how they all collide in the present — and it is an album you will not soon forget.