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El Perro del Mar


Country of origin:

Sweden

Type of music generally:

Combination pop, sadcore, and twee

Status:

Most recent release, KoKoro (2016)

See also:

El Perro del Mar's site

Wikipedia's entry on El Perro del Mar

El Perro del Mar's Facebook page

Comparisons:

Hard to say, but names that have been mentioned include Camera Obscura, Marissa Nadler, Goldfrapp, Sol Seppy, a minimalist Phil Spector, a melodic Jane Birkin, and a mix of Francoise Hardy and France Gall

Covers/own material:

Own, occasional cover

General comments:

El Perro del Mar is so unique. Her first album reminds me of Camera Obscura—maybe more the music than her vocals. it has that retro, feel-good vibe to it. Her second album may have shades of Marissa Nadler—kinda spooky and haunting. (lasherboy@gmail.com)

charming pop (christina_skov@hotmail.com)

Pitchfork magazine says El Perro del Mar's music "can sound at once classic, festive, and hopelessly depressed," which is a far better description that any I could come up with. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Recommended first album:

Any

Recordings:

  • Baby, I've been in a bad place (cdr-ep 2004)
  • I've got good news (CDR-EP, 2004)
  • Holiday Special (CDR-EP, 2004)
  • What's new? El Perro del Mar EP (2004)
  • Look! It's El Perro del Mar! (compilation, 2005)
  • God Knows (You Gotta Give to Get) EP (2006)
  • El Perro del Mar (2006; deluxe edition, 2015)
  • From the Valley to the Stars (2008)
  • Love Is Not Pop (2009)
  • Pale Fire (2012)
  • KoKoro (2016)

El Perro del Mar

Release info:

2006—Hybris—CG0039

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Sarah Assbring—vocals, instruments

Guest artists:

The Same Girl Group—vocals
Alexander Nilsson—saxophone (2, 10)
Nicolas Janco—drums, tambourine (6, 9)

Produced by:

Sarah Assbring

Comments:

The first time I listened to this album, I thought "Oh God, this is depressing," but I took it out again, and it wasn't as I remembered. In fact, it's very charming and catchy with a bit of a 60s girl-group sound. Not that it's all light; it's definitely got its depressing parts too (in vocals, instrumentation, and lyrics), but it's not as off-putting as on first listen. It's more a part of the unique mood she puts forth. (JoAnn Whetsell)

From the Valley to the Stars

Release info:

2008—Licking Fingers/Control Group—CGO 049

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Sarah Assbring

Guest artists:

Jesper Jarold—electric guitar, bass
Nils Törnqvist—drums
Charles Deramus—double bass
Cjörn Bohlin—oboe
Lisa Ford—French horn
Kristin Lidell—trumpet
Björn Synneby—sitar, additional vocals
Gothenburg Symphonic Choir—additional chorus

Produced by:

Sarah Assbring

Comments:

Oh, I hated this album at first. After loving her first album, with its bright doo-wop music set against very sad vocals/lyrics, this album was a bore. *yawn* HOWEVER, I gave it another shot, and am so glad I did. This one is a grower. She's exploring different musical territory, and once I accepted that, I was on board for a great ride. This is a really solid set of songs. She creates such a mood! (lasherboy@gmail.com)

I found this album immediately captivating. Melancholy and heavy in the way that Julie Doiron can be, but far more intriguing than depressing. There are brighter moments too, like the catchy "Somebody's Baby." Some of it is reminiscent of Goldfrapp's Seventh Tree. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Love Is Not Pop

Release info:

2009—Control Group/TCG

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

I love pitchfork.com's description of her as the "sad-eyed Swede". The juxtaposition of her delicate, sad voice set against upbeat music is very unique. Makes you want to dance and cry at the same time. This tiny 6-song album packs a punch. (lasherboy@gmail.com)
Just as good as her full-length releases. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

"Oh! What a Christmas" appears on the compilation It's Not Like Christmas (2006). "Heavenly Arms (Bandjo & EPDM Edit)" appears on the compilation Colette Ville (2010).

Anna Ternheim's What Have I Done EP (2010) includes an El Perro del Mar remix of the title track.


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2016-09-16 20:08:24.
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