Detektivbyrån began making waves as soon as they released their first songs last year. This was more than a little surprising given how very niche it sounds to play all-instrumental music heavily influenced by Nordic and Eastern European folk based primarily on accordion, vibes, and keyboards. Yet the sheer fun of their sound has won them an enthusiastic following.
"Wermland", their first full-length release, is fun. But it also reveals them to be far more than quirky entertainment. The songs here are beautiful, and woven together into a whole that is evocative, whimsical, ageless and timeless. At points it's got the simplicity of children's music, at others, sophistication that would be at home in classical music. Throughout, it demonstrates impeccable melodic pop sensibility. Their ability to synthesize diverse traditions into immediately accessible riffs and rhythms that are simultaneously deeply familiar and altogether fresh is exceptional. This serious contender for album of the year will sound just as good decades from now.
- Nancy Baym