MP3: Astrid Swan - Sea/e life

As if it wasn't totally obvious from the cover, Astrid Swan's new album "Spartan picnic" is far quirkier than her debut "Poverina". It looks like something I might expect from Stina Nordenstam, though the "Spartan" of the title is entirely misleading as Ms. Swan readily embraces a full, big-band sound. However, her quirk only extends so far. There's nothing here quite as out-there as Marybell Katastrophy or As In RebekkaMaria, especially not in lead single "Sea/e life". I like it a lot more than anything on the first album, but I'm having trouble finding a strong melody to hold on to. Elsewhere on the album she fares far better, such as on the bombastic title track, so despite my misgivings about this particular song, I wouldn't write her off. And don't forget her work with Treeball either (together with producer Nick Triani). It's kinda like how Neko Case is at her best when performing with New Pornographers, Astrid Swan can be the same way with her other band. All about context.

Astrid Swan - Sea/e life