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  Dream On  
  Skipping Stones Records  
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What is it with Sweden these days? It seems as if every even numbered review posted on EvilSponge lately involves the ex-Vikings. And here i am adding to the problem...

You see, Celestial is yet another Swedish act. It is the project of one Andreas Hagman, and he plays fuzzy, overdriven guitar and makes pop music. It's an easy formula really: a simple riff is played on guitar, filtered through layers of distortion, then a beat is layered in, and then Hagman sings. La la la. Then again, that is kind of formulaic of all music, i guess, especially the one man bands that seem so common these days.

But there is something special here. Hagman has tapped into ... something. Everyone that i have played Dream On for has been impressed. I have heard this music compared to: The Jesus and Mary Chain, Mazzy Star, J&MC with Mazzy Star, My Bloody Valentine, and The Byrds. Sure, there is a lot of fuzz on the guitar, but it also chimes along in quite a lovely fashion.

It also helps that Hagman can write a catchy tune. Nothing Happens; Twice is a driving, forceful tune that, in a better world, would have been the sing-along hit of the summer. Then there is The Boy Who Never Says Goodbye, which moves on languidly with vocals by Malin Dahlberg. Ms. Dahlberg has a lovely, bored voice, and she sings delicately. (This is, unsurprisingly, where the band gets compared to Mazzy Star.)

There isn't a weak track here, and in fact this record has been a big part of my summer soundtrack. It's great music to listen to as you drive around in sunny weather, or sit on the porch sipping lemonade.

So if you are a fan of pop music. this record is pretty much essential. Besides, why fight the Swedes -- they do this stuff so well, it is only inevitable that they will, eventually, dominate all pop charts. Celestial is but one wave of their ongoing invasion.

And i, for one, welcome our new Swedish pop overlords.

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