You would think that fifteen songs of bedsit melancholia would be a depressing experience. Something best avoided, especially if they are from a one man and a laptop type band. However, this time around, the stripped out simplicity works well enough to provide a near hypnotic counterpoint to the wistful vocals of Johan Regnér as he preaches the mantra of Peace In Our Times.
“Our Beloved Ones” has the sonic signature of a collection of demos but that is hardly surprising in the world of Swedish bedsit indie pop and if you are a seeker of power chords and the opportunity to wave your lighter in the air then you had better look elsewhere for this is an album of subtle charm. “Before The Sun Sets”, for example, seems barely alive yet, when you let its elemental nature wash over you, it actually proves invigorating. Even the insistent repetition of “Stupid Smile” fails to irritate and instead becomes hypnotic in that way that only minimalist plastic lo-fi can be.
Songs of introspection and isolation are unlikely to be uplifting. Peace In Our Time, however, make them listenable, and even enjoyable, by adding a warmth and humanity that makes the sentiments contained within those words and melodies seem honest and real.
Available as a free download from here.