There’s something poetic about Swedish electronic duo The Livelong June. Their music promises deep, meaningful lyrics, with a gritty sound, as well as a glitch-laden aesthetic to suit the mood. The band’s name itself is even taken from a poem, by Emily Dickinson, which is a commentary on the struggle between striving for fame, and the humble nobility of being a ‘nobody’. Formed in 2012, after releasing a selection of singles, they released their debut album last March, titled The Art of Living. Just recently, they released a new single, The Greatest Loss, that deals with the themes of meaninglessness, loneliness and self-reflection.
The first of the two tracks, “The Greatest Loss”, makes no hesitations in generating an atmosphere. Instantly, it draws the listener in with it’s dark, moody feel. There’s a richness to the ambience as layers upon layers are built up, the complex arrangements making it more and more engaging. There’s some fantastic electronic hooks throughout the course of the track too, which gives it a nice beat, particularly in a breakdown part way through. Benny Gustavsson’s vocal delivery completes the feel of this track, enhancing it with a slight tinge of melancholy to his voice. I have to admit, his style is very reminiscent of Placebo’s Brian Molko, and this is not at all a bad thing, as it’s the perfect compliment to the rest of the soundscapes. As the song draws to a close, it gradually becomes calmer. There’s something eerie about it, but it’s very effective.
“Hemlängtan”, the second of the two tracks is completely sung in Swedish (if you couldn’t tell by the title.) I always enjoy it when an artist sings in their mother-tongue, as it adds a multicultural feel to the music, and this this case makes the track all the more beautiful. This one is much slower-paced; a gradual piano melody plays in the background whilst an aura of sounds surround it. It’s extremely atmospheric, and feels like a dark electro ballad. It somehow feels very different to the previous track too, yet it manages to capture the same essence and style. There’s some tragic undertones here.
In just two these two songs alone, The Livelong June have shown a great diversity in approaches to their music. It’s impressive in it’s production quality, and it’s clear to see that they’ve considered each track carefully. Listening to these songs was quite an experience, I found myself drawn into their atmosphere, and it certainly lives up to the poetic style that they promise. There’s a ton of depth to it, and I guarantee that you’ll want to dive in deeper after listening to it.
Final Verdict: Dark, gritty and poetic; these two songs have an atmosphere, diversity and complexity that makes it extremely compelling to listen to.