Isak – Frosty Umlaut Heaven

It occurred to me as I wrote about yet another Brooklyn-based band yesterday that 2010’s New-Band Hotspot was indeed that part of New York, usurping Scandinavia as the holder of such a semi-illustrious title.

It is mere serendipity that Isak is from the latter part of the world – Umeå, a particularly frosty-looking area of Sweden, home-town fans – but it is entirely deliberate (and typical) that he produces fabulously pointed pop music. Some stereotypes will never be overcome, and in this instance, no-one cares.

Excitingly, Isak is also one of those new artists, whom, due to an insurmountable language barrier, I know virtually nothing about. I prefer it this way.

Följ Ditt Hjärta, then, can be heard on its own merits as a song, without any external influences whatsoever, including lyrics which are wholly mysterious. They could simply be him reading a page of the phone directory, for all I know.

As such, the song is a genuine triumph – beginning with a clutter of clatter and dallying with the precise, incisive application of melody that usually accompanies Swedish pop records. Sparsity in songs like this is difficult to achieve, but almost always results in a superior song.

Isak, the mystery man, hits his target so easily it’s almost embarrassing. This is a song that deserves to be played on loop for half an hour – you will probably choose to do so for much longer. Excellent.

By the way – Följ Ditt Hjärta: just look at those umlauts. Delicious.

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