Amanda Mair, “Amanda Mair”

Amanda Mair is further proof that there is something strange and maybe mystical going on in Sweden.  Mair is only 17 years old, singing about love and break-ups and longing.  For everyone who needs to take a moment to feel really old right now, go ahead.  I know what I was doing when I was 11, and it sure wasn’t being a drummer in a rock band like Mair was.  Her self-titled debut is full of catchy, breathy synth-pop.  It often feels like a throwback to the 80s, which, let me remind you, Mair wasn’t even alive for.  The songs show a young girl older than her years, and while she may not have the life experiences of her pop peers, she’s got something special going on with this debut.  I’ll be interested to see what kind of music she puts out in a few years, as both she and her voice mature.  The ballads (“Skinnarviksberget”, “You’ve Been Here Before”) feel a bit out of place with the rest of the up-tempo tracks, and the occasionally trite lyrics stand out a bit more than on other songs (“would you kiss me and spoon me the rest of my life”, she sings on “Skinnarviksberget”). The beginning half of the album is the strongest, with pretty clear pop sensibilities; the back half is somewhat lacking in true stand-out tracks.  Swede music connection: the album was written and produced by Johan Angergård (The Acid House Kings) and Philip Ekström (The Mary Onettes).

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