Released in his native Sweden last year, this is Nicolai Dunger’s fifth solo album and his first excursion into soul-tinged country music. With a voice like a young Van Morrison, there’s no denying this album’s debt to Moondance, but Dunger is a unique artist in his own right, and brings more to the table than a pastiche of Van Morrison — most notably himself. A personal work in every respect, Dunger has crafted a language so intensely personal and brutally honest it may be too much for an unsuspecting listener. His repetitive phrases, musically as well as lyrically, adds layers upon layers to his songs, and sees them take on shapes of both in- and upwards explorations of basic ideas.
The rustic soul of the title track and the stunning first of two US-only bonus tracks are only some standout-moments on a record that still plays more like an album than some mere collection of tracks accidentally thrown together on disc. Long and drawn out, you may find this is too much of a good thing, but leave it running in the background, and it will creep up on you and touch you at the very center of your being. Or pretty damn close. A brave and moving album from a highly idiosyncratic and hugely talented young artist.
Lakeshore Records: http://www.lakeshore-records.com