Loney dear – Swedish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emil Svanängen – today releases a new single, ‘Oppenheimer’. It’s the latest track to emerge from his forthcoming album ‘A Lantern and a Bell’, due out March 26, 2021 via Peter Gabriel’s Real World label. Stream ‘Oppenheimer’ on all platforms from here.
The stark ‘Oppenheimer’ takes cues from the life of American theoretical physicist J Robert Oppenheimer, examining just how quickly good intentions can be altogether overtaken by events. Says Emil about the impetus to write the track: A lot of those people working with the atomic bomb were astrophysicists and they were passionate about researching space and mathematics and here they had this amazing opportunity, almost too good to miss. Maybe they were also trapped in a situation that was hard to avoid in a way. And immediately they understood, when they saw the results, that this is horrible. Like we’ve been tricked into doing this. There’s the famous quote by Oppenheimer; ‘I have become the destroyer of worlds.’ There’s just something really powerful about it and that era. It’s crazy, the fact that during that nuclear age, the atomic bomb was the future and it was popular culture. And the fact that the bikini was the latest fashion product and they named it after where they detonated an atomic bomb just tells you so much – it was a different age.
Recorded with producer Emanuel Lundgren in a mythical studio on western Södermalm in Stockholm, ‘A Lantern and a Bell’ is Loney dear’s second album for Real World, following 2017’s self-titled release. Emil will also appear on First Aid Kit’s forthcoming Leonard Cohen live tribute album, Who By Fire, due out later this month.
Speaking about Emil’s new record – on which he has consulted as a sounding board, label founder Peter Gabriel says; Sad soulful melodies that create space in your head that fill with memories dreams and tenderness. I am very proud that we are working with such a gifted songwriter. When you’re isolating, what better than to be wrapped up in these beautiful imaginative constructions – the work of a master.
Maritime themes permeate across ‘A Lantern and a Bell’ – the album bears artwork depicting the international nautical flag for distress, and Emil’s voice is frequently bolstered by diffused water sounds at dark low frequencies and the calls of sea birds. For those who know their Loney dear, the constant references to sea and ships are hardly something new. All that is an important part of my inner life, maybe a romantic dream of adventure, but also a phobia, a danger I cannot help but be drawn to, says Emil; Near where I live, freighters pass by every day and the sounds of their engines get into my head. And further into the music.