Wy (Sweden) - ‘Marriage’ (album)
I have a collection of albums to write about, so I’ll try and keep it direct and concise, and not witter on about all types of stuff. We’ve featured Wy before, but not as much as we should have done, having produced two albums in the last 4 years ('Okay' in 2017 and 'Softie' in 2019) and now they’re back with a new album entitled ‘Marriage’.
They don’t go for long album titles. Or band names, to state the obvious.
They’re a duo based in Malmö indie, Ebba and Michel Gustafsson Ågren, and as the title of the album suggests (as well as their surnames), they’re married. To each other. Those two albums have led to coverage across a wide spectrum of music websites, and tours across Europe, including dates in the UK which I typically missed.
As for the album, well it won’t have you dancing half naked in the fountains of your local town square celebrating the early summer sunshine that’s for sure. Straight from the opening of ‘Come Here’ Ebba sets the scene, ‘I’m Scared’ she repeats, accompanied by Michel’s guitar, which just maintains this soft intensity throughout – not overly harsh sounding, just relentlessly plugging away in the background, like the passage of time.
‘Shiba Uno’ has a fuzzy backdrop, but it’s certainly Ebba’s vocals that create the atmosphere, and by the striking and raw anthemic chorus in ‘Braid’ I’m feeling that the album is opening up a little – or my ears are adjusting to the sound. Pre album single ‘That Picture of Me’ is even more laid back, but it has a gorgeous wandering melodic line, lighting up in the chorus, whilst considering life’s priorities lyrically - “I could take a course in self defence…. and I should call someone to fix the lights’
‘Miserable Artist’ almost seems like the perfect title for a Wy track, but ‘A Walk Outside’ is a high energy guitar track, almost a ‘pop’ song of sorts, and it does change the atmosphere – but like the ‘daily exercise’ we were allowed in lockdown in the UK, the escape is all too brief. However all the direct, uncompromising, raw tracks that have been thrown in our direction are all made to seem worth it with the stunning ‘Dream House’. And although released as a single, it almost doesn’t seem like it should be listened to individually, because it portrays love as being worth it against the strains of everything else than they’ve been through.
The album concludes with the stripped back and bare title track ‘Marriage’, which is under a minute long, before the meandering 'God’s Lamb' wraps things up, ending with Ebba’s half tortured and half pleading vocals.
So is 'Marriage' the type of album that makes me want to rush out of work, jump into my car and excitedly re-listen multiple times on my long commute home from work? Well no because my commute now involves walking 12 steps into another room, but actually there’s a point here. Because even though ‘Marriage’ is a relatively short release at 30mins, you really do need to give yourself time to get lost in the album, it's not so much for playlists, it’s not instantly gratifying either, it’s music to be respected and understood. And if you give it the time it’s powerful and impressive from start to finish, so give it a listen.
Nordic Music Review 7.5/10
Find them on Facebook. The album is released through the excellent Rama Lama Records.