An easy-going sing-along with the air of the ’70s about it. And no banjo or pedal steel at all, as those instruments were banned before the recording started. It was one of 12 “dogmatic rules” the band posted in advance, and apparently obeyed. The list is too good not to reproduce here:
1. A ban on all things Beatles
2. A ban on Pedal steel, banjo and mandolin
3. Vocals is the finest instrument
4. No alcohol or sweets in the studio
5. Acoustic instruments should go before electric
6. No guest singers or duets
7. The drums should sound like drums
8. The vocals will be sung shirtless
9. The coffee should be taken on Mellqvists and lunch at Rosen
10. Short songs should go before long songs
11. Beautiful is good
12. At least one murder ballad
An airy, agile flute line sets the tone early here, launching “Cynical Lover” into a partly-sunny haze of nostalgic piano chords, swaying melodies, and rich harmonies. Front man Eric Palmqwist sings with a fragile kind of assertiveness (I hear Rick Danko in this somewhere), and while his unschooled tenor is not the kind of voice one expects to hearing backed by close, invigorating harmonies, it all seems to work, and definitely urges all but the most impassive listeners to join in on the chorus.
Palmqwist started up EP’s Trailer Park in 1999 after his previous band, Monostar, called it quits. This new effort was designed as a kind of revolving-door ensemble, with a variety of musicians passing through the “trailer park” over the years, including Tobias Fröberg (previously featured here) and Björn Yttling from Peter, Bjorn & John. Two of Palmqwist’s three sidemen this time around remain from the last EP’s Trailer Park album, in 2010. “Cynical Lover” is from the outfit’s fourth album, which is self-titled, and was released in Sweden at the beginning of the year; the song was released as a single last month. You can listen to the full album on SoundCloud.