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Jonathan Johansson

Just a few years ago, the term Swedish pop was more or less synonymous with the 1960s: chipper hooks, throwback arrangements, turtlenecks, and soft-focus album covers. But in a very short time, the country's indie output-- at least as perceived from these shores-- seems to have advanced two decades, with acts like the Legends and Pacific! finding inspiration in the sounds of the early 1980s. In this regard, Jonathan Johansson is a new romantic, but not necessarily a New Romantic. He doesn't dress outlandishly or portray himself as particularly androgynous, but that label (those two words divorced of their pop-historical meaning) nicely sum up the bruised emotionalism and chilly synthcraft of his Swedish-language debut, En hand i himlen (...

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