Cocoanut Groove : Madeleine Street
In a world of sometimes unbearable ugliness, beauty becomes terribly important. Albums don't come much more beautiful than Cocoanut Groove's debut album called "
Cocoanut Groove : Madeleine Street LP (Fridlyst)
Whereas most recent Swedish indiepop bands all seem to have graduated from the Sarah Records' school of perfect pop, maybe adding a touch of early Factory records' cool or a sprinkle of Saint Etienne-esque pop fairydust, fellow Swede Olov Antonsson (for he is Cocoanut Groove, augmented by some very talented musical friends) delves a little deeper for his influences. His musical universe is that of Love's "forever changes", the Zombies "Odessey and Oracle", Duncan Browne's "give me take you" and the Left Banke.
However, if you'd think this would lead to Cocoanut Groove songs being a mere pastiche, you'd be oh so wrong. Sure, when you hear these songs for the first time, their gorgeous melodies weave such an instant spell you might think you've heard them somewhere before, but this is only proof of Olov's huge songwriting skill. In effect, he is furthering a school of songwriting which has all but disappeared. He is creating a baroque pop for the naughties.
Cocoanut Groove songs are full of longing for that feeling of first love (which you have probably never experienced since), full of reminiscences of seemingly endless summerdays spent outdoors, walking through meadows full of wildflowers, picking wild strawberries, lying underneath swaying cherrytrees, staring at the sun listening to the crickets sing ... They are also tinged with a little sadness, a little nostalgia, the realization that those happier times perhaps won't come back so easily, if ever ...
Highlights include the lovelorn title track with it's regrets over love lost, the almost Clientele like "Lately" with it's nocturnal mood, the harpsicord laden upbeat "the castle" which sees summer turn into autumn, the almost Donovan-esque "shadow", ... ooh, I could go on and on. These songs posses such truth, beauty and purity (Olov's featherlight vocals are a joy to behold) that hearing them makes you realise there really is something good out there worth going through the bad stuff for.
Cherish this beauty.