Henrik Berg (Vocals, Guitar) and Stefan Rasmusson (Lead Guitar) form the Swedish acoustic folk duo, Fisherkings. The duo has just released their 3 track EP entitled “Last To Know”. By the third time that I listened to this EP, I realized that I had discovered more than just a great new release.
I had also discovered a recording that was worthy of accompanying me to a desert island. This is one of those collections where every song is so outstanding that it nearly kills you when a song comes to an end. And that’s the only problem here, with only three songs everything comes to an end far too soon!
The interesting element that unites the duos more obvious influences is their ability to write songs that “rock” without heavy reliance on electric instruments. This is most evident on the energetic and soaring title track, “Last To Know”, which brightly rolls and rollicks along until it ignites itself into a flaming vocal performance by Henrik Berg.
At every turn, the songs provide you with inventive new takes on old devices. Acoustic music has been around forever, so it’s extremely challenging to maintain a refreshing and engaging approach. The Fisherkings succeed at being both of the aforementioned things, because their performances, both instrumental and vocal are faultless and pristine. Smart harmonies, sharp melodies and an immediacy, grabs the listener by the ear, dragging him or her right into the songs.
This happens with “Everything I Need” with its spirit of honesty and genuine reflection, where Berg floats over alluringly circuitous acoustic guitar rhythms and La-La choruses, with an ease bordering on ambivalence. I guess what makes the whole package so impressive comes down to two simple statements. One, it’s subtly and deftly arranged, written, performed and produced – everything fits together perfectly, and often in clever ways that can surprise even someone like me.
It’s concise but doesn’t leave anything necessary out, nor is there anything that sounds out of place, stretched thin or rushed. “Come Come Come” has some great dynamic shifts making it incredibly infectious, with vocals and lead guitar lines oozing into your ear.
You’ll find yourself at least humming one of these songs within a day or two from the time you get the EP and you’ll be pleased by the fact. If that’s not the sign of a good recording, I don’t know what is. If you enjoy well-crafted, elegant and intelligent pop music grab this and you will not be disappointed.
You don’t have to wait for “Last To Know” to grow on you, it’s already sprouted, you just don’t know it yet. The only knock is that it is a fairly short recording – but maybe that clean, uncluttered brevity is the beauty of it all!