THE AMAZING: Gentle Stream (SUB-084-LP 2011) vinyl LP
The Amazing fell far from the tree. A natural process: coming together through affection, then slowly crystallising into a folk-rock-psych-pop-collective slowly pushing, bending, then playing with any preconceived notions of pop. When a band take a name like The Amazing, they’d better be have the chops to back it up. Happily, this Swedish outfit – a collective headed by Reine Fiske of psych juggernauts Dungen and singer-songwriter Christoffer Gunrup – are masterful enough to take that mantle on. Friends first and foremost, it’s this kindred spirit that imbues the band album with a feeling unlike that of most releases – one of natural harmony, persistent progression and with a panoramic gaze fixed on distant settings. The band’s second album proper (following 2009’s The Amazing and 2010’s mini album Wait For A Light To Come), Excerpts from reviews of the debut: “The cream of Sweden’s psychedelic/neo-folk underground… an album of rare beauty” MOJO. “A gorgeously understated blend of gentle psychedelic pop, tranquil folk rock and gently stoned prog” Q. “Genuinely an amazing album” UNCUT. “A classic case of strength in diversity, blurring the boundaries between folk-rock dreaminess and psych splendour” WORD. Gentle Stream is widescreen, panoramic, horizon-reaching stuff. An elegantly constructed record of moody psychedelic majesty, it comes with a greater dose of CSNY-style Laurel Canyon bliss than those previous recordings. Its eight songs clock in at a luxurious 45 minutes long, during which astral guitars intertwine in serpentine solos, horns blast rainbow melodies and Gunrup’s flute-like voice floats elegantly over the sunset sounds. Nothing is introverted or overworked – everything is balanced, kept together by natural melodies, soulful vocals and just how perfect should be. Gentle Stream is a feeling, an organic consequence of something that effortlessly came together. The line-up completed by Johan Holmegard, Fredrik Swahn, Alexis Benson and highly rated jazz musicians Moussa Fadera and Jonas Kullhammar, The Amazing recorded the new LP in Stockholm, Sweden and formed plans to collect themselves in this incredible unison. There are doubtless stories to be told. Including the one about playing a show for the Swedish Royal Family and Pink Floyd, where in the crowd Roger Waters appreciatively caught a bouquet thrown from the band during a standing ovation, but this mysterious band hold one principle dear to their hearts: “The music speaks for itself”.