After listening to A Lantern and a Bell, it is plain to see why Swedish multi-instrumentalist Emil Svanängen, who performs under the name Loney dear, has attracted the attention and garnered the praise of an artist as perpetually creative as Peter Gabriel. Not only does Svanängen occasionally resemble the Real World Records founder when he pushes himself to the upper steps of his range, but his well-defined melodic structures are eerily similar to something Gabriel himself would've created in his early post-Genesis career. Simply put, a record like this is well-suited to Gabriel's label and style.
It's now almost 20 years since Stockholm's Emil Svanängen started recording under the pseudonym Loney Dear. Like his fellow Swedish one man band Jens Lekman, Svanängen's lushly textured, winsomely melodic music is deeply influenced by Brian Wilson, and the core elements of his work – a gift for joyously tuneful chamber pop songs, delivered in a yearning falsetto – have changed little since his early home recorded debut, 2003's The Year Of River Fontana. After a relatively quiet past decade, Svanängen has now signed to Peter Gabriel's Real World label and – on the evidence of new album A Lantern And A Bell – undergone a subtle shift in direction.