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CD Review: The Concretes – Layourbattle- axedown

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Hmm. Does having your song featured on a Target commercial mean you aren’t indie anymore? I don’t know, and quite frankly, when it comes to the Concretes, I don’t care because they are a brilliant and beautiful band.

Eight members (and twelve honorary members) out of Sweden, these indie darlings create a rock/folk-pop/twee indie sound with the coolness of a Swedish winter. It’s like listening to a refreshing cool breeze with a tinge of country song writing thrown in.

The first time I popped Layourbattleaxedown into my stereo, it was love at first listen. The album features five previously unreleased tracks (which were originally supposed to be released in 2001, but were lost until now), as well tracks that existed only as b-sides from various UK singles.

The first song on the album, “Forces”, is probably the finest example of Victoria Bergsman’s voice. Bare and stripped of pretension, Victoria’s beautiful vocals guide you through the countryside as if you were floating on clouds.

The much-talked about “Miss You” is the band’s tribute to Jagger and company with their cover of the Stones song. The Concretes manage to strip it and expose the core of the song’s heart.

“Under Your Leaves” and “Seems Fine Shuffle” strays, just a bit, from the simple and easy sound to something more intricate and cultivated, yet still magical.

Also featured on Layourbattleaxedown is the video for the Target commercial song, “Say Something New”.

Track listing:
Forces (b-side from “Say Something New” single)

Sugar (b-side from “Say Something New” single)
Lady December (b-side from “Warm Night” single)
The Warrior (b-side from “Warm Night” single)
Miss You (b-side from the “Say Something New”)
Oh Baby (originally to be released on Nationalgeographic EP in 2001)
Sand (originally to be released on Nationalgeographic EP)
Free Ride (originally to be released on Nationalgeographic EP)
Branches (b-side from “You Can’t Hurry Love” single)
Under Your Leaves (b-side from “You Can’t Hurry Love” single)
Seems Fine Shuffle (b-side from “Warm Night” single)

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