Joakim Sveningsson and Daniel Johansson, the two dudes that make up Swedish duo Friska Viljor, seem to have been through their share of trying times. The two men met nearly five years ago, when they were, as stated themselves “two broken hearts and two broken men trying to find happiness again.” They drew praise back then for remarkably upbeat music that betrayed the subject matter its lyrics dealt with. But it appears, with the release of Friska Viljor’s fourth studio album The Beginning of The Beginning of The End, that the two men have exorcised whatever demons they had and have come out stronger, both as people and as musicians.
You’ll hear plenty of interesting instruments on the pair’s new record: glockenspiel, organ, ukulele, mandolin, trumpet. You’ll also hear the traditional ones like guitar and bass and drums. The mix of all these elements, along with Sveningsson and Johannsson’s gift for undeniably catchy melodies, is a treat to absorb. “Passionseeker” has lead vocals similar to fellow Swedes the Shout Out Louds and song structure that reminds me somewhat of Norwegian folk-poppers Kings of Convenience. It begs to be listened and re-listened to, and you should do both to form your own comparisons.
“What You Gonna Do” feels like the kind of song you’d see in a choreographed dance number in a musical movie. I picture the lead character singing while swinging around lamp posts, perhaps singing to his female love interest in some playful-but-pleading fashion. It’s a ton of fun and incredibly catchy.