Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs & Rob Ahlers at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
The way that a song by the Swedish group The Amazing approaches you is mostly subtly. It's with a sniff and a hesitant saunter. It comes to you like a dog that's been kicked enough times to never trust anyone with feet. Once the first tentative moments have been coaxed and there's a sense of relief that everyone here is good people, they unveil an extravagant and lustrous bouquet of elegant vines and foliage. They make a sprawling slice of warm hug. It's the feeling of being mostly unaffected by a cold, cold day - dressed in the appropriate number of thick layers. It's a feeling that you're going to be able to move through this day with something of an ease about you. You slide through the chilliness like a hot knife going through cold butter. The stiff air parts for your movements.
You can sense that there are tensions and that the place you're strolling through is pressurized, but you're moving and the scenery is lovely. The hills, while making your legs burn, are welcome for the sweat that they're helping you break. You sense that this is good for you. It's what you're telling yourself, at least. The Amazing makes a sound that feels like the one you'd get if you just opened the door, went out and then just scattered any which way you pleased. You just kept on going, meandering - not aimlessly, just with no destination in mind. You are just going to go where you please and stop when you want to stop. There is no itinerary, no need to be anywhere other than gone. It feels as if you've gotten yourself lost in some very satisfying lonesomeness. It's the lonesomeness of a drifter - the kind that's courted with unspoken and unseen gestures and actions.
Lead singer Christoffer Gunrup sings with a saccharine quality that sounds like a man with his eyes cast elsewhere, somewhere off into the distance. His are the words of a man who's pretty sure that he's going to make it through today, but he still prefers to think of tomorrow in a very nebulous state, as if there's nothing that can point to its certainty. It's almost in this very thought where the emotional heft of most Amazing songs reside - right there in the brilliant certainty/uncertainty that comes with giving of our skin and blood every day. These are the sad and moving songs that we hold. They're the ones we'll sing if we're sad or not, when the windows are open.