Scandinavian nations have always evoked an image of boundless forests, peaceful inland bodies of water and, well, snow. It’s easy to see why Westerners would imagine such a picture after listening to the music of Swedish band Jeniferever.
The band subscribes to the idea of “dream pop,” an ambient and airy form of rock that bands such as Icelandic Sigur Rós made popular using gentle vocals and calming instrumental effects to establish a “dreamy” atmosphere.
“Silesia,” Jeniferever’s third record, paints a tranquil image of its homeland using just that style. Song titles such as “Where the Hills Fall Towards the Oceans” and “Cathedral Peak” further place the listener in the great white north, even though Sweden has no oceanic coast and Cathedral Peak is in California. Vocalist Kristofer Jönson’s soothing voice also paints a picture of new fallen snow. It may be self-fulfilling prophesy on my part, but it’s effective.
When using terms like “airy” and “gentle” to describe the band’s music, I don’t mean to suggest that the music is boring in the least. Between the dense layers of guitar, keyboards and drums, the music may tend toward quiet but it’s always in motion, often reaching crescendos as the tracks near their ends. The music flows like a river, but like with Sigur Rós, the river tends to be long. The shortest track, “Deception Pass,” is “only” 4:13, but album closer “Hearths” clocks in at 9:06.
The good news for those who find Sigur Rós a bit too archaic is that Jeniferever sings entirely in English, so the listener can at least attempt to draw meaning from the songs without understanding the admittedly peculiar language of Icelandic.
The music of Jeniferever sounds at first like something perfect for a study session, but be careful. It won’t be too long before you’ll find yourself wrapped up in these dreamy tracks.