Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg’s third album, Stay Gold, is vivid and masterful. They have continued to build their skill alongside layers of production with each record, and this one is lovely yet wistful in such a way that it never strays into saccharine territory.
Single, My Silver Lining, is mournful and rich, its string line recalling the warm desolation of a Morricone score. The title track blends the melancholy of insightful lyrics with a showcase of flawless harmonies, a theme continued in Shattered & Hollow. Waitress Song subverts a classic pop adage with lyrics like, ‘Girls they just want to have fun / And the rest of us hardly know who we are’, laid over cascading strings. Fleeting One sees those strings bloom into even airier territory, but once again it’s the lyrics that keep it from floating away.
At 10 tracks long, the album feels over a little too soon. Final song, A Long Time Ago, echoing Simon & Garfunkel, is gorgeous, but not as stirring as The Lion’s Roar closer, King Of The World.
Stay Gold is languid and somehow actually sounds drenched in dappled gold light, but the melancholy of the lyrics gives it depth and weight to keep it within reach.