Surrounded - Oppenheimer & Woodstock
(One Little Indian)
On their last album, 2008’s The Nautilus Years, Swedish five-piece Surrounded were a virtual facsimile of Mark Linkous’s Sparklehorse. With their musical inspiration sadly no longer with us, the band here have eschewed the intimate minutiae of life for grander sounds, sweeping waves of layered guitars lathering singer Marten Rydell’s whispered vocal in emotive swirls. While the effect is undeniably pleasant, possibly hypnotic and certainly absorbing, there is something a tad formulaic about the gradual build of each track to an epic climax that makes you long for just a bit more variety to their songwriting and production.