Saturday, 16 June 2012 01:31



Buy here

It would be easy to see Amanda Mair as a mere musical product. After all she came of age and turned 18 just this week, is easy on the eye, doesn't yet write her own songs and appeared last year out of nowhere with two pieces of pop bliss in the pure Swedish tradition; sweet vocals and a big, almost cavernous and emotionally driven rhythm section replete with elements of orchestral drama. However, while Mair might have some indie luminaries in her musical corner, namely Labrador founder and Acid House Kings, Pallers and Club 8 member Johan Angergård, songwriter and collaborator Roger Gunnarsson and producer Philip Ekström, its quite clear that she is far from a muse in their company. Indeed, you get the feeling that while the Angergård and Gunnarsson compositions and the Ekström embellishments are central to the record in many ways, without Mair these songs may never have seen the light of day. That notwithstanding, anyone doubting the bona fides of the protagonist or the results need to remember that Labrador Records is not into smoke and mirrors and major label trickery. As its consistently honest output demonstrates, Angergård is into putting out pop music that's full of sincerety.

Mair herself, in addition to her beautifully fragile voice, plays her favoured instruments, piano and keyboard with panache but can also take her hand to bass, guitar and drums, the latter was done while playing Hellacopters covers in a band at school. Hardly the curriculum vitae of somebody that would simply wait around and open her pipes in certain ways when told to. In fact, she was presented with a number of songs to choose from herself and ended up taking the ones that most suited her musical approach. She then added her own unmistakable vocals and playing style, so much so, you get the feeling that she now owns them. And even a cursory listen to her vocal artistry suggests that she is miles apart from those who are cynically and artificially produced automatons.

Those aforementioned two singles, the big beat driven, yet restrained pop genius of the lyrically pensive and debilitating 'Doubt' and the emotive Mary Onettes sounding orchestral fragility of 'House' finally led to a full length self titled long player. While these songs and third single, the jaunty, upliftingly innocent and ultimately danceable 'Sense' are undoubtedly standouts on the album, there's certainly other highlights to be unashamedly devoured.

The sparkling, lush and full bodied opening track 'Said And Done' with its powerful drums, cascading keys and an almost middle eastern string section puts the self titled albums first four tracks ('Doubt', 'House' and 'Sense' follow) up there with the best start from a pop record for long a day. There's not a mis-step or wasted moment. It's almost as if the tracklist order was done to hopelessly hook you in for the somewhat more musically restrained tracks that follow. Indeed, the first half of the record ends with a gorgeous Pelle Carlberg penned ballad, 'Skinnarviksberget'*, which allows her unique voice to flourish in less upbeat circumstances.

The second half begins with 'Before', a retro sounding track with a verse full of room to move and a wonderously optimistic chorus which is followed by the immediacy of 'It's Gonna Be Long' which contains an infectious off beat and another rapturous like chorus. 'What Do You Want' sports an almost balaeric feel as it dives headlong into a musical tropical paradise that belies the frustration of the lyrics. 'You've Been Here Before', another ballad, takes us back a notch, and like 'Skinnarviksberget*', again allows time for us to contemplate Mair's delicately natural vocals. The album is completed with 'Leaving Early', a title that is telling because, like all good pop albums, things are over before you know it.

Amanda Mair the album is a delightful trip through the best that Swedish pop has to offer, high praise indeed. When you assemble Angergård, Gunnarsson, Ekström and Carlsberg et. al. together you're always going to get something special and it continues to amaze how they manage to make their arrangements so dense and yet provide space within them that's almost palacious. But undoubtedly what gives this album its unique character is Amanda Mair herself. You get the feeling that without her, these songs would still be great songs, but they are made even greater for her presence. Her vocal mark is indelibly stamped all over them just as her collaborators would have intended. And that's the great thing about the Swedish indie pop disposition, it always gives far more than it takes. While they gifted Mair the songs, she gifted them exactly what they would have hoped for in return. As for Mair herself, what lies ahead of her may be undoubtedly as immense as her talent and the direction that she will take is anyones guess. It is hoped though that she can keep those soul destroying major label predators at bay. For now though lets just appreciate and celebrate what we've got, and that's a superb album of pure pop pleasure from an already very talented artist.

*a party hill overlooking the city of Stockholm from the adjacent southern suburb, the island of Sodermalm.

James Stocker - June 16, 2012.



Amanda Mair (SWE)
From the album, 'Amanda Mair', Labrador.

Download here

Official Video

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video



Amanda Mair (SWE)
From the album, 'Amanda Mair', Labrador.

Download here

Official Video

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video


Amanda Mair, Live at Pianos, New York City



You've Been Here Before
It's Gonna Be Long
Leaving Early

Live Performance - vocal and piano only.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video



April 15, 2014


Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled

Buzz Records

Odonis Odonis Official Site

Buy here

1. Tension
2. Are We Friends
3. Order In The Court
4. New Obsession
5. Breathing Hard
6. Mr Smith
7. Release
8. Angus Mountain
9. Office Sluts
10. Highnote
11. Transmission From The Moon
12. Alexa Wait

April 15, 2014


Under Color Of Official Right

Hardly Art

Protomartyr Facebook

Buy here

1. Maidenhead
2. Ain't So Simple
3. Want Remover
4. Trust Me Billy
5. Pagans
6. What The Wall Said
7. Tarpeian Rock
8. Bad Advice
9. Son Of Dis
10. Scum, Rise!
11. I Stare At Floors
12. Come & See
13. Violent
14. I'll Take That Applause

April 1, 2014




Future Islands Official Site

Buy here

1. Seasons (Wating On You)
2. Spirit
3. Sun In the Morning
4. Doves
5. Back In The Tall Grass
6. A Song For Our Grandfathers
7. Light House
8. Like The Moon
9. Fall From Grace
10. A Dream Of You And Me


March 25, 2014


Lost In The Dream

Secretly Canadian

The War On Drugs Official Site

Buy here 

1. Under The Pressure
2. Red Eyes
3. Suffering
4. An Ocean In Between The Waves
5. Disappearing
6. Eyes To The Wind
7. The Haunting Idle
8. Burning
9. Lost In The Dream
10. In Reverse


March 18, 2014




Real Estate Official Site

Buy here

1. Had To Hear
2. Past Lives
3. Talking Backwards
4. April's Song
5. The Bend
6. Crime
7. Primitive
8. How Might I Live
9. Horizon
10. Navigator


March 11, 2014


Present Tense


Wild Beasts Official Site

Buy here

1. Wanderlust
2. Nature Boy
3. Mecca
4. Sweet Spot
5. Daughters
6. A Pregnant Pause
7. A Simple Beautiful Truth
8. A Dog's Life
9. Past Perfect
10. New Life
11. Palace


March 4, 2014


Burn Your Fire For No Witness


Angel Olsen Official Site

Buy here

1. Unfucktheworld
2. Forgiven/Forgotten
3. Hi-Five
4. White Fire
5. High & Wild
6. Lights Out
7. Stars
8. Iota
9. Dance  Slow Decades
10. Enemy
11. Windows


February 25, 2014



Caldo Verde

Sun Kil Moon Official Site

Buy here (CD Only - no vinyl release)

1. Carissa
2. I Can't Live Without My Mother's Love
3. Truck Driver
4. Dogs
5. Pray For Newtown
6. Jim Wise
7. I Love My Dad
8. I Watched The Film The Song Remains The Same
9. Richard Ramirez Died Today Of Natural Causes
10. Micheline
11. Ben's My Friend


February 18, 2014


Three Love Songs

Orchid Tapes

Ricky Eat Acid Facebook

Buy limited edition vinyl here

Download free digital version here

1. There Is Only You In The Light & Nothing Else
2. Driving Alone Past Roadwork At Night
3. Inside My House; Some Place I Keep Dreaming About
4. Big Man's Last Trip Outside
5. In Rural Virginia; Watching Glowing Lights Crawl From The Dark Corners Of The Room
6. Inside Your House; It Will Swallow Us Too
7. It Will Draw Me Over To It Like It Always Does
8. In My Dreams We're Almost Touching
9. God Puts Us All In The Swimming Pool
10. Outside Your House; The Lights Went Out & There Was Nothing
11. I Can Hear The Heart Breaking As One
12. Starting Over


February 11, 2014



We Were Never Being Boring

Be Forest Facebook

Buy here 

1. Totem
2. Captured Heart
3. Lost Boy
4. Ghost Dance
5. Airwaves
6. Totem II
7. Colours
8. Sparkle
9. Hideaway


February 4, 2014


The Age Of Fracture

Tough Love Records

Cymbals Facebook

Buy here

1. Winter '98
2. The Natural World
3. You Are
4. Empty Space
5. The 5%
6. The Fracture Of Age
7. Like An Animal
8. Erosion
9. This City
10. The End
11. Call Me




Please update your Flash Player to view content.
1. Beautiful Criminal
2. Psychic Trauma
Cloud Nothings (USA)
3. Seasons (Waiting On You)
Future Islands (USA)
4. No Romance
Tirzah (ENG)
5. Copper Thief
Case Conrad (SWE)
6. Interference Fits
Perfect Pussy (USA)
7. The Space Between Us
+/- (USA)
8. Battles
9. Come & See
Protomartyr (USA)
10. Carmine
Cloud Boat (ENG)





If you are an independent artist or record label or a promotional or management company that represents an independent artist please feel free to send us updates about forthcoming news, releases, events. Digital audio samples of single tracks or albums are welcome and there is no need to fear any negative press about what you send. Quite simply, if we like what we hear we will feature it, if we don't we won't.


All media on Indie30 is for sampling purposes only. If you like what you hear we implore you to purchase the said album and support the artist concerned. If you are an artist or label who wants something removed please contact us asap and we will remove it.