Owen Pallett's debut album under his real name, released earlier this year and entitled Heartland, was something of a revelation - the kind of dizzying, joyful album that keeps you coming back. You are most likely, however, to know Pallett's work through association - he contributed to Arcade Fire's first two albums (Funeral and Neon Bible) and prior to recording as himself he went under the moniker Final Fantasy.
In BlackPlastic's opinion Pallett is at his best where his love of the violin and the keyboard come together to make the kind of uplifting, introspective songs Sufjan Stevens would be proud of. And on that basis A Swedish Love Song, an EP of four new tracks, is an unapologetic success.
Opening with the energetic, uplifting and slightly thrilled 'A Man With No Ankles', Pallett instantly sounds like as though he has woken from a decade long slumber. "Somewhere between the window and my doorstep, I remembered what it was to play, to play, to play" he cries, as if suddenly struck by the insanity of modern living and the joy of being genuinely excited.
'Scandal At The Parkade' up the string-based flourishes and sounds even more influenced by classical music than Pallett already usually does. 'Honour The Dead Or Else' is more downbeat, building to a dark and ominous crescendo two-thirds in before arriving at a modest finale. Final track 'Don't Stop' is the strongest here, a beautiful epic - a stuttering rhythm beating at the heart of the song giving the whole thing an unstoppable vibe.
The biggest complaint BlackPlastic could level at Owen Pallett is that it often all feels a little too similar - Heartland was an album best consumed in pieces rather than as a whole. As such this four-track EP represents an ideal package to serve as an introduction.
A Swedish Love Story is released tomorrow on Domino, available to pre-order from Amazon.co.uk on MP3.