Waging War: Tobias Fröberg, The Big Up.

As Leave This Room climbs incandescently to devastating heights, Such Great Heights as The Postal Service once aspired to like chimneysweeps outstretched towards the vertices of pinprick spires, Tobias Fröberg coos for an unobtainable escapism from the fjords of his homelands. Quite incomprehensibly, Swedish sounds have never translated overseas all that coherently and Fröberg appears to strive against Scandinavian confines, layering vocals over vocals over fragile string sections and an endless urgency in a superficially haphazard attempt to crack the shells of those more subdued British and American scenes. Snare drums rattle through the militant gallops of When We Go To War, before expanding into an addictive chorus set to condemn the commercialism that dictates and corrupts our Western society. As violins swirl menacingly about fluctuating vintage organs like a bizarre James Bond soundtrack off-cut, Fröberg allegorically aligns the futile barbarity of conflict, against the beating hearts and longing souls involuntarily caught in its irreconcilable wake. As a producer-turned-artist in his own right, the knobs have been twiddled to the most precise of degrees, tying down the floating, lofty acoustics of I Wanna Hurt Like That to anvils strikingly reminiscent of retro pop/ soul nuggets, whilst The Skyline aches with a setting sense of melancholic disaster. Were The Big Up plugged into a life support machine, beeps and frequencies would flat-line around the unresolved strums of Sandra, before miraculously springing to life in the glorious resurrection ignited by the dying embers of the record; I Hope That I Die Before You refracts beautifully broken, almost detuned vocals over a Spector-esque Motown canvas amidst a whirlwind of passion, the sort that could only realistically be born of the sincerest of existential heartaches, before Baby Baby Baby sails away ecstatically into a sea of clashing cymbals. The Big Up may never define the musical exports of Sweden, set against compatriots along the lines of ABBA, The Knife, Jens Lekman and The Cardigans. Yet following in the footsteps of The Radio Dept., where Morrissey once quizzed How Soon Is Now, Sweden’s hours of extended daylight may well have dawned, with Fröberg dragging saccharine rays from beneath the gloom of a dusk-set horizon.
        Tobias Fröberg - The Big Up  by  Playground Music