Lykke Li, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, DJ Poptastic | Metro | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Lykke Li, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, DJ Poptastic Recommended Member Picks All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sat., Feb. 7, 8 p.m. 2009

As much as I love the current wave of Scandinavian art pop, sometimes the wispy sing­ing of folks like Lykke Li, Anja Garbarek, or Silje Nes makes me yearn for something weightier. That’s where the Swedish duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums comes in. Drummer Andreas Werliin and singer Mariam Wallentin met at music school in Gothenburg in 2004 and formed this group out frustration with academic rigidity; you can hear them letting go of the rules in their music. Sometimes Wallentin will drop in some zither or glockenspiel, but her spectacular voice doesn’t need much else. One moment she’s having her way with a ballad like a jazz singer, twisting her phrases into new shapes on every pass, the next she’s unleashing a deep belly bellow on some loose transatlantic translation of a southern work song. And the minimal instrumentation only focuses attention on her sophisticated and haunting melodies. The duo’s 2006 debut, Heartcore (Leaf), was released here last year, and it’s anyone’s guess when the even better follow-up, The Snake (released overseas on Caprice), might turn up stateside, but both records pale next to the knockout live show, where charisma and nonchalant invention turn up the heat. Lykke Li headlines; Poptastic DJs. —Peter Margasak

Price: $18

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