The Amazing – Gentle Stream (Subliminal)

Swedish collective The Amazing are a psychedelic folk pop outfit headed by prog rock veteran and renowned guitar shredder Reine Fiske, and songwriter and vocalist Christoffer Gunrup. With the revolving door of skilled collaborators who complete the band, the pair have already released an album and a ‘mini album’ under their ballsy moniker.

Gentle Stream is also the title of the first track, and it is an apt name. Shimmering guitars are reminiscent of light playing on the water, Gunrup’s voice floats like a spring leaf in an eddy, and cymbal chimes drift like a warm breeze. Accomplished psychedelic guitar features on the closing two minutes of this six minute long track. Gentle Stream has a golden, 70s pop folk flavour that permeates the rest of the album (that is, when The Amazing are not exploring the 60s).

Flashlight is a slightly more twee investigation of times gone by. Twittering flute, piercing keyboard, a very Swedish accent and relatively nonsensical lyrics somehow to combine to create a sound that is still engaging and warm. Darker Velvet Underground-esque moments give the track the edge it needs.

International Hair chugs along with a fast-walking beat, wispy cymbal washes and female backing vocals that call The Seekers to mind. The track opens up and deconstructs halfway through, allowing percussive drumming and wandering guitar to infiltrate the 60s sounds. The Fog and Gone are 70s-inspired songs that have been put through a modern folk filter to ensure their relevance. Dogs is rockier and more psychedelic, beginning with a mesmerizing beat and further hypnotizing the ears with soothing, spacey guitar.

At just two minutes long, Assumptions is by far the shortest and least retro-sounding of all the tracks. Quirky and mysterious, it sounds like an overheard snippet of conversation between two lovers. The album rounds off with When the Colours Change, a woozy jam featuring scattered jazz piano and plenty of breathy ahhhs.

Listening to this warm and dreamy album is the perfect way to imagine the summer we haven’t had.

Kathryn van Beek

Click here to listen to Dogs from Gentle Stream