El Perro Del Mar – God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)

album-el-perro-del-mar

Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.

The early to mid years of the 00’s offered up a few groups that were intent on reviving the 60’s girl group sounds made famous by The Ronettes, The Shangri-Las, The Supremes, and dozens others. One of my favorite artists that arrived during the new era of girl groups was Sweden’s El Perro Del Mar (meaning “experienced sailor”). No mere revival, her songs were layered with a sadness that felt lived in. Her self titled record was released in mid 2006, and was her 1st record to be released outside of her native Sweden. The album’s 1st single was the haunting God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get). Phil Spector-ish strings back the heavenly vocals, everything hanging together perfectly, yet delicately so. Overcome with resignation as she sings “God knows / I’ve been taking a lot without giving back”, confidence builds by the time we reach the chorus of “You gotta give to get / You gotta give to get back”. A song that sounds like it could have been made in any era since the 50’s, it is a masterfully executed. I was able to see El Perro Del Mar for the album’s tour and was delighted that the songs were just as wonderful in a live setting. Sarah Assbring – who is El Perro Del Mar – has gone on to release several more albums, each shifting away from the girl group sound. All of it is worth checking out.

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First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar

Everything I know about Sweden can be distilled into the following:

  1. IKEA
  2. Swedish Fish (usually purchased at IKEA)
  3. Lingonberry Jam (purchased at IKEA)
  4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  5. Pärson Sound  – International Harvester – Harvester – Träd, Gräs och Stenar (same band basically in different incarnations) are my favorite psychedelic band and they are from Sweden
  6. The Jens Lekman song “The Cold Swedish Winter” with its lyrics “When people think of Sweden / like Cliff Richards who thought it was just / porn and gonorrhea / And Lou Reed said in the film / Blue in the Face / that compared to New York City / Sweden is a scary place