Picture You

The Swedish indie-pop/psychedelic rock band The Amazing is one Apple Music introduced to me. I didn’t know any of their songs other than today’s selection, “Picture You,” before playing some of their music as I sat down to write today’s post.

So far, a feature of their music is psychedelia-infused guitar effects and synthesizers. The vocals add to this floaty, dreamlike sound.

On the studio recording, the guitars, keyboards and singing come across in pleasing, gentle melodies punctuated by the bass and drums. The singing is understated, and soft enunciation makes the lyrics a little hard to capture, so I’m glad I could find them online, as the internet is otherwise sparse on written words about the band, its members and their roles, or their music.

The instrumentation is the lead in this nine-minute, twenty-seven-second piece (studio version); most of the singing finishes by three and a half minutes in. A minute later, the band settles into a instrumental outro that builds toward the end with some pretty remarkable playing (at one point some of the guitar strumming in the studio version sounds like a cross between a harp and a harpsichord, and the drumming is incredible for such a minimalist kit).

In an American Songwriter magazine/website article from eight years ago, album reviewer Hal Horowitz writes, “Listening to the Swedish band The Amazing is akin to taking a trip back into the mid-80s. That was an era when groups such as the Church, the Mighty Lemon Drops, the Cocteau Twins and others popularized a style that floated on a bed of intertwining guitars, breathy vocals and wistful soundscapes.”

He continues, “Frontman Christoffer Gunrup’s gauzy vocals effortlessly reflect the music, even if his voice and words are secondary to the overall sonic experience. They become just another ingredient in the overall vibe, but with titles such as ‘Circles,’ ‘The Headless Boy’ and ‘Captured Light’ it seems there are interesting concepts to explore.

“Don’t expect help with that though. The package is the epitome of stark with no printed song lyrics, pictures of the members, or even a listing of who they are, let alone what they play. That just adds to the mystery of the group whose layered swirl of often overdubbed acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, pensive harmonies and surprisingly jazzy percussion wrap around each other like the strands of a tapestry.”

Horowitz is bang-on with his assessments of the band’s style, and my experience echoes his remarks on the lack of written information about the band. I’m not sure I’d listen to the whole album again, but I do like this song and its catchy, dreamy vibe. The 80s influence surely has something to do with that…

“In the cold and green tomorrow
Throws you into this
Your archive

If your shapes could sometimes turn to
Make you feel at ease
Make you mine

If your shapes could sometimes turn to
Make you feel at ease
Make you smile

And the way you always tell her
Shouldn’t work inside
I know

Did you always like to dream of
Things that could have been
I know I do

Do you find it hard to say words
That could have been of me
I know I do

Oooh oooh oooh

Do you like to dream of a current
I know I do
Do you like to dream of a current
I know I do”

“Picture You,” by The Amazing.
Lyrics retrieved from Songlyrics.com.

Today’s track comes from the band’s fourth studio album, Picture You (2015).

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here.

Please enjoy the live video recorded for the NPR’s (National Public Radio) World Cafe radio program’s live session series, Sense of Place, in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2015.

And here’s the official video featuring the studio version from the Partisan Records YouTube channel:

With my best wishes,


2 thoughts on “Picture You

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