Loney dear

Swedish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emil Svanängen makes records and plays shows under the enigmatic name of Loney dear.

In the early 2000s, in his Stockholm apartment studio, Svanängen made a name for himself by creating homemade CDRs with a minidisk microphone and a home computer, self-releasing albums which by 2007 had pricked Sub Pop’s ears and they released Loney Noir. Two more albums — Dear John and Hall Music — followed, as did glowing reviews in The Guardian, BBC, Drowned in Sound, Pitchfork and earlier this year the Line of Best Fit went as far as calling him a “brilliant genius.”

Loney dear has consistently crafted elegant, deeply stirring music.

"…the obsessive work of one man, albeit one that can sing with the vulnerable delicacy of an angel and makes bedroom recordings that sound like God's own orchestra." The Quietus

Multi-layered with instrumentation and Svanängen’s fragile yet irrepressible vocals, Loney dear’s songs bloom with a sense of both intimacy and openness, at once uplifting and heartbreaking, tenacious yet tender.

In 2017 Svanängen found himself at something of a crossroads. His career to that point, in many ways, had been as unique as his music. “I’ve been taking some strange roads. Basically, I have a really strange career and I have no idea where it’s going. Everything is always random because my career is so small and slow. I have had to learn to enjoy all the randomness of what I’m doing.”

After many years in the music industry, Svanängen had reached a stage in which he was not striving to be loved, to be big, to be recognised or feel that he was deserving of more than he has. Above all, he was emboldened simply by the music he was making, which featured on that year’s self-titled album, his first for Real World. “I’m moving into a more bold state,” he said at the time. “I’m confident, powerful, I became a singer, I learned my darkness and discovered my magnetism”.

Since then, Svanängen has found different and unique ways to perform his songs live: Completely solo, with trios, with chamber orchestras as well as with full symphony orchestras.

Further reading

The Breath pay tribute to American cult folk icon Karen Dalton with new single

Karen Dalton's classic album In My Own Time is 50 years old this month.

M’berra by Khalab & M’berra Ensemble out today

M'berra is a collaboration between electronic artist Khalab and musicians from M'berra refugee camp.

A Code of Signals: Exploring the symbolism of Loney dear’s album art

Each flag on the cover art of Loney dear's new album and singles means something different.

A Lantern and a Bell: Track by Track

Emil Svanängen a.k.a. Loney dear and producer Emanuel Lundgren discuss the new album.