Record Review: Dag för Dag

Dag för Dag
Stockholm, Sweden

“Wanderlust from Stockholm’s nomads”

Dag för Dag are a brother and sister with a penchant, maybe even a pedigree, for wanderlust. Siblings Sarah and Jacob Snavely variously lived, separately and together, in San Francisco, the UK, Greece, Spain, Hawaii, and even exotic Missoula, Montana before settling in Sweden (the band name means “day by day” in the local tongue) in 2007. The new location turned out to be the creative catalyst: a year after moving into what they describe as a “one room crow’s nest” in Stockholm, Sarah and Jake would have an entire album’s worth of material recorded, and the following summer would release a debut EP Saddle Creek culled from those sessions.

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Boo, the band’s first proper full-length, actually was first released in Europe in early 2010 to modest plaudits. As the record creeps back to its creators’ home country via last month’s US release, it increasingly seems like a postcard from the siblings’ days living together in London. Note the palpable Love and Rockets vamp as “Silence as the Verb” swaggers through the murk of unmixed guitars and reverbed percussion. Indeed, the gauzy trappings of the likes of L&R, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division, and the bygone staples of 4AD’s ’80s catalog haunt Boo’s indefinite edges. Even “Animal,” Boo’s most upbeat cut, juxtaposes the imprecise guitar tremolo dives of early My Bloody Valentine with the incongruity of Sarah’s anthemic neo New Wave vocals.

Obviously enamored with both the enormity of the world and the intimacy of family, Sarah and Jacob Snavely have turned in with Boo a record concerned with specific plot points in their shared musical history. The Snavelys largely mitigate the risks of such blatant homage, however, by turning in heartfelt vocal melodies and warm two-part harmonies. In doing so, Boo somehow splits the difference in Dag för Dag’s nomadic backstory, sort of like a sticker-adorned suitcase filled only with family photos. (Ceremony Recordings)

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