Second album from Cocoanut Groove.. Fronted by Olov Antonsson, it’s their first as a full band, the debut album Madeleine Street (2008) having essentially been a solo project. Hailing from the North of Sweden, Antonsson wears his1960s baroque pop influences on his sleeve, along with traces of latter day guitar pop like The Smiths and The Clientele, and folk acts like Vashti Bunyan and Nick Drake.
The songs for How to Build a Maze were written and recorded over quite a long period of time. Bleaker and less naive than their debut it’s still no great departure, with Olov continuing to strive for 60s pop perfection, attempting to write something as beautiful as “Beechwood Park” by The Zombies or “World Of You” by The Aerovons. As well, there are quite a few traditional Swedish folk melodies hidden on the album, like the ones you find on the album “Jazz på svenska” by Swedish pianist Jan Johansson.
Recorded in various places around Olov’s hometown Umeå, with no professional recording studios involved whatsoever, the album is about getting lost in different ways – losing your way in city streets, losing friends and watching summers pass. The theme can be summed up by this simple definition from Wikipedia: “A maze is a tour puzzle in the form of a complex branching passage through which the solver must find a route.”
Having taken their name from a Lovin’ Spoonful/Roger Nichols song, Cocoanut Groove formed in 2007 with Olov writing and recording the song “The End Of The Summer On Bookbinder Road”, which became their debut single. Olov writes all the songs and plays guitar, as well as bass, piano and whatever else is needed. Over the years (and on this record) he has been joined by Calle Thoor, Anton Runesson and William Andersson (drums), Josef Ringqvist (bass), Mattias Malm (guitar, keys, vocals, arrangements, percussion and whatnot), Ivar and Gunnar Lantz (strings) and Frida Danielsson (trumpet).
Cocoanut Groove follow in a grand tradition of Swedish indiepop, with a focus on melody and beauty, tinged with melancholy. From the long, dark winters to the respite of the dreamy summers, the songs talk of escaping the city and pining for the countryside, about unemployment and having nothing to do but drink coffee and watch the birds fly.
Tracklist: Prelude / How To Build A Maze / On A Monday Morning / The High Coast / Fair-Weather Friend / Colours / Night Walk / Afternoon / A Secret Tune / Night Walk / Seven Flowers
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