Tracks

Molnbär av John: "I Wish I Could Draw Her Nose (1)"

(2009)

By George Bass | 7 November 2009

Tona Serenad’s pursuit of fatigued vinyl hots up with this picture disc from Molnbär an John. Molnbär’s an impostor, though—he’s actually label boss John Henriksson, the string-puller who’s shaped the Serenad sound since the Musette debut in April. If you’ve already lived with that one, you might think the Tona aesthetic is a finite one. But, as this infomercial proves, the gang can now cultivate the Tona sound and fling it about by the bucketload, creating a compressed warble like a thousand old Sundays for the A-side of I Wish I Could Draw Her Nose. And when I say Sundays, I’m talking Sundays long before Sunday School; long before re-runs of Land of the Giants (1968) and hours spent frustrated in parks.

On the surface, there’s not that much in it between “Nose” and the Datum LP—soft-as-a-cardigan stylus fizzle wiped across a pre-war lullaby—but thirty seconds in and you’re not quite so comfy. This one isn’t fit for the delicate relatives, and quickly drifts into the headachey abandon of waking up with a gramophone in a fishing hut, slats rattling thanks to last night’s mushrooms and lighter gas sucked from the flotsam. The vocals come telegrammed in from a similarly stricken outstation, the line’s thick with wind/hungry seagulls and the diva’s bray of “I wish I could draw her nose / Maybe I need classes” touches your guilt nerve for just long enough. Then garbled spools flicker to life and eat up a game show jingle. Quite simply, this is six minutes of spectacular Swedish reverie that makes for one fuck of a time-slip, and maps the sonic equivalent of catching food poisoning off a luxury roast dinner. Who knows what treasures await on side B. I’ve not yet had the urge to flip it.