loveable tulips
The Loveable Tulips

What came to be The Loveable Tulips started out as a whisper between friends a decade ago. Pia and Pernilla met as they both started doing backing vocals in a band that quit playing some time ago. They later came to name their own duo as a homage to one of the more corny lyrics produced by that band in which they first made each others acquaintance.A few years passed. Pia and Pernilla found themselves performing the same dreary task in another indie pop gathering by the name of Gray Brigade. By then the emancipation process had already begun. They’d started making plans and schemes in a somewhat explosive yet secretive manner. Those self absorbed guys that had been the girls natural environment and collaborators in the music scene at the time had no clue as to the seriousness and raw ambition behind the project. Although not kept a total secret The Loveable Tulips were rarely seen as more than a cute sidetrack to the more important destinies and doings of other bands.

During the same period great female artist such as Jenny Wilson, El Perro Del Mar and Frida Hyvönen emerged and received appraisal in the Swedish music scene as well as internationally. When The Lovable Tulips recently sent out  a prerelease of their first singles produced by Jari Happalainen immediate recognition in the blog circuit followed. By then their first real accomplishment seemed all so natural, more of a necessity than a coincidence really.

The Loveable Tulips makes wonderful pop music with both wit, dept and loads of that naivistic cuteness their floral name seems to imply. The music and lyric styles of Pernilla and Pia can loosely be tied to a general indie scene, at least  judging by their sound. The songs however are so much more than that. It´s classic yet contemporary stuff you see coming out of the two of them, hammering away on the piano in a somewhat school teacheresque manner. The songs are middle of the road kind of stuff whitout being boring and often reminiscent of those great girl groups of the sixties. Sometimes you hear Carol King and sometimes you hear ABBA. Certainly the spirit of Frida and Agneta are present in the imediateness and power of Pia and Pernillas uncomplicated voices even if they themselves would not admit to the famous swedes of the past being a major influence. But that’s the way it goes. They sing, you listen.

Fortune Favors the Brave is an abrasive schlager with a pungent pressure that is self explanatory for the first time listener. It is the sort of tune the industry executive would recognise as having hit potential hadn’t been for the rough edges in the sound that often seems to please the more accomplished listener.

In I’m Just a Heart the repetitive phrases seems to tell the tragic tale of a quintessential heart brake. Unanswered love is a common topic and therefore not easy to reinvent. Girl loves boy but boy loves some other girl is at play here. But as the deep gong gong sounds, courtesy of Jari Happalainen, accompanied by a spooky scream, the naked raw emotion is just there and is lost on none of us. It is not cute. It is not inviting. It is frightening and it is also beautiful in the most ancient meaning of the word. Those worn out shoes once more seem, dare we say, real. The nordic girl next door rapidly transforms into a mystic demigod of passed time and rapidly shape shifts back into the person you see on the cover, the girly woman, singing her song by the piano. By her side is her best friend.

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