El Perro Del Mar: Love Is Not Pop
[The Control Group]
Sweden’s duchess of the doldrums contemplates our sour times
El Perro Del Mar is the nom de triste of Swedish pop chanteuse Sarah Assbring, whose fourth LP is filled with an almost unbearably melancholic, lovelorn pop that wafts through chilly grey air. It also features a distinct modernization of Assbring’s sound—but when you listen to the album’s seven tracks (plus three club-minded remixes) and begin sifting through the musical lineage (Sundays, C86, Bettie Serveert) comprising low-key odes to heartache such as “Change of Heart” and “L is For Love,” it becomes apparent that she’s still a pretty far cry from fellow Swede/dancing queen Robyn. At heart, the Sea Dog remains a sad-eyed lady of the lowlands.