The Lilac Time
From The Lilac Time's opening track, Sweden's Pelle Carlberg telegraphs what he's all about by titling it "1983 (Pelle & Sebastian)." The allusion to the literary, winsome Scottish jangle-pop group is a defense mechanism against critics who undoubtedly are aching to drop that pun. As far as Belle & Sebastian homages go, The Lilac Time ably captures the easygoing lope; the hummable, sunlit tunes; and Stuart Murdoch's intimate, wispy, and enticingly enervated singing. Carlberg is an engaging, witty lyricist, too—I've never heard of anyone penning an anti- animal-lovers song ("they bore me to death"), and it's about fucking time. If talent borrows and genius steals, then Carlberg is a genius.