ACL Fest 2015: Amason is Swedish for Amazon

Amanda Bergman of Amason performs during Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park Sunday, October 11, 2015. (Stephen Spillman / for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Amanda Bergman of Amason performs during Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park Sunday, October 11, 2015. (Stephen Spillman / for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Amason are one of those pop bands who you can’t quite place, but later surprise you by being Swedish.

I’m no Swediphile. Those bands start off piquing your interest but tend to wear thin. This band, Amason, though, wears better than most.

They started with a driving number, propelled by sparkling synthesizers and guitars. The drumming was slightly suspect, but it was an upbeat, fun mood.

A lot of that was due to the gorgeous, smoky voice of lead singer Amanda Bergman. It”s reminiscent of Cat Power’s, but Bergman’s has a higher range with a sweet falsetto.

After such a strong start though, Amason’s second song turned down the mood a little too quick, extinguishing their energy with a slow ballad. The set quickly picked up again, but there was never enough momentum to propel the crowd’s interest. It was just a lot of ups and downs, as opposed to a mapped out set with a climax and a come down.

Still, Amason is often worth watching. Not that their live show has the same 12 minute jams, but Amason started to give off a War On Drugs vibe, and you could see their potential there. These were songs that were going somewhere. And a War on Drugs, but with a female singer at the helm … How cool would that be?

Alas, the band’s output onstage is usually more subdued, which is too bad, because once you dig a bit you realize half of Sweden’s movers and shakers are on stage here. You’ve got folks from Miike Snow, Dungen, and the songwriting duo who did Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” Come on!

“It’s pretty warm. It’s pretty cold in Sweden. That’s why we have turtlenecks (on),” said co-vocalist Gustav Ejstes.

Fair enough, but it’s hot and sunny here. Let’s try and play accordingly.


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