The reviewer’s handbook of national stereotypes tells us that music from Norway should either be doomy death metal or its yearning, melancholic ambient polar opposite. Something to do with the lack of sunlight, the footnotes add.
Lido is, we’re happy to report, neither of these things. This fast rising producer, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist makes what can only be described as truly international sounds, as hard to pin down in terms of genre terms as they are in geographical ones. As well you might imagine of an artist who has worked with everyone from Chance The Rapper and Skrillex to Halsey, Banks and JoJo, producing six of the songs on the latter’s recent US number one album.
But hold on a moment before ou thrown your Nordic preconceptions out of the window altogether. Yes, the trademark Lido sound is shiny and polished, typified by skeletal, glitchy instrumentation, skittering drum machine beats that nod equally to trap and electronica and, above all, layered processed vocals that take Autotune and turn it into an instrument n its own right. But dig s little deeper and you’ll discover that beneath this undeniably snazzy-sounding exterior there is a very pure , brutal beauty that must owe at least a little to the starkly stunning surroundings of Lido’s homeland.
If that’s one important strand to the character of ‘Peder’, the other is the revelation that Lido’s apparently limitless skill set has also led to the creation of a children’s book ‘A Boy On A Spaceship’, whose hero Peder also happens to lend this album his name.
It’s significant because the innocence of childhood seems to be another theme that seems to run through Lido’s sound., In its most literal form, you can hear it in the children’s musical box that starts the album’s closing tune ‘Yellow Bike’, so wonderfully lush and dreamy that Lido actually has to insert the sound of an alarm clock to wake himself from his reveries towards its end.
But it’s also present running not far beneath the surface across the LP’s 12 tracks. In the video to ‘Rise’, one of the big singles that preceded the album’s release, Lido wanders across the surface of an alien planet, seemingly discovering musical instruments for the first time.
It’s a telling image, because Lido’s approach is light touch and refreshingly free from the usual levels of knowing irony, never afraid to go for a heart tugging melody and some unabashed emotional impact when it’s there for the taking.
‘Please Fasten Your Seatbelt’, featuring Brandon Arreaga, is another great example, almost entirely resting on the power of the human voice and accompanied only by almost imperceptible computer-generated tones and textures. It’s stunning – totally leftfield and experimental yet at the same time able to communicate directly, powerfully and immediately.
Other high spots? The reflective mood, open hearted lyrics and low slung, laid back groove of ‘Postclubridehomemusic’ is definitely one, as is the clap-happy, party-starting LP opener
‘Grouptext’ featuring Ebenezer.
But this is also a varied, multi-faceted ride of an album that sweeps you along and ends up being more than the sum of its parts. It’s pop music, sure, but not as we know it, or rather not as we knew it before ‘Peder’ came into our lives. A class affair.