This Music Made Me

This Music Made Me: Loney Dear

Ahead of the release of new album A Lantern And A Bell, Emil Svanängen mines his music memory for the albums that have influenced him most

Loney Dear

Loney Dear (Photo: Daniel Grizelj)

Loney Dear, the nom de guerre of Stockholm’s Emil Svanängen, has been making music since 2003. In 2017 he signed to Real World Records and is set to release the first fruits of his new partnership, A Lantern And A Bell, recorded on the Södermalm peninsula. Its stripped down soundscape is fittingly interwoven with marine references and the diffused sounds of water and sea bird calls.

Svanängen’s new label boss Peter Gabriel speaks highly of his new charge: “I am very proud that we are working with such a gifted songwriter. When you’re isolating, what better than to be wrapped up in these beautiful imaginative constructions – the work of a master.”

Ahead of the album’s release Svanängen mined his music memory for the albums that have down the years influenced him most. Here is Loney Dear’s This Music Made Me


Depeche Mode - 101 Depeche Mode – 101

The whole story about how Alan Wilder had to sort out all the sampler preparations literally days before the tour started while no one else could help just doesn’t stop fascinating me.

This music sits just in the pocket of that age, an analogy to how hard it is to see a modern day John Coltrane. The forward looking, technology driven music, on the foundation of rock ‘n’ roll.

The live shouts of David Gahan seems to be cut out and pasted all over the tracks. I’m still trying to investigate if this is the case. Gorgeous music.


Johnny Cash - American IV Johnny Cash – American III/IV

What Rick Rubin did with Johnny Cash is nothing short of godly. I keep coming back to these albums. The fact that they just simplified everything, nothing is especially twisted but it sounds raw, generous and perpetually young.

The dry vocals and the simple attitude really made an impact on how we took on making our own album A Lantern And A Bell. I guess I discovered Rubin the wrong way. These Cash albums were the first contact for me. Truly inspiring.

The songs The Mercy Seat, Hurt and Sam Hall are the ones I hold dearest.


Jonny Greenwood - There Will Be Blood OST Jonny Greenwood – There Will Be Blood OST
and Thom Yorke – ANIMA

I’ve admired the work of Thom and Jonny for years. Their scientific approach, meaning development and curiosity leading the way talks straight to me.

The string orchestral music for Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood just blew me away. Inspired by giants as Penderecki’s Threnody for Hiroshima. The very laid back and gorgeous Dawn Chorus from Anima is probably my current favourite track by Yorke.

The suspense in waiting so long for the chord with the third in bass where the lyrics “if you could do it all again” breaks my heart every time.


Arcade Fire - Neon Bible Arcade Fire – Neon Bible

I listened to Neon Bible the first time on my iPod while on a long US tour in 2007. I think the videographer Vincent Moon has had an impact on me on how I see and think of them.

They’re still fabulous but this is the peak for me in their creativity.

We almost met briefly during a basketball game on the backstage to Sasquatch festival between Vancouver and Seattle in late may 2007 when we both played there.



Peter Gabriel - Scratch My Back Peter Gabriel – Scratch My Back

This is one of the Gabriel albums I hold dearest. I even travelled to Berlin to see the orchestral concert back in 2010, something I’d usually never do.

I had no idea we would end up working together almost a decade later.

The arrangements and works by John Metcalfe is simply stunning. Peter’s vocals sound better than ever.


John Coltrane - A Love Supreme John Coltrane – A Love Supreme

I guess I could have picked something else from the latter Coltrane period but this is still a favourite.

The ending of part I with the almost rap like chanting of “a love supreme” pre dates hip-hop with decades. It’s so interesting to see over the years how Coltrane seems to leave McCoy Tyner behind him, struggling to keep up with the new music.

Make no mistake, he plays lovely, I just guess I hear the struggle of trying to keep up with the mania Coltrane delivers.


Stina Nordenstam - The World Is Saved Stina Nordenstam – The World Is Saved

Mixed by Tchad Blake who coincidentally also mixed our new album. Such an interesting figure.

Stina Nordenstam is the best Sweden ever had. Since quite long now disappeared, and this pearl of an album is one of many. Her way of singing influenced me heavily.

I started singing on my own as a child, kept singing in that same high register as a grown up, I guess Stina opened up my world for how to explore and find my own voice.


Nina Simone - Wild Is The Wind Nina Simone – Wild Is The Wind

Sometimes it’s so hard to see the rest of the world’s music when you think of Nina Simone.

I keep returning to her. The way she connects to classical and jazz music through her piano playing.

I have learned so so much from her, yet I know nothing.



Björk - HomogenicBjörk – Homogenic

I just stumbled over a documentary over this masterpiece of an album and revisited it, like so many times before. I guess I love music that doesn’t age.

For a while the electronic sides of older Björk have felt aged, but when revisiting it, it just seems timeless again.

Where the hell did she emerge from. I absolutely adore this.


Loney Dear’s album A Lantern And A Bell is out through Real World on 26 March 2021. Tour dates and further information can be found at

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More on Loney Dear
Loney Dear – A Lantern And A Bell
This Music Made Me: Loney Dear
Loney Dear – Hall Music
Loney Dear – Dear John
Loney Dear – Loney, Noir