The Emil Ågren Conspiracy is the new project of 23 year-old singer-songwriter Emil Ågren, born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden. Emil has been the lead singer and guitarist in bands such as The Old News and The Telegram. The 3rd of September (2020) he released his debut solo single “Loving’s Hard” under the new project name. The single is a story-driven song which centers on the theme of love, and asks the question, if loving is easy, or actually really demanding. Emil’s debut album has already been recorded and is waiting to be released. The album will be – just as the single suggests – based upon acoustic-driven traditional singer-songwriter elements.
Straight off the bat, “Loving’s Hard” is a terrific record and a testament to the down-home cleverness of The Emil Ågren Conspiracy project. After all, how many other artists can still surprise and satisfy as much when they first break onto the scene? From start to finish, the song does a great job of capturing the nostalgia and wisdom of legendary songwriters without losing sight of the youthful tenacity and outspokenness that makes Emil unique.
The Emil Ågren Conspiracy’s debut single harbors pleasing musical characteristics and weighty lyrical ruminations. It seems almost superfluous to ponder whether Emil’s own experiences added any levels of emotional depth or resonance to the song; what is perhaps more pertinent is that the track pulsates with organic vigor, both musically and vocally. The acoustic-guitar strums drives the mid-tempo momentum, while Emil’s mellifluous croon dominates the melody.
Behind the folky psychedelia and pop melodicism, The Emil Ågren Conspiracy’s injects a slice of bouncy eccentricity and sing-along joy into the witty bittersweet narrative. It obviously helps matters that Emil Ågren’s writing is as pointed as some of the best in his field.
He actually sounds like one of contemporary music’s most perceptive lyricists – a rare feat for a newcomer. There is a focus, a defined outline, and ultimately the appearance of a songwriter who aims to be in charge of the music he releases.
Emil Ågren’s angular voice provides a poetic narration about love over the organic instrumental and rising harmonies, with just a drop of ear-warming retro sauce. “Loving’s Hard” is an atypical track for a scene inundated with loops, samples, hip-hop beats and auto-tune.
But this is exactly what makes the song rise above the noise. The record does not rely on modern-day recording tropes, but instead borrows from a time before. When alluring melodies, and immersive narratives dominated the industry.
If that overview makes you think “Loving’s Hard” is an outdated nostalgic trip, you are literally and technically wrong. Objectively, its sonic threads weave together a beguiling arrangement that actually defies categorization into any one musical compartment.
The simple elements used in the track, add up to a brilliant work full of confidence and ideas, all laid out on a canvas that is easy to digest. The way The Emil Ågren Conspiracy explores the limits of his artistic capabilities with such exuberance, thoughtfulness and disregard for the mainstream rules, makes for a truly intoxicating listening experience.