Sweden’s Sarah Assbring—alter ego, El Perro Del Mar—builds gentle, harmonious pop songs, sixties-sunshine-pop-inspired, straightforward and beautifully rendered. Her self-titled debut—mostly acoustic, peppered with the saddest lyrics heard on the planet—was hypnotizing and intoxicating. Her follow-up, the recently released “From the Valley to the Stars,” has the same effect, though it loses some of the uppity pop gusto. Not to worry—it’s not gone completely, and Assbring’s ability to turn a simple phrase into a crushing passage has only improved. This sort of relaxation treatment would soothe the most serious of burns. That may not be your dope of choice, but hey, that’s your problem. (Tom Lynch)
El Perro Del Mar plays May 12 at Schubas, 3159 North Southport, (773)525-2508, at 8pm. $15.