Sweden’s Emil Svanangen has released a strong collection of records under his Loney Dear pseudonym, none more affecting than this year’s “Dear John,” a record that’s lovable from first listen and only grows more endearing with time. Svanangen’s vanilla vocal prowess is more warm and comforting than you would expect while layered over this material; instead of dashing away in whine-attack horror, I keep coming back with arms extended. I want to hug this music and hold on for a little too long, just enough to make the encounter uncomfortable. Three songs from “Dear John”—”Harsh Words,” “Summers” and the title-track closer—would rank on my personal list of best songs of 2009, both for their immaculate melodies and bittersweet paint job. Is Svanangen overly precious? Of course he is, he’s from Sweden. Why would you even ask that? Truth is, Loney Dear’s live show, which I caught last winter at Schubas, is gorgeous, impossibly pretty and even joyful. (Tom Lynch)
October 10 at Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake, (312)929-2022, at 9pm.