El Perro Del Mar: Pale Fire

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-- By KCRW Music Librarian, Eric J. Lawrence

Pale FireEl Perro del Mar is basically a one-woman show, the musical nom de plume of Swedish singer/songwriter Sarah Assbring.  Although she has been releasing music for nearly a decade, it is with her new album (her fifth), Pale Fire, that she truly stakes her claim as a distinctive voice in the indie music world.  It is as personal as ever, with the authorial “I” present in virtually every song (“I Carry the Fire,” “I Was a Boy,” etc.), and with a decidedly melancholy vibe (“Love in Vain,” “To the Beat of a Dying World,” etc.)  But there is something knowing about her presentation on Pale Fire that allows her work to rise above those of less-crafty artists.  Perhaps it is telling that this new record shares a name with Vladimir Nabokov’s decontructive, satiric novel.  Then again, maybe not.  But what is certain is that songs like her groovy, electro-pop tune “Walk on By” (an original, not the Bacharach classic) stick in the mind and entice the listener to put it on again.  And that is a rare trick indeed.

Pale Fire will be available to stream on demand from Monday, November 12 through November 18, 2012.