In the business of judging books by their covers, the first thing I really noticed about As I Write ‘Today’ Ten Times was the layout of the type on the album cover. Something about it reminded me of all those albums I used to order from Shelflife in middle/high school and I thought, “I really think I would like to listen to that.”
The Andersen Tapes centers around Amanda Aldervall, who you may remember from Free Loan Investments. Just like with Free Loan Investments, here you’ll find Amanda crafting gorgeous, perfect pop songs — really, they’re just as much moments in time or experience as they are songs.
For me, As I Write ‘Today’ Ten Times is an album that straddles seasons. There’s a softness about the production that lends itself nicely to wintertime listening, but there’s also a vivacity (see “Clap, Clap, Clap”) speaks to the new beginning of a coming spring. Amanda’s voice manages to capture youthful hope as well as the resilience that often comes only with time and experience (see “Turn to Speak.”) And in those moments when you think things might be a little too smooth, a little too soft and perfect, there’s a moment that jolts you back into the experience of listening, of being alive (for me, one of these moments is on “Riksgränsen” at about 2 minutes and 15 seconds in, when Amanda sings, “While your heart keeps aching.”)
Honestly, if you just want to hear a close-to-100%-perfect pop album, I really don’t think you can do much better than As I Write ‘Today’ Ten Times. There’s just something about Amanda as a songwriter and performer — you can’t help but feel full of possibilities when you’re listening to her music.
The Andersen Tapes have a MySpace where you can stream about half of their album. If you like what you hear, you can order the album direct from the label (Sweden’s Fraction Discs) or (if you’re in the US) you can pick it up via mail order from Jigsaw Records.