When is a new band not a new band? Is it when one of its members has already co-written a hit single so technically perfect it should be studied at university? Most of Amason have previous. In fact, they’re a supergroup of sorts. Pontus Winnberg is a member of Miike Snow and the Avant half of songwriting/production duo Bloodshy & Avant, who created the previously mentioned example of pop genius, Britney Spears’s Toxic. Amanda Bergman is a singer-songwriter who performs as Idiot Wind. Then there’s Gustav Ejstes, the singer-guitarist from psych band Dungen, and Nils Törnqvist and Pontus’s brother, Petter, from Swedish alt-pop group Little Majorette. This Swedish came together as Amason in 2012, taking their name either from an old make of Volvo or the female warriors of Greek mythology. Strangely, both make sense.
Amason’s music – showcased on their debut album, Sky City – is functional, polished and slick, but with a wild edge: Bergman’s measured and assured vocals have a witchy quality that gives the songs a windswept wantonness. At their best, Amason sound like 80s Fleetwood Mac, with Bergman as both Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, with a nod to someone more esoteric and Teutonic, like Nico.
At least half of the 12 tracks on Sky City are like a homage to the Mac at their most shinily languid. Some of them go off-piste, but the most impressive moments on Sky City genuflect before the Mac of Mirage and Tango in the Night, when Lindsey Buckingham was in his pomp. Duvan is great, with that lovely Lindsey-style loping beat and Bergman at her Stevie-est, singing about black skies and the oceanside with all the mystery she can muster. Kelly is more of a McVie moment, being a dead ringer for the lovely Little Lies.