Swedish indie-chanteuse Sarah Assbring—popularly known as El Perro Del Mar—goes On the Record about the never-ending influence Burial’s 2007 sophomore album, Untrue, exerts on her music. Her latest album, Pale Fire, is out now via The Control Group.
“I’ll show you light now. It burns forever.” Burial’s sophomore album, Untrue, unravels with these words, and in so many ways they reveal everything that this album means to me. How it made my heart break, but also how it made me think about music in a new way. It still does.
I can’t count the times I’ve listened to Untrue since its release in 2007, but I still clearly remember the way I felt the first time I listened to it. There’s so much complex emotion, so much heartfelt melancholy and darkness, and so much love in these songs that the whole of the album transported me to a dark and rainy city of its own design. A place where I felt the completeness of everything Burial commands.
Of course, the notion of sampling R&B vocals seems to have been exhausted since then, but in my estimation no similar statement has come close to what Burial achieved here. There are so many things about Untrue that have influenced me, both consciously and unconsciously, but perhaps the most important is that it turned my ideas about music and its rules upside down.
For me it’s never been about the focus on the dubstep/garage influence—I listen to the album in the same way I listen to a great soul album. I’ve always been into harmonies and surprising ways of driving melody to new places, and that’s one way that Untrue struck me—fragments pulled together would turn into an incredibly exquisite soul song. When I hear “Archangel” or “Untrue,” I respond to them in the same way I do to songs by Nina Simone or Marvin Gaye. For me, it’s just a new kind of soul music. Try to sing along to a song on Untrue and you’ll find how good it feels, how the melodies blend into each other and grow into the most beautiful harmonies.
It’s no coincidence that I’ve begun to experiment with sampling on my new album, Pale Fire. I’ve lived with Untrue close to my heart since 2007 and will keep it there. He showed me light, after all, and it burns forever.