Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 05/20/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: El Perro del Mar
El Perro del Mar is the musical work of Swedish songstress Sarah Assbring. Drawing influence from ’60s girl-group music, church hymns, buddhist mantras, and twee pop, Assbring makes slow, sad, achingly beautiful pop-songs that favor simple repetition over overblown ostentation.
Assbring (born in 1977) was raised in Gothenburg, and was exposed to music at an early age via the record collection of her jazz-loving father. From her childhood, Assbring wanted to “first and foremost” be a singer. “I remember being amazed by Annie Lennox and Kate Bush as a kid,” Assbring has recalled, to Identity Theory. “I was totally into their way of going in and out of different personalities, almost as a form of acting when singing.”
Assbring abandoned early piano lessons because of their “restrictive” nature, and took to singing in a church choir throughout her adolescence and into early adulthood.
In 2003, mired in depression and feeling like a victim of her own “destructive and negative” attitude, Assbring escaped on a holiday to Spain. On an isolated beach, she came across a dog, and via a strange process of self-identification —”I had had this feeling of feeling like a dog, all hopeless and tired,” she told Pitchfork— she came to two conclusions: she had to start making music, and her name had to be El Perro del Mar (Spanish for “the Dog from the Sea”).
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