Danarkia, 2006

With glockenspiel, accordion and toy-piano Detektivbyrån (Dee-tek-teeve-bu-ron, “The Detective Agency”) take their audience on an imaginative musical journey through the urban streets of Paris and the forests of Värmland, the Swedish province where the band originate from.

By now Anders Flanders, Jon Ekström and Martin Molin, the members of Detektivbyrån, must be sick of being compared to Yann Tiersen but the fact remains that their music bears many similarities to the soundtrack of Amelie, with their music sharing the same flow that infused the much loved movie.

However Detektivbyrån are not mere copy cats. With the sound of hedge clippers and their homemade instruments, such as the music box and the traktofon, they create unique songs that make up Hemvägen, (“The Way Home” but also the name of a housing estate in Värmland) the band’s debut EP.

Hemvägen can in fact be seen as a tribute to Värmland. Tracks such as “E18” (the highway that goes through the province), “Vänerhavet” (Vänern is a lake in the region) and Granmon (a place in…guess where? Värmland!) show the band’s love for their roots.

Though songs such as “Dansbanan” (“The Outdoor Dance Palace”) and “Nattöppet” (“Open at Night”) are instrumentals, like the rest of the songs on the EP, they continue the rich storytelling tradition of Värmland.

You don’t have to be a detective to discover the potential of Detektivbyrån. Call it folk-tronica or accordion-disco (how the band themselves describe their music), Hemvägen is great beginning and Detektivbyrån could end up in the same league as Sigur Ros and Beirut. If they could only hurry up and finish their long-awaited album.