Sweden’s Mary Onettes wrapped up their brief US tour with a stop at New York’s Mercury Lounge on Sunday night. It was the third show in the city this week for the band, whose sophomore album, Islands, was just released on November 3rd.

Unable to soundcheck before the show, and playing on some borrowed as well as some new equipment, the Mary Onettes experienced some technical problems in the middle of their set, along with minor sound issues along the way. Nevertheless, none of this seemed to mar the band members’ enthusiasm, and the Swedes maintained a sense of humor throughout. After noticing the relative quietude  of the audience, guitarist Petter Augeren commented, “It’s very quiet,” to which some in the crowd responded, “It’s Sunday night!” Augeren replied in kind, “Sunday night in Sweden is quiet, not New York!.”


With beautiful melodies and a blend of guitars and keyboards, The Mary Onettes’ lushly arranged, atmospheric songs are a refreshing update on the 1980s to early 1990s sounds made famous by The Chameleons and Echo & The Bunnymen. The band’s sound also recalls more obscure artists The Sound and Adrian Borland, whom Augeren has said is one of his all-time favorites (he wears a button with a photo of Borland, who died tragically in London in 1999). Starting off with current single, “Puzzles,” from the Islands and ending with “Lost” from the band’s 2007 eponymous debut, the set was a satisfyingly even mix of songs that painted a succesful swatch over the Mary Onettes’s career. “Void,” “Henry,” “God Knows I Had Plans” and “Once I Was Pretty” were also included.  –Teresa Sampson, Photos by Teresa Sampson