It's no secret that I have a fondness for singles. To me it can mean the ultimate test of a band: you have two songs, prove yourself. Prove you're worthy of my attention.
"Art is music, music is art" is a two song release by Örebro (Sweden) musician Mohlavyr (nee Ulrika Mohlin). On each song she works with two other musicians (Carl-Johan Groth and Samuel Lundström on "Mr Grey", two Annas (Rubinsztein and Roussel) on "Whatever"). These little combos have created a pair of wonderful songs. Together the pieces manage to evoke french cabaret and street music, like Tom Waits performing the songs of Edith Piaf... or vice versa.
Each selection is nicely recorded and arranged, like a text book example of "less is more". Mohlavyr and her compatriots succeed in proving that smaller is better and make sure that they don't overwork or overproduce these songs. As such I have a hard time picking between the two.
I waver every time I listen to this recording. I'm naturally inclined to "Mr Grey" as Lundström plays musical saw on the piece (one of my all-time favorite instruments), but "Whatever" is just too charming. At the end of the ditty you have a Swede singing in French, which just tickles me (both songs are presented in English otherwise). So I'm not going to pick a favorite. Any single where either song could count as the "A" side is a winner.
(Yes, it passes the Rev. Nørb Law of Singles*. Easily)