When a new band rises amongst the quality of Sweden, you clearly have to keep an ear out, which is how I came to you today with news of Croquis. There’s several layers to infatuation with the band’s sound, and I’ll put Wallentin Richardsson’s voice up front here; is gentle and wistful at times, but when pushed he seems to emulate ATH fave Hamilton Leithauser. But, as I found myself pulled into that trap, I began to notice the selling arrangements of the tune, from the constant hop of the cymbals to the swelling strings in the chorus; it all just felt like pure musical magic. The band will release their debut No Longer, Not Yet later this year via Feverish.
Sweden’s The Honeydrips have long been on my radar as purveyors of fine pop music, and with their latest Here Comes the Sun dropping on Friday, I wanted to give you a sweet dose of what you’re in for here. At times, the track takes on this beautifully seductive French pop vibe, kind of like a weird combination of jazzy crooning, with Leopoldine Charon offering spoken snippets to fill in the song’s space. But, while the song’s construction is pretty special all around, that little pop hook from Mikael comes in to offer up in that undeniable hook we all crave. It’s a track that combines cinematic constructs with sprinkles of trip-hop and pop sensibility…a musical journey well worth your time. Look for the rest of the record this Friday!
I’ve been a fan of the Honeydrips for some time, and if you’ve got the time, I suggest going back and giving 2017’s Give Each Other Some Solace a few spins. But, for today, we’re focusing on the band’s newest single and forthcoming LP. While the song does seem to have a current relevance globally, dealing with the troubles facing healthcare workers. But songwriter Mikael Carlsson says the song was written before the current pandemic; he indicates that healthcare worker struggles have been an ongoing problem, only now becoming more visible to the public. Musically, I think you’re going to really enjoy this one; it has this casual bounce from the rhythm section, using these delightful keyboard accents to build in some layers that accent Carlsson’s soothing voice. I love the chorus, especially the following string arrangements that move you into the next verse. Heres Comes the Sun, the new LP, will be out later this Summer.
As the Swedish outfit Kluster B ready their new LP, they’re really flexing their musical muscles, at least in regards to their songwriting. They’ve honed their indiepop skill-set, but in tightening that, they’ve built in a little bit more flare…as we see in their latest single. In between the melodious moments of dreamy pop, they get crunchy, finding expression in the noisier corners of their sound. They surround the melody in this brief crashing of instrumentation, like a distorted cocoon, before slinking back into their poppier side. B, the new album, will be out April 17th via Rama Lama Records.
I’ve been plugging away about Sweden based The Sweet Serenades for almost as long as our website has been around. During that time, the band has evolved and changed direction several times while still managing to keep me interested and engaged. Now the band has become a one man band of Martin Nordvall with founding member Mathias Nslund departing the duo in 2014. With that loss, the band has once again evolved to feature a more electronic, atmospheric sound, as evidenced by this new single “City Lights”. It’s definitely more focused on the electronic, pop side of things though still catchy and slow dance inducing just like some of the old favorites that first drew me to this band. For me, it seems like a natural progression to arrive at this more mature sound after years pumping out great music.
The Sweet Serenades just released new album City Lights last week. Orders for the album are up here.
Tan Cologne should definitely be a band on your radar, especially after the release of their debut Cave Vaults on the Moon in New Mexico. Now they’ve teamed up with Johan Angergard and his project, The Legends, to release this light-hearted ditty. It’s the complete opposite end of the spectrum of what you’d expect, considering it involves the US duo, but it’s so so great. My only complaint being that the tune’s just short…and not because it’s short but because I could have it all on repeat all day long. Maybe you’ll feel the same after a couple of short spins.
The long awaited debut album from Steve Buscemi’s Dreamy Eyes will be here next week, but before it arrives, there’s one last push from the band to turn their way. I love how this song sort of blossoms and explodes into this extravagant pop number. It’s all vocals and keyboards sprouting from the ground, soon joined by a pulse and bubbling bass groove. Once those angular guitar notes arrive, the song takes on this uplifting sparkle that gives the song this boldness I hadn’t heard from the band as of yet. Sweetie is shaping up to be a really huge step forward for the band; it’s out next week via Rama Lama Records.
My teenage years made me a label junky, so a lot of the new music I come across is due to newsletters and updates and the like; Swedish label Rama Lama Records is one such label that’s had my attention for the past few years. Today they’ve shared a new track from Lilla Parasit, which is sort of a Scandinavian supergroup of sorts; it’s a bombastic indie rocker, with all sorts of movement pushing and pulling at the song. I love the opening guitar riffs; they feel gut-wrenching before falling back to let the vocals come through. When the vocals fall away, this is where the band wins your heart; they fill the space with various arrangements, stretching the song into this pop exploration. The band will release their debut mini-album on March 20th.
One of my favorite things in the last few years, at least so far as the progression of musical trends, is the move to craft pop music that sort of survives around the narrow tropes we’ve concocted, like in this new tune from Steve Buscemi’s Dreamy Eyes. Sure, there’s a definite pop sensibility, particularly in the way the guitar lines jangle and sparkle. But, there’s a heaviness to this tune, one that seems to exist outside our expectations of what pop music is. Part of that comes in the vocals, part of it comes in the descending of the chorus; it’s not uplifting, and yet it is. There’s a bright nature to the brooding, giving you promise through the shadows. Just happy this tune’s out there. You can find it on the band’s new Sweetie LP, which drops on February 14th via Rama Lama Records.
Kluster B, formerly Kluster, caught my attention a few years ago with their debut album, Civic, but they’ve been mostly quiet since that time. Today they return with a new single, signalling a new LP on the not too far distant horizon. In the song, I feel as if they’re taking notes from the likes of early Pinback, drawing on indie rock influences and fusing them with bits of jazz structure and pop moments. Linnea’s voice haunts the tune during the verses, and shimmers in the chorus as the guitars clang noisily, eventually leading towards a closing that could easily slide into the best of dream pop vibes you’ll hear this week. Keep an eye out for a new LP with their label Rama Lama.