I have an affinity for anything Swedish since that is the land of my maternal family. I was pleased then to review new releases from two Swedish groups and their music.
Following on from the release of their breakthrough debut EP ‘Mouth Full Of You’ last year, a collection that cemented them as one of the finest emerging shoegaze outfits of the moment as well as garnering support from Steve Lamacq at BBC 6Music, Swedish trio Spunsugar now return with their latest dose of forlorn industrial electronics on ‘Happier Happyless’ through Adrian Recordings.
With a strong affinity for post-punk, noise-rock and dream-pop, this genre-bending new offering sees the group deliver one of their hardest and most impactful releases to date. With a Robyn-Esque direction, filled with the atmospheric vocals of frontwoman Elin Ramsted, the group look to emulate the warm and driven sound of acts like Cocteau Twins and Slowdive with their pulsing aesthetic.
Speaking about their new single, the band said, “‘Happier Happyless’ is a sour and sweet song, tackling subjects of pining, happiness and revenge. Having a fittingly slower pace than former Spunsugar singles, this song is also a homage to the shunned 2001 slasher movie Valentine, released a little too late in the post-Scream era. Written to have “a memorable hook, a thumping synth bassline and a shoegazer chorus” this is an excellent introduction to the band’s debut album, because of the constant switching of emotional tonality.”
‘Happier Happyless’ is set to become the band’s first taste of their long-awaited debut album ‘Drive-Through Chapel’, set to later this fall via Adrian Recordings.
Bottom line. I really liked the blend of styles and the vocals are mesmerizing.
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Swedish synth act Kite is made up of singer Nicklas Stenemo and keyboard player Christian Berg. The pair combine an adventurous nature with pop sensibilities, throbbing beats and an early nineties aesthetic. Their lean approach to songwriting – a methodology of ‘cut the fat’ results in tight, focussed songs that never outstay their welcome. Produced together with Blanck Mass (Benjamin John Power), new single ‘Teenage Bliss’ has shades of New Order, Chairlift and Superorganism. It conjures up mental images of half-remembered nights out, sweat-soaked gigs with friends and the naivety of first experiences.
The pair tell us that “When we started Kite the band F*** Buttons were a big source of inspiration to us. Since then we have been following Benjamin John Powers brilliant music as Blanck Mass. We are now extremely excited to announce that we are working on the production of two new Kite tracks with him.” The band have brought their projection filled, brain-melting visual live show to audiences in Scandinavia, Germany, the US, Canada and China.
If Kite ever comes to Canada again, I will be there. The driving bass and the lush arrangement grab me by the seat of my pants and didn’t let go.
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