Back in 2006, Montag Mania released their debut effort, Piraya through their own Love Bomb Music Records to favorable reviews in their native Sweden. And as a result of the buzz from that album, they opened for Daniel Lanois in Stockholm, among other acts. Tropical Birds, the band’s second album establishes the band’s reputation for a sound that deftly mixes indie rock, dance music, and tropicalia. It may remind some listeners of Vampire Weekend — but to me, their sound is much warmer, playful, and much more charming in my opinion, and because of that “Into the Highlife” has not only been shooting up Swedish radio charts but it’s also been gathering quite a bit of interest here on the blogosphere. (Interestingly, it was probably the most popularly reblogged post here in well over a year. Seriously.)
As a follow up, the band has officially released the “City of the Satellites”/“Bohemia” single. With a buzzing, looped guitar, fast-paced, chiming synths and keyboards and angular guitars, “City of the Satellites” has been described as capturing the eerie emptiness of urban sprawl late at night, and the throbbing pulse of urgent activity. As much as the song reportedly describes Stockholm, and how it feels to wander the streets of a city that can be both full of infinite possibility if you can find it, and profound, unsettling loneliness, it can describe just about any urban area around the world.
“Bohemia” is a bit of an emotional counterpoint. It’s a lot more upbeat and borrows quite a bit from indie rock and folk, as It’s has moments of gorgeously chiming guitars with complex harmonies. But it manages an urgent, plaintive, thoughtful feel.