Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months you might recall a post on Stockholm, Sweden-based pop quartet Red Sleeping Beauty. Comprised of of Kristina Borg (vocalist), Niklas Angergård (guitar, vocals) of Acid House Kings, Mikael Matsson (guitar), of The Shermans and Carl–Johan Näsström (bass), the quartet originally formed in 1989 and with the release of two full-length albums Bedroom and Soundtrack, a number of EPs and singles, the Swedish pop quartet received both national and international attention before the quartet quickly split up.
After several years of in other creative and professional pursuits, the Swedish indie pop quartet reunited to record a cover of Alpaca Sports song “Just For Fun” and “Merry Christmas, Marie,” a holiday-themed track, which caught the attention of fans and critics, who had desperately awaiting both a reunion and new material from the act. Continuing upon the buzz that they received, the Stockholm-based quartet followed that up with the release of the “Always” 7 inch, a set at Madrid Pop Fest and the release of “Mi Amor,” the first song the band recorded with a chorus completely sung in Spanish. Adding to the growing attention the band has received, their first full-length effort in over 19 years, Kristina is slated for release next week.
Kristina‘s first single “If You Want Affection” had the members of the band pairing a driving motorik groove with shimmering cascades of synths and an infectious hook with Angergård’s chilly yet plaintive vocals to craft a song that sounds as though it pulsates with an urgent need, while sonically the song sounds as though it channels 80s dance floor-friendly synth pop — in particular, I think of Depeche Mode‘s “People Are People” and “Just Can’t Get Enough” among others –but with a slick, modern polish. Interestingly, the album’s second and latest single “Cheryl, Cheryl, Bye” is a slow-burning , atmospheric and contemplative song in which the band pairs layers of bass synth and shimmering keys with plaintive and aching vocals; of course, that shouldn’t be surprising as the song is one part bitter farewell and one acceptance of a truth that the narrator doesn’t want to completely accept. After all, life pushes us forward no matter how much we want to deny it. In some way, sonically the song sounds as though it draws equally from Roxy Music — think of “Avalon” and “More Than This” in particular — as it does from Pet Shop Boys.