Gothenburg, Sweden-based electro-pop trio Kristoffer and the Harbour Heads have developed a profile across Scandinavia and elsewhere for crafting expansive, experimental electro pop that’s been compared favorably to the likes of Menomena. Woods and others. Interestingly, the trio’s forthcoming and currently untitled full-length effort is slated for release later this year, and the effort, which was produced by James Salter is a reportedly both an expansion of the sound that won international attention. Lyrically speaking, the material draws from the stories of separation, divorce and mid-life crisis of his friends and others, while subtly pointing at a larger sociopolitical issues.
According to the band’s frontman Krisoffer Ragnstram, “When You Say Stay,” the yet untitled album’s first single draws from an awkward and uneasy relationship and “how easy it is to say one thing, but every bone and muscle in the body feels the opposite. Musically, I had this idea of Outkast meeting up with The Zombies for a late night jam session. But when you hear the final version, it sounds like 3 guys from the little town [of] Kungaly . . .” Sonically speaking, the trio pairs four-on-the-floor-like drumming with a sinuous bass line, gently cascading layers of buzzing and shimmering synths and Ragnstram’s urgent and yearning vocals in a song that feels like a half-remembered dream — but with an underlying and embittering irony.
The recently released video is largely inspired by the stories of immigrants in Dresden, Germany and follows the imaginary world of its central protagonist a little girl by the name of Maya, who tries her best to get everyone she encounters to smile. Although the world they all reside in is an unforgiving and bleak world that’s much like a funhouse mirror version of our world, in which the bleakness of our world is exaggerated to the point of being arrestingly surreal. But at its core is a larger, much more urgent message — as it points out the hypocrisy of a population that says they want to help refugees and others in need, and when the refugees come to your border pleading for help, the country’s populace essentially tells them to “go fuck themselves.” It’s an urgent reminder that we must not forget our humanity.