Tag: Deportees

New Video: The Symbolic (and Messy) Visuals for INVSN’s “This Constant War”

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Umea, Sweden-based post-punk quintet INVSN, an act comprised of some of Sweden’s most accomplished musicians — including Dennis Lyxzen (vocals), a founding member and frontman of Refused, and a former member of The (International) Noise Conspiracy, The Lost Patrol Band, AC4, and who has collaborated with The Bloody Beetroots and others; Sara Almgrem (bass, vocals), a member of The Doughnuts, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, The Vicious and Masshysteri; Andres Sternberg (guitar, keyboards), a member of Deportees, The Lost Patrol Band and a member of Lykke Li’s backing band; Andre Sandström (drums, percussion), a member of Ds-13, The Vicious, The Lost Patrol Band, Ux Vileheads and others; and Christina Karlsson (keyboards, vocals), a member of Tiger Forest Cat, Honungsvägen and Frida Serlander‘s backing band. And interestingly enough, the members of the band are five, long-term friends, with Lyxzen in particular being known for a lengthy career incorporating sociopolitical themes into his work; in fact, as Lyxzen has publicly explained, “Music always meant more to me then just entertainment. It has had a profound impact on everything that I am as a person and I see music as art and art as life. We live in a world devoid of meaning where we serve the lowest common denominator at all times. Where politics as an idea has failed us and where art is being reduced to consumerism and clickbait.”

The band’s initial recordings were written and recorded with lyrics in their native Swedish under the name Invasionen, but when the members of the band decided that it was time to take the project and their work internationally, they felt that writing and singing lyrics in English, along with a new name would be necessary — and they settled on INVSN.   Regardless of the name or the language, the post-punk band has always had a political message — and during this particular moment, when humanistic, Enlightenment values and thinking are being challenged by extreme right wing and extreme religious movements across the world, the members of INVSN strongly believe that their music, and the work of other like-minded musicians are part of a necessary and urgent outcry from a counterculture that has yet to give up. And while being righteously angry, their overall approach is rooted in the belief that change is gonna come — and it’s going to come real soon. 

The Swedish band’s latest effort The Beautiful Stories is slated for release on Friday, and the album was recorded and produced by by Adam “Atom” Greenspan, best known for his work with Nick Cave and The Veils at Svenska Grammofonstudion in Gothenburg, Sweden.  Reportedly, the album finds the band experimenting and expanding their aesthetic and songwriting approach with material that possesses elements of post-punk, industrial electronica, indie rock and indie pop, which gives their sociopolitical concerns an accessible, almost radio-friendly vibe. 

Now, as you may recall “I Dreamt Music” was a decidedly post-punk leaning song, sounding as though it drew influence from Joy Division and Gang of Four, thanks to the song’s decided politically charged tone. And as Lyxzen explained in press notes,  “I wanted to write about the longing for resistance to the cultural/political/musical landscape that holds us imprisoned. I wanted to write about the naive, romantic and pretentious notion that music and art should be about ideas that can change and transform and maybe even be the beacon of hope in these dismal times.” And as a result, the song manages to possesses a sense of cynicism and distrust and an equal bit of outrage.”

Interestingly enough, Beautiful Stories’ latest single “This Constant War” finds the band pairing jangling, Country-leaning guitar chords, layers of buzzing electronics and a propulsive rhythm section with boy/girl harmonies and a soaring, swooning hook in a song that sounds a bit like Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby-era U2 but filtered through Primal Scream, New Order and Ministry, while nodding at The Lonely Wild, as the material possesses a cinematic yet yearning quality at its core. 

The recently released video for “This Constant War” features the members of the band passionately singing the song or broodingly staring off into space as the hands of an unseen person smears colored paint onto the faces and bodies of the bandmembers. 

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New Audio: The Politically Charged, Post-Punk Sounds of Sweden’s INVSN

Comprised of Dennis Lyxzen (vocals), a founding member and frontman of Refused, and a former member of The (International) Noise Conspiracy, The Lost Patrol Band, AC4, and who has collaborated with The Bloody Beetroots and others; Sara Almgrem (bass, vocals), a member of The Doughnuts, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, The Vicious and Masshysteri; Andres Sternberg (guitar, keyboards), a member of Deportees, The Lost Patrol Band and a member of Lykke Li’s backing band; Andre Sandström (drums, percussion), a member of Ds-13, The Vicious, The Lost Patrol Band, Ux Vileheads and others; and Christina Karlsson (keyboards, vocals), a member of Tiger Forest Cat, Honungsvägen and Frida Serlander’s backing band, the members of Umea, Sweden-based post-punk act INVSN are five long-term friends who are among some of the country’s most accomplished musicians — with Lyxzen in particular being known for a lengthy career incorporating sociopolitical themes into his work. In fact, as Lyxzen explains in press notes, “Music always meant more to me then just entertainment. It has had a profound impact on everything that I am as a person and I see music as art and art as life. We live in a world devoid of meaning where we serve the lowest common denominator at all times. Where politics as an idea has failed us and where art is being reduced to consumerism and clickbait.”

Initially, the band recorded several albums in their native Swedish under the name Invasionen; but when the members of the band decided to take their project internationally, they felt that writing and singing lyrics in English, along with a new name — INVSN — would be necessary. But regardless of the name or the language, the post-punk band has always had a political message and interestingly enough when human decency and humanistic values are being challenged by extreme right-wing movements across the world, the members of the band believe that their music is part of a necessary outcry from a counterculture that has yet to give up. And while being angry, their overall approach is rooted in the belief that change is gonna come — and that it’s not far away.

The Beautiful Stories, the band’s forthcoming full-length effort was recorded by Adam “Atom” Greenspan, best known for his work with Nick Cave and The Veils at Svenska Grammofonstudion in Gothenburg, Sweden and the album reportedly finds the band expanding upon their sound, meshing post-punk with industrial electronics and a indie rock/pop sensibility — or in other words, the band manages to pair political messages within an accessible fashion.

“I Dreamt Music,” The Beautiful Stories’ latest single is a decidedly post-punk song, sounding as though it drew from Joy Division and early 80s post-punk while having a decidedly political bent. As Lyxzen says of the song ” I wanted to write about the longing for resistance to the cultural/political/musical landscape that holds us imprisoned. I wanted to write about the naive, romantic and pretentious notion that music and art should be about ideas that can change and transform and maybe even be the beacon of hope in these dismal times.” And as a result, the song manages to possesses a sense of cynicism and distrust and an equal bit of outrage.

The Beautiful Stories is slated for a June 9, 2017 release through Dine Alone Records.

If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across several posts on Umea, Sweden-born and based, singer/songwriter and cellist  Cajsa Siik. And with the release of her debut single “Was I Supposed To,” which was then promptly followed by her full-length debut Contra and a batch of attention grabbing singles through 2015, Siik received attention both nationally and internationally while cementing herself as one of her country’s standout artists, drawing comparisons to contemporary, Scandinavian pop artists Lyyke Li and Robyn.

Siik’s third full-length effort DOMINO is slated for a June 2, 2017 release through Birds Will Sing For You Records, and the effort, which was produced by Rolf Plinth will feature guest spots from Phoenix‘s and Deportees‘ Thomas Hedlund and Tiger Lou’s Rasmus Kellerman, both of whom contributed to the jangling and shuffling  album single “Talk To Trees.” And what made that single particularly interesting to me was the fact that it reveled a new direction for the internationally renowned singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, with its sound being simultaneously intimate and bold, yet swooningly anthemic and spacious enough for Siik’s effortlessly gorgeous and tender vocals. While the song may be one of Siik’s shorter songs — it clocks in at 2:40 — the song and its narrator seem haunted by a messy yet fully-lived in past; but while suggesting that life is about closing your eyes and taking a chance — even if it may backfire.

DOMINO‘s latest single “White Noise” is a dramatic track that features four-on-the-floor drumming, blasts of shimmering guitar, and atmospheric synths which give the song an art pop sheen while Siik’s vocals and uncanny ability to write an infectious and soaring hook gives the song a pop-leaning accessibility.  In press notes, Siik explained that, DOMINO can be described in two different ways. First I wanted it to represent the fact that we’re all connected to each other and that we have a responsibility towards each other and this world. To shoulder that responsibility is easier said than done, but we must try. Be aware. Not only mind our own business. I’ve given that a lot of thought lately. Secondly, every song on this album depends and relies on the other. Together they create a unit and the unit is supposed to be diverse. I aimed for creating a dynamic album.” Interestingly, when you hear the newest single in relation to its preceding single “Talk To Trees” there’s a sense of Siik and her collaborators creating a deeply unified mood and vision while speaking of experiences and feelings — in particular about love and longing with a hard-fought deeply adult wisdom and confidence.

Now, if you had been frequenting this site over the past couple of years — especially over the course of 2014 and 2015 — you would have come across a handful of posts on Umea, Sweden-born and based, singer/songwriter, cellist and JOVM mainstay artist Cajsa Siik. With the release of her debut single “Was I Supposed To” her full-length effort Contra and a batch of attention grabbing singles through 2015, Siik received attention both nationally and internationally while cementing herself as one of her country’s standout artists, drawing comparisons to contemporary, Scandinavian pop artists Lyyke Li and Robyn.

Over the past couple of years, Siik has been extremely busy working on her third full-length effort DOMINO. Produced by Rolf Klinth, the Umea, Sweden-based artist’s forthcoming effort features guest spots from Phoenix‘s and Deportees‘ Thomas Hedlund and Tiger Lou’s Rasmus Kellerman — and interestingly, both Hedlund and Kellerman appear on DOMINO’s jangling and shuffling first single “Talk To Trees,” a single that reveals a sound that manages to been simultaneously intimate and bold, yet swooningly anthemic and spacious enough for Siik’s effortlessly gorgeous and tender vocals. Clocking at 2:40, the song and its narrator seem haunted by a messy yet lived in past; but while suggesting that life is about closing your eyes and taking a chance — even if it may backfire.

 

 

 

Over the last couple of years, Umeå, Sweden has developed an internationally recognized reputation as the home of burgeoning indie scene, as the Northern Swedish town is the home of artists such as Casja Siik, Old Man’s Will, RefusedMeshuggah, Tove Stryke, DeporteesLisa Miskovsky, and Frida Selander. And with the release of her first two, critically applauded full-length albums, Selander has been largely considered by many Swedish critics as her country’s closest thing to Patti Smith and PJ Harvey. Granted, those may be incredibly lofty but they also aren’t far off base, as Selander’s sound, as you’d hear on “Like A Cat” and on her latest single “Soon” off her forthcoming album I Hear Sunshine pairs blues-based rock chords, propulsive drumming, incredibly catchy, anthemic looks with Selander’s expressive and sultry vocals. It’s straightforward but in the case of “Soon,” the song possesses bluesy, boozy swagger that perfectly suits Selander’s vocals, which are feel warm and comforting, as though she’s commiserating with you and your pain.

Indeed, much like “Like A Cat,” “Soon” possesses a fearless honesty and emotional honesty that most music these days just doesn’t have — perhaps because the song comes from hard-fought personal experience, life altering mistakes. And thematically speaking, the song says you have to stop struggling against the tide and accept the fact that things happen at their own speed, and in their own way.