Tag: Malmö Sweden

With the release of 2019’s Mouth Full of You EP, rising Malmö-based shoegazer outfit and JOVM mainstays Spunsugar — Elin Ramstedt, Cordelia Moreau, and Felix Sjöström — quickly established a unique, genre-blurring sound, which meshed elements of industrial electronica, post-punk, noise rock, shoegaze and dream pop. Mouth Full of You wound up earning the band international attention with the EP receiving airplay from BBC 6 Music‘s Steve Lamacq.

Building upon a growing profile, the Swedish trio released their critically applauded, Joakim Lindberg-produced full-length debut Drive-Through Chapel last October through Adrian Recordings.  The album, which featured the brooding 4AD Records-like ” “Happier Happyless,” and the breakneck ripper   “Run,” a single that reminded me of LightfoilsThe Sisters of MercyChain of Flowers found the members of Spunsugar actively seeking to emulate the sounds of  Cocteau TwinsSlowdive, and others — but while simultaneously crafting some of their hardest hitting material to date.

Earlier this month, the members of the Malmö-based JOVM mainstay act released their latest effort Things That I Confuse. While still focusing on an overarching post-punk and dream pop aesthetic, the EP sees the band taking an opportunity to spread their creative wings to craft a broader and more diverse batch of material.

“The songs on Things That I Confuse pretty much wrote themselves in a frenzy. Still, they sound more Spunsugar than ever,” the members of the band explain in press notes. “It’s still as timeless and nostalgic as it is fresh. The four songs consist of two more poplike tracks and two that have kept the more noisy aggressive sound that has become a staple of the band. Now there’s an added layer of an icy lo-fi feel. References to giallo films and Japanese movie monsters work to tell stories of close relationships, trauma and regret that keeps one up at night. Every second is thought through, there’s no unnecessary fluff. Every note serves a purpose on this EP.”

The Swedish shoegazers started off this year with “Rodan,” the EP’s first single. Deriving its name from a Japanese movie monster, much like Godzilla, “Rodan” saw the band crafting a lushly textured song that’s sonically indebted to Cocteau Twins while arguably being their most danceable singles to date.

Much like BLACKSTONE RNGRS, Lightfoils and a growing list of others, the members of Spunsugar push the boundaries of shoegaze and dream pop into new directions and Things That I Confuse‘s latest single “Hatchet” sees the Swedish trio creating a lushly textured sound that meshes elements of industrial electronica, brooding 4AD Records-like atmospherics and shimmering dream pop centered around their unerring knack for crafting anthemic hooks.

While being one of the more aggressive songs on the EP “Hatchet” evokes the whirring thoughts of someone full of regret and self-doubt, replaying their questionable decisions, actions and thoughts over and over and over again.

Stockholm-based psych pop/dream pop duo Astral Brain — Einar Ekström (production, composition) an Siri af Buren (vocals, lyrics) — can trace their origins back to the breakup of Ekström’s previous band Le Futur Pompiste. Although the band split up, Ekström continued writing new music with the hopes of eventually teaming up with a new vocalist.

Back in 2015, Ekström was introduced to af Buren, who is also a member of Malmö-based act Testblid!, an act that Ekstrom was a fan of for years. The pair bonded over mutual influences, and they decided to work together: af Buran began writing lyrics and melodies for the arrangements that Ekström had written years before.

Over the past two years, Astral Brain released a couple of singles while working on their forthcoming full-length debut album, The Bewildered Mind, which is slated for an October 15, 2021 release through Shelflife Records. Sonically, the album reportedly find the pair drawing from and blending elements of cinematic soundscapes, jazzy library music, early electronic music, 60s psychedelia and other genres into their own sound.

The album’s first single “Five Thousand Miles” features af Buren’s jazzy delivery ethereally floating over a gorgeous arrangement centered around twinkling keys, a hypnotic motorik groove and a soaring hook. Sonically, “Five Thousand Miles” brings Young Narrator in the Breakers era Pavo Pavo to mind, as it possesses a similar nostalgia-inducing, retro-futuristic sound paired with a careful attention to craft.

2020 was a big year for the acclaimed Malmö-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer David Alexander, the creative mastermind being the critically applauded dream pop recording project and JOVM mainstay act Summer Heart: Alexander signed to renowned Swedish record label Icons Creating Evil Art, who released his critically applauded EP Ambitions.

Continuing upon the momentum of last year, Alexander released his latest single “Oceans” late last month. Centered around a sumptuous bass line, the JOVM mainstay’s plaintive vocals, skittering, blown out beats and twinkling synth arpeggios, “Oceans” finds its narrator running to beach for sea air and quiet as a salve from the heartache and confusion of a relationship, the fervent rush of city life. The track essentially invites its listener to slow down and chill out a bit — sometimes it’s necessary after all.

The track follows on from the wide success of his 2020 EP, ‘Ambitions’ which harboured the support of Noisey, FADERThe Line of Best Fit and The Guardian.

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Summer Heart Releases a Gorgeous, Animated Visual for Shimmering “Black Jeans”

I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of ink over the course of the past decade, covering the Malmö-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music producer and electronic music artist David Alexander, best known to the world, as the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded, internationally acclaimed recoding project Summer Heart.

Alexander began 2020 signing to renowned Swedish label Icons Creating Evil Art, who released his latest effort, Ambitions EP last month. And much like his previously released work, Ambitions draws from the JOVM mainstay’s daily life — with the material conceptually revealing the story of the man behind the breezy and infectious synth pop tunes. Written during a recent trip to California and Malmö, the EP touches thematically touch upon tales about his love-life and allowing himself to let go and experience life as it happens.

“Before going on tour I always make sure to wrap up all the work I have postponed or ignored so I can come back to a blank slate,” the acclaimed Swedish JOVM mainstay says of the forthcoming EP. “But since my tour got cancelled it was the first time in my adult life I actually didn’t have anything to do. It was very freeing and I could sit down and think about what I wanted to create and what I had struggled with in the past. I realised I’ve just wanted too much and never really been able to slow down and see things from a different perspective. The EP itself is about having high ambitions and wanting to do so many things at the same time but not always knowing where to put your focus.”

“One recurring theme in the lyrics is that it is difficult to live in the present,” Alexander adds. “How would it be if you did everything differently? It is the thought of that the grass is greener on the other side, though you know it is not. You just remember the nice things, even though something might have been crap. Like traveling or going to a festival for example. When you are in it, it is neither how you imagined it before, when you where looking forward to it, nor how you remember it afterwards when you remember it as wonderful. It is very much what the texts are about, that you dream away, it is about relationships and life in general. It’s something I’m trying to practice – living in the present, but it’s hard, unfortunately.”

Earlier this year, I wrote about Ambitions single “Good Together,” a swooning pop confection centered round a breezy and atmospheric poduction featuring shimmering synths, strummed acoustic guitar, stuttering beats, a propulsive bass line and the Malmö-born, Los Angeles-born artist’s unerring knack for an infectious hook paired with his plaintive vocals. EP single “Black Jeans” is centered around shimmering and synth arpeggios, skittering trap beats and a sinuous hook. Sonically, the track strikes me as a slick yet earnest synthesis of 80s Quiet Storm pop and brooding atmospherics, making it one of the JOVM mainstay’s more cinematic tracks of his catalog. Much like its immediate predecessor, the track finds its narrator reliving a relationship that has left him with lingering ghosts and regrets with the sort of nostalgia that takes him away from the present he should be paying attention to right this moment.

Directed and animated by James Edwards, the recently released video follows a white-clad, motorcycle riding Alexander, cruising through town. Eventually winding up in a romantic little bar by himself, the animated Alexander has thoughts on one thing — the beautiful women, who got away.

“’Black Jeans’ is episode two in the animated series about Summer Heart. It takes place in Summer Heart’s hometown Los Angeles,” James Edwards explains. “Still in his white suit and on his red motorbike he continues helping people conquer their negative thoughts. At the same time the protagonist struggles on a personal level as he is falling back into bad habits and bad relationships.”