Comprised of Maja Milner (vocals), Hugo Randulv (bass, guitar), Irma Pussila Krook (bass, guitar), Gusta Data Andersson (guitar) and Andreas Palle Wettmark (drums), the Gothenburg, Sweden-based indie rock quintet Makthaverskan according to the band’s Maja Milner has no real meaning — although the band name came from one of Hugo Randulv’s friends, who made it up. “The meaning is really hard to describe in English, but it’s the female form of someone with a lot of power. ‘Makthavare’ is the male version of ‘makthaverskan’ is the female version,” Milner explained. “We didn’t have any background thoughts about meaning but I think it describes Irma and me pretty well, since we both take charge and are powerful.”
Interestingly, the acclaimed Swedish indie rock act can trace their origins back to 2008 when they released a mini CD with a collection of demos and their self-titled full-length debut through Luxury Records. Building upon a growing profile, they released “Antabus” in 2011. Since then the band has released the “Something More” 7 inch and their sophomore full-length album Makthaverskan II in 2013 and the “Witness” 7 inch in 2015. After several years away, the acclaimed band returned with the “Demands”/”Onkel” single, which was recently released through Run For Cover Records across North America. The A-side “Demands” features layers of jangling guitars, propulsive drumming and a soaring, rousingly anthemic hook — and while sonically nodding at The Smiths, the song reveals their most focused and ambitious writing in their growing catalog, underpinned by an earnestness of both feeling and purpose. “Onkel,” the faster paced B-single is centered by jangling guitars, a propulsive rhythm section and another soaring and rousing hook and manages to sound as though it were released during 4AD Records heyday. Both tracks lyrically are kind of bleak yet paired with ironically energetic and intense music that broods but also reveals a bit of hope, suggesting that things can and do get better — or at the very least, that you gain a bit of wisdom from the darker days.