September 10, 2007
As I was listening to the new Shout Out Louds album today, I got to thinking what made the Swedes so good at making pop music. Is it because Sweden is such a peace-loving country? (This might at least explain I’m From Barcelona). Is it because they’re really shy, and use music as their outlet for expressing their emotions (Jens Lekman, anyone?). Is it all the vodka they drink? Is it (as one Swede suggests) because the country has good social welfare and high living standards, and thus have alot of time to do “luxurious things like making pop music”? I would propose that there is something in the Swedish genes that enables them to create perfect pop melodies. Whatever you choose to believe, I’m assured you’ll be pleased with the outpouring of Swedish artists in the upcoming weeks which includes Jens Lekman, José Gonzalez, and my current obsession, Shout Out Louds.
I covered Shout Out Louds first single “Tonight I Have To Leave It” earlier this year, and at the time I would have thought it impossible for the band to match the single on the album, but they’ve actually done it, with a song called “Impossible”. While “Tonight” jumps right in with the full range of sound in the first :15 seconds, this track introduces each of the elements a bit more patiently, giving you a chance to ponder each of the components of the song. The lightly strummed acoustic guitar, the “knock on wood” percussion, the crescendoing strings, the sultry backing vocals, the punchy piano and that amazing opening melody is all compiled over the course of the song to give it a fantastic climax (not before you’re soothed with gorgeous interlude though).
Your Ill Wills is full of wonderful lush, orchestrated pop music with all of which showcase on the band’s undeniable sound. I very highly recommend adding the album to your collection tomorrow, in addition to The Go! Team, The Good Life, Animal Collective, and whoever you choose in the Fifty vs. Kanye battle.