Like its namesake, it’s easy to look forward to Weekend, the new album by Swedish indie rockers The Sounds (Label:Arnioki Records/INgrooves; Release date: October 29, 2013). Sporting an urgency like that of a band fresh out of the womb, Weekend is the sound of a band rejuvenated and reborn. For The Sounds, they have been reborn in a sense… back to when they first started. “Weekend is more of a back to basics album,” says Jesper Anderberg (keyboards/guitar). “I was primarily looking for a groove when I started writing this album – a groove based on five members who have been playing music together for a long time. We weren’t looking to overthink the song writing, and especially wanted to make it sound like we just hit the switch on the amps and just started playing the songs.”
From the punky dance rock signature sound of the opening tracks “Shake Shake Shake” and “Take It The Wrong Way” that recalls the shuffling exuberance of their groundbreaking debut to the winsome and shimmery “Hurt the Ones I Love” to the 60s style rock of “Emperor”, Weekend takes their trademark danceable indie rock “sound” and expands in different directions. This musical journey is most noticeable in the chill-down title track “Weekend” and the cleverly disguised dance infused “Great Day”, which both start acoustically yet build and evolve to a frenzy of passion and instrumentation.
The Sounds collected and leaned upon all of the lessons they’ve learned from touring the world headlining clubs and festivals, owning a studio and self producing their last album Something To Die For when writing and recording this album. These experiences propel them forward on Weekend thanks in part to the production work of Alex Newport (Bloc Party, Death Cab for Cutie, City and Colour, Frank Turner, At The Drive-In, The Mars Volta) who moved with the band into the legendary Svenska Grammafon Studion far away from the bands hometown, and tied it all together capturing the magic in the studio that has delighted and captivated fans for a decade on the road. “While recording, we all lived in the SGS studios together with Alex, and we were all using the same kitchen and bathroom and so on,” says drummer Fredrik Blond. “That creates a certain vibe I think. And it forces you to deal with things, not just run away from them.” Adds Jesper, “It’s important to be able to try new approaches, and we’ve never been afraid of trying new paths in our songwriting. I think it’s important for bands to be able to change their sound and explore new ways. I believe we have great fans that understand the process of music making, that not every album will or can sound the same. Our fans are also the ones that give us exactly that privilege….to write and record the songs we want, the way we want them to sound…and for that we are very grateful.”
Formed in 1998 in Sweden, The Sounds exploded on the alt-rock scene with their wildly lauded 2002 debut Living in America and its breakthrough singles “Seven Days a Week”, “Rock’n Roll”, and the aptly named title track. Fronted by the striking Maja Ivarsson, The Sounds have continued to remain on the forefront of the music scene, releasing a handful of albums, each spawning single after single like “Tony the Beat”, “Painted By Numbers”, “Song With A Mission”, “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake”, “Beatbox”, “Something to Die For” and “Dance with the Devil”. “I think it’s a mutual love to music and to our fans,” explains Jesper about how they’ve been able to remain for over a decade and a half and maintain the same line-up and uphold their creative spark. “The key is to respect each other. It’s a weird thing to be together for that long. You might have disagreements but that’s the way it is sometimes, but if you can’t solve an argument, you shouldn’t start a band. But for us, it has always been us and it will only be the five of us.”