The sheer scope of vision involved in creating and executing concept art requires an incubation process that in today’s music industry, is almost impossible to accomplish. While concept albums are churned out at a feverish pace (even John Mayer dabbles in the space; which should annoy you), a group or a solo artist that symbolizes an idea (a clear artistic vision), isn’t very common in an industry that continues to value marketability over artistic merit. But every now and again, a ‘scene’ emerges in a part of the world, like grunge in Seattle or techno in Detroit, that offers the proper environment for art to develop without the controlling arms of industry, or worse, a Svengali manager in the mold of Kim Fowley. Right now, actually for the past few years, Sweden and Australia seem to be hotbeds for giving birth to synth-based electronic masters that have taken the states by storm. The Knife might have opened the floodgates in 2006 with Deep Cuts and Silent Shout, but today’s scene seems to be electrified with a diverse range of artists that include NONONO and Lykke Li (both from Sweden), Flume (from Australia), and Crystal Castles (also from Australia). So when I heard about the magnetic blend of Swedish and Australian musicians into one electro-pop ‘concept band,’ titled androgynously as KATE BOY, I knew I had to explore their sound during the incubation phase.
Having been notified the group would be coming to Los Angeles to play an under-the-radar gig at the Echoplex over the weekend, I thought I’d check them out during the genesis of their live act (which is still developing). In 2012, KATE BOY caused a bit of stir in the indie scene with singles “Northern Lights” and “In Your Eyes,” which are included in their EP Northern Lights. Not on the EP, but worth mentioning, is the tribal drum-driven ’80s-sounding, a-little-bit Peter Gabriel (on the more bouncy-side of 1982′s Security), “The Way We Are,” which happens to be my favorite track from KATE BOY. The pummeling robotic synth-bass and electric drums on the track hooked me from the start, but once I deciphered the message, “The Way We Are” stood out as KATE BOY’S breakthrough cut. “There’s been too much poison in the system / festering toxins I am in round / got to get this out of my head / out in the air” melodically whispers vocalist Kate Akhurst, who lyrically builds upon the emancipation theme of their music over a hodgepodge of electro-pop perfection brought to life during the climatic group drumming piece (killer live, seriously), when all four members attack the drums into a climax that sends the track soaring right into the stratosphere.
Continue reading The Kate Boy Collective →
Last time I posted about Shadow Shadow (over a year ago!), calling “Riviera” “a stunning new song”, I was entirely unaware of who and what Shadow Shadow was. Now I know it’s Mattias Friberg of Logh fame, and with that knowledge comes “100001″ to supplant “Riviera” as the next great Shadow Shadow track. [...]
Grip my arms, look me in the eye, hold your pose. Feel my breath, don’t flinch when the heat hits your lips. I want to stand like this until we can’t stand any longer. I want us as one.
Alice Boman on Facebook | Adrian [...]
I guess I’m in a “luminous” mood this week? Two posts in a row with luminous in the title? Yeah, bizarre. But good thing that doesn’t stop me from posting! Last Lynx are out with their new killer single, “Luminous Blue,” on the heels of the massive success of “Killing Switch,” which, despite [...]
One of our favorite bands on Knox Road (and of the Swedish-variety, which is always a major plus), Marching Band, has returned with their latest EP, And I’ve Never Seen Anything Like That. There are some groups whose material I will not hesitate to post when it comes our way, and Marching Band [...]
Catching up on a few weeks worth of starred music and I can’t help but feature Sweden’s The Royal Concept. “Naked & Dumb” can’t be any more necessary of a track for our mid-week drabbery; it gets me back up on my feet and ready to roll. Seems like the indie world has [...]
Thanks to a longtime Knox Road reader, @MscTch, I was recently made aware of a stunning new song from the mysterious Swedish act, Shadow Shadow. Rumors abound about the group’s identity, but I don’t want to go making assumptions without knowing the true story here, and I imagine the info will be made [...]
Swedish music has found its proper place in my ears again thanks to Billy Momo, the duo of Oskar Hovell and Tomas Juto. As their website says, “Some call it “americana gypsy music”. Some call it “hick RnB”.” Check out a couple tracks below off their recently released debut album, Ordinary Men. It’s [...]
I used to talk about Swedish bands nonstop around here, discussing their “born-with-it”, innate quality of producing catchy, melodic indie pop. Lately, though, I feel like I’ve dropped the ball. No mention of the Swedes, no songs posted from Swedish bands on the rise.
Let’s change that, shall we? (It’s always funny to [...]
When former Lungfish front man Daniel Higgs joined Swedish noise-rock juggernaut The Skull Defekts on their Peer Amid album earlier this year, it seemed like a natural fit that played to the strengths of both parties. Now, taking things one step further, The Skull Defekts teamed up with Zomes, the solo moniker of [...]