BY TIM HINELY
One thing that you can predict about the Swedish duo of Club 8 is that they’re always unpredictable. The band, consisting of Johan Angergard and Karolina Komstedt, have quietly carved out one hell of a catalog over the past few decades (yup, decades….their lovely debut, Nouvelle, arrived in 1996) and the band is always willing to take chances and go places they haven’t before on each new record (listen to 2010’s The Peoples Record one of my favorites by the way, and you’ll wonder if it’s the same band). This new record, the band’s 10th , is quiet, solemn even with hushed, pulsing beats and whooshed vocals that appear when you don’t expect them (and don’t appear when you think they might). It’s also a unique, challenging record for a band who’ve challenged themselves their whole career (not a lot of pop hooks on this one).
“Swimming with the Tide” opens the record like a heartbeat, the beginning of life, while “Pacific”, just like its title, is surrounded by the lap of the ocean and “Got to Live” is a call to arms to continue with life complete with near-chanting (especially for Angergard who recently quipped, “I’ve not really been living in this world lately”). If there’s any kind of a “hit” on this record it could be the Karolina-sung “Fire” which soars gorgeously at just the right time (a pal who’d never heard the band before said it reminded him of M83) and “Touch You” is flat-out one of the best song’s the band’s written yet.
If you’re expecting chirpy indie pop like the band presented early on then you might be disappointed, but if you want to hear a band still firmly in the pop realm but going in a million different places then you could fall in love on Golden Island.
DOWNLOAD: “Pacific,” “Got to Live,” “Fire”