BY TIM HINELY
It’s hard to believe that this Swedish duo has been around since 1995, that’s nearly 20 years folks, but it’s true. I was lucky enough to get turned on to their terrific debut, Nouvelle, which came out on Spain’s Siesta Records label in 1996. Their middle records came out in the early-mid 2000’s on the Parasol offshoot, Hidden Agenda but since then all of the band’s records have come out on band leader Johan Angergard’s Labrador label (the other half of the band is vocalist Karolina Komstedt). It sure seemed like I was the only one who enjoyed their previous record, 2010’S The People’s Record. On that record Club 8 abandoned their soft pop sounds for a left turn into more tribal territory complete with bongos and upbeat, danceable rhythms and a real African flavor.
It was a bold move for the band but after much thought, the band decided to return to its simple, soft synth sounds on Above the City. Angergard , who produced the record, has once again pushed the boundaries of pop music (and Club 8’s sound too) while delving into samples (children’s choir music, a Russian field recordings, etc.) but still making unique pop music. They toss in airy pop that they’re know for (“You Could Be Anybody”), dancey near-disco (I’m Not Gonna Grow Old”), a minute long instrumental (“Instrumental) and a final song that kinda rocks (“Straight as an Arrow”).
Club 8 exist in their own bubble and continue to make music for themselves. You can’t fault them for that, on the contrary, they deserve your deeper respect for it.
DOWNLOAD: “You Could Be Anybody,” “A Small Piece of Heaven,” “Hot Sun,” “I’m Not Gonna Grow Old”