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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 238 - 01/24/16

Sweden
Just a kid
Vestkyst Records

Sweden is Norwegian! Well, Sweden is a Norwegian band, hailing from the Southeastern part of Norway near the Swedish border (Fredrikstad pop city!). Sweden is also a record (from 1995) by the American combo The Mountain Goats, but that's another story. This is about the band (not the land, nor the album). Sweden play pop. Period.

"Just a Kid" is Sweden's brand new single. The band released their debut album, Under The Sycamore Tree four years ago, which was followed by a second album, Sixes & Sevens a year later (2013). Both released by the sunny-poppy label Vestkyst Records. 2014 saw the release of the super-fine and very catchy 7" single "Sea Change" (backed with "White Buffalo" - making this a 'classic' non-album single).

2016 starts with Sweden releasing a taster from their up-coming album, Oh, Dusty (due out 8th of April). The main Sweden players are buddies Christian Spro and Fredrik Gretland. Singer/guitar player Spro (formerly of Doopy, Beezewax, Palermo, and Tennessee Beats, as well as being one of The Dogs) and guitarist Gretland (a.k.a. Freddie Tennessee; formerly of The Cumshots, Datsun, Tennessee Beats, and he's also a member of The Dogs), with bass player Øystein Frantzvåg (who's also got his band Last Heat running, as well as performing with a number of artists: Tommy Tokyo, Sivert Høyem, Paal Flaata, El Cuero and others - and, yes he used to be in Tennessee Beats as well); keyboardist Jon Kristian Furuheim (a.k.a. Safariari); and, hey, Swedish (!) drummer Johan Edvardsson (formerly of Navigators and Tellusalie). In addition, they've probably had some handful of friends and helpers along their way. Their name is a heavy nod (or hats off) to the catchy power-indie-pop scene that happened in Sweden in the early/mid 90s. Bands like Popsicle (I recall playing their almost shamelessly catchy debut album Lacquer repeatedly back in the day...) and The Wannadies, but also Brainpool, Eggstone, Starmarket, This Perfect Day and Beagle. Well, Sweden (the band) really do compete with Popsicle and Wannadies when it comes to writing catchy, warming pop songs.

When "Just a Kid" pops out of the speakers, I feel this warm wind of pop nostalgia mildly stroking my cheeks. "Just a Kid" is a really, really sunny and charming pop song. This song might be Sweden caught in (one of) their poppiest moments ever. The tiptoe spirit of the song (with its wide-screen chorus featuring some kid-spirited backing vocals) also makes me think of some of Team Me's more openhearted and energetic pop songs. As winter freezes over outside, Sweden starts the summer season on your stereo. This is the sound of barefoot, sweetly and neatly fuzzed pop. Now, all we can do is wait for the new album while we spin "Just a Kid" over and over again.

PS! Their first album held a song called "Silver Moon", while their second platter had "Kiss the Moon". I wonder if Oh, Dusty will present another moon song...?

Copyright © 2016 Howard Popeye e-mail address

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