Release Date: May 18, 2010
Record label: Labrador Sweden
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Pop
While Club 8 has always maintained a pretty steady sound and identity as a dreamily melancholy band, the half of the duo responsible for the music has pursued a more unpredictable path in his solo project, the Legends. On each of their records Johan Angergård has been like a musical sponge soaking up his current interest, whether it was noise pop, synth pop, or post-punk, and then re-creating it with uncanny precision. Up until now, there have only been hints of this skill in Club 8’s output.
Three years after the release of the elaborate box set celebrating their first decade (Labrador 100: A Complete History of Popular Music), Sweden’s Labrador Records is having one of their best years yet. They’ve released three albums in 2010 that stand among the best music they’ve ever released, and among the best indie-pop music in recent memory: Sambassadeur’s European, the Radio Dept’s Clinging to a Scheme, and now Club 8’s The People’s Record. The duo of Karolina Komstedt and Johan Angergård has been a fixture on the Swedish pop scene since their 1995 debut EP.
Since 1996, Club 8 have been churning out sophisticated pop in their native Sweden with nary a Stateside accolade. (Anyone? Anyone?) For The People's Record—their seventh—the duo (Karolina Komstedt and Johan Angergård) have expanded their melodic sonic pallet with traces of Afro-pop, bossa nova, and South American jazz. The result is a warmly inviting album that's as sweet as it is cleverly composed.
There are some things about Club 8 records that are always the same. The line-up, for one thing-- Johan Angergård is the composer, and Karolina Komstedt is the singer. Her voice is always polite and gentle; his songs are consistently tuneful in the low-key way that characterizes contemporary Scandinavian indie pop. Within this template, the duo have gone through a surprising number of stylistic shifts-- at various time slipping comfortably into trip-hop, twee, bossanova, dub, and dance-pop.
On Club 8's older records, the Swedish pop group’s music wafts from the speakers like a perfumed cloud. Singer Karolina Komstedt’s voice, breathy and mournful, floats on a cloud of gently repeating keyboards and guitars. Their album artwork uniformly features some combination of flowers, mildly forlorn-looking blond women, and sun-dappled fields.