Release Date: Oct 19, 2018
Record label: Ingrid
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Swedish Pop/Rock
After spending a long time on 2016's Breakin' Point and farming out production duties to a raft of high-profile producers who added a layer of studio sheen to everything, Peter Bjorn and John decided to get back to basics for their next record, 2018's Darker Days. They quickly headed back into the studio to cut basic tracks for a follow-up, then spent time together and apart honing and refining the songs. The result is nothing like the overcooked mess of Breakin' Point; it's far more reminiscent of their earlier work like Falling Out, but with a more mature and darker outlook.
There's a bitter irony that Peter Bjorn and John's legacy, as it stands, orbits around one song--particularly since the album that song came from 2006's stellar Writer's Block, found the Swedish trio proving they were capable of so much more. Writer's Block comprised the sort of try-anything-once abandon that indie rock often exhibited throughout the 2000s, and treated various sounds within the sub-genre like a wardrobe stuffed with costumes, nimbly hopping from shoegaze-y guitars and wistful expansiveness to spare, narcotized pop and handclap-dotted strum-alongs without so much as batting an eyelash. It showcased a greater range than suggested by their previous efforts--the band's self-titled debut from 2002 and 2004's Falling Out, two equally solid guitar-pop albums--and the adventurousness stuck with them, at least for a little while.
For almost 20 years Peter, Bjorn and John have been releasing glorious indie-pop music that has a playful bounce and slightly sombre lyrics. 2006's breakthrough single 'Young Folks' features a huge chorus and catchy riff, but is a song about baring your soul to a new/prospective partner and hoping they stick around. On 'Darker Days', Peter, Bjorn and John have crafted 11 tracks of forward thinking indie-pop featuring hip-hop, electronica and classic rock motifs.