Swedish indie rockers The Sounds’ previous album, 2011’s Something to Die For, was an exercise in electronic dance music. The band hates doing the same thing twice in a row, so rather than continue with the rock progression of 2009’s Crossing the Rubicon, they pursued a sound that bordered on techno, guitarist-keyboardist Jesper Anderberg said last week.
“I’m happy with a lot of stuff from the last album, but I think we were more interested in the whole production of it, more than the songwriting itself,” he said.
That’s what inspired Weekend, their fifth full-length album since 2002. The new wave quintet often compared to the likes of the Cars or Blondie, which includes vocalist Maja Ivarsson, guitarist Félix Rodríguez, bassist Johan Bengtsson and drummer Fredrik Blond, performs Monday at The Fillmore during a quick run of shows prior to the album’s release on Oct. 29.
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“With this album, we concentrated more on the songwriting,” Anderberg said.
Thematically, Weekend is an album about staying up late on Friday and Saturday, and recovering on Sunday morning. It didn’t hurt that the down-tempo, almost remorseful-sounding title track, which declares the band “lives for the weekend,” was also their favorite of the bunch.
“(The album) has more party songs; up-tempo, groovy,” Anderberg said. “And then it has more of the other side – the Sunday songs that you listen to while you’re drinking coffee a little bit hungover.”
Songs like “Shake Shake Shake,” “Take it the Wrong Way” and “Outlaw,” are full of frenetic energy. While the energy never drops, the themes turn retrospective at the halfway point.
It took the band about eight months to write and record the album. After the conclusion of their previous tour, and various side projects, they didn’t have much more time to get the work done.
“It’s actually been really quick for us,” Anderberg said. “The beauty of this work is that you travel around with your friends and family, and you do shows. And when you’re done with that, which is the really fun part of it, you come home and write songs.”
While The Sounds’ current tour includes only a handful of shows before they head back to Europe – and Anderberg nearly missed his flight to New York on the day of the first show – the band has a connection with the Bay Area that didn’t let them leave it off the tour. They recorded their 2006 album, Dying to Say This to You, at Oakland’s Studio 880.
“We were really fresh … it was only our second album,” he said. “The producer (Jeff Saltzman, who also produced The Killers’ Hot Fuss at 880) was kind of insane, and we had a lot of parties. We drank maybe too much during the recording. After a while, we felt like everything sucked, and then we started recording it again. We had a fair amount of freak-out moments during the recording, but it was fun, and it was funny to remember.”
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October 21, 2013