Ten years on, and Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks” is still catchy as hell. Named one of the “Top 15 Whistling Songs” of all time by Rolling Stone (yep, that’s a real list), the Swedish trio proved that to make a great pop song, all you really needed to do was put your lips together and blow.
In many ways, it’s a shame that “Young Folks” became such a phenomenon. It probably took attention away from some of the other standout tracks on the group’s sublime 2006 album, Writer’s Block, and it definitely overshadowed the band’s subsequent releases, several of which are quite good.
Fortunately, the group doesn’t shy away playing from its most famous creation live, and the trio even crafted a sweet callback to the tune in the title track from their latest album, Breakin’ Point. A slow-moving number in an album filled with faster-paced tunes, “Breakin’ Point” opens with plinking pianos, schoolchildren chants, and the warm, familiar offerings of those whistling sounds. It’s refreshing to see a band organically embrace their most-famous moments instead of shunning them, or worse, pandering to the masses with cloying nostalgia.
Peter Bjorn and John will bring their sweet-sounding tunes to Slim’s on Thursday (the show was moved from The Fillmore, its original venue). Opening for the group will be Austin-based electronic artist Bayonne (nee’ Roger Sellers) and Jay Som, the creative outlet for local singer-songwriter Melina Duterte.
Peter Bjorn and John, Bayonne, Jay Som
September 1, 2016