The Sounds were a band ahead of their time.
A small contingent of Swedes made their way stateside in the early 2000s (remember the Hives?), among them Maja Ivarsson and her band, the Sounds. Formed in 1998, the glam-tinged rock band hit it big stateside with “Living In America,” a jangly rock tune that sounded just right when combined with leather jackets and liquid liner.
These days they’re mostly remembered as commercial-soundtrack kind of band, one that hits all the right notes to fit a textbook definition of rock and roll: loud guitars, a catchy chorus, and a sneering attitude. However, they weren’t quite the dispassionate display of rock tropes that they might have seemed: Their 2002 debut contained lyrics like “I’ve been living in danger and sleeping with strangers” and “We’re not living in America / And we’re not sorry / I knew there was something that we never had / But we don’t worry,” which read as pretty scandalous for our post-9/11 sensibilities. But now, with demonstration and activism part of our daily reality, the Sounds are finally in the right era.
Not that that ever stopped them. They’re currently on their 6th studio release (it might interest locals to know that their sophomore record was recorded at Studio 880 in Oakland), and next month, they’ll be heading over to America for a tour, stopping at the Regency Ballroom on the way. This tour celebrates 10 years of 2006’s Dying to Say This To You, but we bet they’ll make an exception or two for the older stuff.
The Regency Ballroom
November 9, 2017