Shout Out Louds
Industrious Swedes do the happy/sad indie thing supremely
This article is from 2008.
‘If you listen to Abba’s songs,’ says Adam Olenius, ‘they sound really happy, but the lyrics are sad. They sing of broken hearts and melancholy. Heartbreak and beautiful melody, that’s the Swedish sound.’
Olenius, lead singer of Stockholm quintet Shout Out Louds, is trying to explain an indigenous national scene which sits up there with, well, Scotland in its reliance on an epic guitar sound that sits somewhere between joyous and crushed. It’s hard to say precisely what links Shout Out Louds, The Concretes and Peter, Bjorn and John with Teenage Fanclub, Belle and Sebastian and Franz Ferdinand so seamlessly, but it’s probably something to do with the climate.
Shout Out Louds have known each other since they went to high school together in Stockholm, where Olenius messed around in heavy metal bands and with what he describes as ‘weird’ music. ‘It wasn’t until after school that the band started,’ he says, ‘when Carl (von Arbin, guitar) and I went to the same art school, and Ted (Malmros, bass) was just bored and looking for something to do. I would always look for a record deal or work hard to get myself known when I was younger, but this was just friends playing together on the weekend. It felt better than really trying hard to get the perfect musicians together.’
This was 2001, and within two years the debut album Howl Howl Gaff Gaff had been released. It wasn’t until 2005, however, that the record enjoyed an international release. Lost time has since been made up for in that respect – the sophomore album Our Ill Wills was released a little over a year ago, and the band are only just finishing their tour in support.
In fact, Olenius says his group have been touring solidly for the last four years. ‘We’ve got six months off coming up,’ he says, ‘so I’m going to move to Melbourne for a while. I don’t know about the others though, but I can’t stop writing. I want to get the new album written as soon as possible. It’ll just be nice to be away from buses, airports and backstage rooms for a while.’ (David Pollock)
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