So lately I’ve been watching the new Cosmos series hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. It’s reminded me just how much of a fan of questions I am. I love mysteries and solving them. Something about solving a problem is very gratifying for me. I especially love questions that don’t as of yet have answers. The infinite space of “what could be” is so damn intriguing and exciting, aching to be explored, in my eyes.
I’m reminded of a time in my life when I had nothing but questions. Questions about my body, about who I was, who I was “supposed” to be, and whether anyone was really “supposed” to be anything. From the ages 12-18, I was plagued with a ridiculous pressure to take my fluid and shapeless form and mold it to something that would have helped me be a more palatable person in the eyes of my peers. Being in the oldest child in my family, I didn’t have an older sibling to influence me, and I don’t think my parents had much more of a grasp on who I was than I did myself, which didn’t help me in terms of “figuring myself out”. This is a formative period in any young person’s life. You’re still a sponge, but a much more picky sponge. Guidance is essential in whatever shape and form. Like most kids my age, I’d find my guidance in bands I listened to. Certain songs would make sense of everything in the world no matter how convoluted it all could really be. But I have to admit. Not once in my younger years did a band hit me as hard as Makthaverskan has in my now mid-twenties.
The way vocalist Maja Milner sings “Fuck You, Fuck You” near the end of the first track on their latest full-length, Makthaverskan II, has so much blood and guts in it, it should have teeth. Throughout the album, the same honest and brave voice occasionally sheds its outer shell to get some fresh, vulnerable air. It’s a much more confident and empowered sound than what I initially heard on their self-titled debut, which is still amazing, but somehow doesn’t shake its fists at the sky quite as uninhibitedly as their second album does. Makthaverskan is exactly the kind of band I needed when I was trying to figure my shit out as a young kid, or to at least feel like I had a grip on things. Especially at that age, when the feeling of control and being empowered, even if for a second, lasts a lifetime in memory. And at a point in my life when that wasn’t something I really knew, it would have been so amazing and helpful to have had it in such a pure and powerful form.
Listen to Makthaverskan II in its entirety from their bandcamp page here.
Musically, Makthaverskan takes pop structure to anthemic proportions with an approach which rivals that of every great emo/pop-punk band I could have fallen ass-over-tea-kettle for. The guitars, drums, and bass are all geniusly written; take the simple and elegant “Something More” for example. It begins on such humble notes and bursts so beautifully like a star that can no longer contain it’s pressure. That kind of grace is rare in a band. Every twist and turn throughout this record is a moment of pure illumination. I honestly can’t wait to see them at Galax Z Fair IV this year. I can’t wait to bear witness to this beautiful band.
Not to mention, they’re making one hell of a journey to get here. Poor Makthaverskan has JUST RECENTLY (like yesterday) gotten their travel visas approved. They’ve already missed dates on their tour. And they’ve posted on their Facebook page apologizing for it! I don’t know about you, but that means something to me. These people just really want to come over here and play. All the way from Gothenburg, Sweden. Here’s a file called “Makthaverskan is this far away.jpg” to give a little geographical perspective.
They’ve also started an Instagram account (@maktmaktmakt) that you can follow to join them on their journey. It’s quickly become one of my new favorites, seeing as I’m on there quite frequently as well. Here’s the first photo:
If you speak the language of feelings, I recommend you come feel this band at Galax Z Fair IV.
I say to you, those still searching for purpose and belonging, but whom have yet to taste their fruits with your tongue: your heroes will arrive in 5 days.
Below are the rest of their tour dates w/ Self Defense Family (ALSO playing GZFIV this year!) Finally, is it really fucking cool to see McAllen on this thing or is it just me?
Off to feel up a storm.
Sambassadeur are a pop four-piece from Sweden. Come February, the band will be releasing their third full-length LP which is titled European.
The album will be released on Labrador Records in Sweden on February 24th.
There’s something I should mention about this album. Apparently, electric guitars were ‘prohibited’ from the studio during recording. This, of course, opens plenty of possibilities in terms of instrumentation and songwriting.
What, ho! A hint! In song form! It’s called “Days”. Listen below.
Sambassadeur – Days
This band is called The Mary Onettes. (notice the wordplay)
They hail from the town of Jönköping, Sweden and I have recently become quite infatuated with their ‘dream pop’ music which reminds me a hell-of-a-lot of The Cure and pretty much makes me feel like I’m in some sort of 80s teen romance movie.
In a good way.
Their second full-length,Islands, was released in the United States a week ago on November 3rd through Labrador Records.
Take a listen, you guys. :D
The Mary Onettes – God Knows I Had Plans
The Mary Onettes – Puzzles
Little Dragon is an electrosoul? type band from Gothenburg, Sweden.
I missed their performance at Stubb’s opening for TV On The Radio a few months ago and it still bites me to this day.
Little Dragon is Yukimi Nagano, Erik Bodin, Fredrik Källgren Wallin, & Håkan Wirenstrand.
When you’re done trying to pronounce those names, continue reading.
The band got it’s start in 2006 and released their first album, Little Dragon, on Peacefrog Records.
Their new album, Machine Dreams, is to be released August 31st on the same label. Writing about the album on their MySpace page, the band said that it is “for anyone who wants to dance or just dream away with headphones.” I agree.
Now, this new album is a big step up from their last release in many ways. Firstly, the album flows like a the album employs a stronger array of electric elements over the band’s original bass/drums/keyboards/ setup.
The cool thing is, they fucking pull it off. Unlike some other band I won’t mention.
The selections I’m posting are called Looking Glass and Feather respectively.
Looking Glass – If sounds could smell, this song practically reeks of a mid-80s discothèque. I can smell the jeri curls and parachute pants now.
Feather – This song is pretty sweet. It has a steady rhythm and beat laced with a synth that is perfect for slow dancing with that special someone.
Little Dragon – Looking Glass
Download, listen, & dance, people.