The Sounds

Like its namesake, it's easy to look forward to WEEKEND, the new album by Swedish indie rockers THE SOUNDS (Label:ArniokiRecords/INgrooves; Release date: October 29, 2013). Sporting an urgency like that of a band fresh out of the womb, Weekend is the sound of a band rejuvenated and reborn. For The Sounds, they have been reborn in a sense… back to when they first started. "Weekend is more of a back to basics album," says Jesper Anderberg (keyboards/guitar). "I was primarily looking for a groove when I started writing this album – a groove based on five members who have been playing music together for a long time. We weren't looking to overthink the song writing, and especially wanted to make it sound like we just hit the switch on the amps and just started playing the songs."

To celebrate the release of Weekend, the band will be playing a handful of North American dates including stops in Brooklyn, Canada, Chicago and the West Coast, followed by a full European headline tour. (tour dates below)

From the punky dance rock signature sound of the opening tracks "Shake Shake Shake" and "Take It The Wrong Way" that recalls the shuffling exuberance of their groundbreaking debut to the winsome and shimmery "Hurt the Ones I Love" to the 60s style rock of "Emperor", Weekend takes their trademark danceable indie rock "sound" and expands in different directions. This musical journey is most noticeable in the chill-down title track "Weekend" and the cleverly disguised dance infused "Great Day", which both start acoustically yet build and evolve to a frenzy of passion and instrumentation.

The Sounds collected and leaned upon all of the lessons they've learned from touring the world headlining clubs and festivals, owning a studio and self producing their last album Something To Die Forwhen writing and recording this album. These experiences propel them forward on Weekend thanks in part to the production work of Alex Newport (Bloc Party, Death Cab for Cutie, City andColour, Frank Turner, At The Drive-In, The Mars Volta) who moved with the band into the legendarySvenska Grammafon Studion far away from the bands hometown, and tied it all together capturing the magic in the studio that has delighted and captivated fans for a decade on the road. "While recording, we all lived in the SGS studios together with Alex, and we were all using the same kitchen and bathroom and so on," says drummer Fredrik Blond. "That creates a certain vibe I think. And it forces you to deal with things, not just run away from them." Adds Jesper, "It's important to be able to try new approaches, and we've never been afraid of trying new paths in our songwriting. I think it's important for bands to be able to change their sound and explore new ways. I believe we have great fans that understand the process of music making, that not every album will or can sound the same. Our fans are also the ones that give us exactly that privilege….to write and record the songs we want, the way we want them to sound…and for that we are very grateful."

Formed in 1998 in Sweden, The Sounds exploded on the alt-rock scene with their wildly lauded 2002 debut Living in America and its breakthrough singles "Seven Days a Week", "Rock'n Roll", and the aptly named title track. Fronted by the striking MajaIvarsson, The Sounds have continued to remain on the forefront of the music scene, releasing a handful of albums, each spawning single after single like "Tony the Beat", "Painted By Numbers", "Song With A Mission", "No One Sleeps When I'm Awake", "Beatbox", "Something to Die For" and "Dance with the Devil". "I think it's a mutual love to music and to our fans," explains Jesper about how they've been able to remain for over a decade and a half and maintain the same line-up and uphold their creative spark. "The key is to respect each other. It's a weird thing to be together for that long. You might have disagreements but that's the way it is sometimes, but if you can't solve an argument, you shouldn't start a band. But for us, it has always been us and it will only be the five of us."

"We were driving around with friends and someone said 'I smell a bonfire,'" recalls Erica Driscoll, lead vocalist-keyboardist-guitarist of the brother-sister duo Blondfire. "We thought they said 'Blondfire,' and at first we kind of jokingly said it should be our name – but it stuck. We liked the fact that it was masculine and feminine at the same time. It represented who we are in a cool way."

That push-pull of elemental forces is fundamental to the siblings' sound. Winsome, melancholy vocals and '80s-influenced melodies float atop shards of guitar and propulsive beats, leavening Blondfire's infectious pop tunes with real punch. Alternately haunting and ebullient, their Warner Bros Records debut Young Heart represents the purest example yet of Blondfire's unique musical hybrid.

Ghost Beach

Ghost Beach are the latest pop pioneers to set the internet ablaze. Barely a year old, the New York-based duo of Josh Ocean and Eric "Doc" Mendelsohn have already perfected a retro-future aesthetic that sounds like the holy trifecta of The Police, Depeche Mode, and Daft Punk. Nowhere is this more apparent than on their self-titled debut EP released in March, as well as their recently released Modern Tongues EP. Josh plays the jilted lover with vocal panache as Eric's soaring synths, guitars and forever young harmonies are plucked right out of Neverland. Ghost Beach is more about a time than a place, and that time is now.

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