Già solo per il fatto di alludere nel nome a una canzone dei Silver Jews (o almeno così mi piace credere) gli svedesi Let’s Say We Did mi stanno subito simpatici. Poi faccio partire questo loro album omonimo, uscito su Big Rig dopo alcuni ep, ed è come se ci conoscessimo da sempre. La prima impressione è che queste canzoni potrebbero essere la risposta scandinava, meno noise e più melodica, a certo revival Novanta delle ultime stagioni (Yuck in testa), vedi i ripetuti riferimenti a Teenage Fanclub, soprattutto nelle ballate in scaletta – un paio di troppo per i miei gusti. Ma vuoi per la provenienza, vuoi per quella nota roca nella voce, l’altro nome che ti viene subito in mente è quello degli Shout Out Louds, e la cosa non può che farmi molto piacere. Seppur meno epiche, le canzoni dei Let’s Say We Did puntano a quella stessa idea di musica, trascinante e malinconica al tempo stesso, forse un po’ più sanguigna. Per questa settimana il disco è in download sul loro Bandcamp secondo la formula del “name your price”: su, siate un po’ generosi, che se lo merita.
Following a handful of self released ep’s, the Stockholm based quintet Let’s Say We Did released their self titled debut album at the back end of last year. On their ep’s the band were finding their feet somewhat but on the album it shows that the hours spent perfecting their melodic scuzzed up indie pop has paid off. This album has the potential to be a word of mouth grower this year.And if not then I’m sure the next album will.
Let’s Say We Did happily reminds of all things flannel, Big Muffs and youngsters paying dues to the ‘Youth. This 7-track album has some killer easy songs, and its straightforward songwriting style minus shoegazer ripping makes it an endearing choice of recent Nordic 90′s revival bands. This sound definitely had its time in the American indie underground — hoarse, mumbling vocals like Cap’n’Jazz or The Weakerthans, and heartfelt choruses (avoiding the evil “E” word) of early Jade Tree acts. I could probably list a million bands from this era off the top of my head — there’s definitely one for every American suburb — regardless, what I am getting to is the golden Teenage Fanclub rule: a good melody, is just a good melody, no matter how many or how few chords you use. Standout tracks, “It’s OK” opens with a somewhat familiar riff but sticks some teeth around the edges; “Straight back to you” opens with infectious guitar duelling that’d perfectly fit your favourite (fill in the blank) 90s TV series. “On the day” and “Blue skies” have a saintly sweetness long associated with maybe youthful romance or innocence. Not a poor pop-pleaser for those with a weakness for guitar-music, easier on the ear then overproduced frilly, mathcore hits dominating the charts, at least.
Ann Sung-an Lee
There’s a corner of the world where the alt-rock of the early 90s is still, rightly, considered worthy of replicating, guitars still rule and the internet and Simon Cowell haven’t come along to ruin everything. That place is Scandinavia and in the past few years they’ve produced some of the finest fuzzy indie bands around. From The Raveonettes (Denmark) to I Was A King (Norway), Sad Day For Puppets (Sweden), The New Tigers (Finland) and many many more, there’s been plenty to keep us guitar fans from wanting to hurl our deluxe vinyl boxsets at the TV next time we see fire spurting from Lady Ga Ga’s tits.
Over the course of three self-released EPs, Stockholm quintet Let’s Say We Did have drawn comparisons to Pavement and Teenage Fanclub, and listening to their eponymous debut album it’s easy to see why. LSWD combine the former’s lo-fi slacker-pop with the latter’s melodic sensibility and their shared love of warm, mild distortion. As debuts go, they don’t come much more solid than this; there’s not a weak link amongst these ten tracks, but at the same time there are no real stand-outs, no big ‘eureka!’ moments. As such this album is just very good rather than great, but it’s a little unfair to criticise a band who haven’t really put a foot wrong.
‘It’s OK’, ‘Come On Honey’, ‘On The Day’ and others are lovely upbeat-yet-laid-back examples of guitar-pop that would be more than satisfactory as singles, and the soft-focus ‘Blue Skies’ is wonderfully dreamy and reflective. Despite this there’s still the nagging sense that if just a couple of tracks stepped up to the next level it would turn a few more people on to this charming collection by gaining them more coverage. As it is, we’ll just have to try and make them the word-of-mouth success they deserve to be, so give them a little of your time and tell your mates to do the same. You won’t be disappointed.
After finding this band completely out of the blue, I must admit that I am hooked. Their songs are well crafted and show their ability to make the most out of their guitar-dominated instrumentation. Additionally, Fors’ vocal melodies are catchy as can be, yet delivered with an understatedness that adds to the intimate nature of the songs. The culmination of these elements is a solid indie rock album from another band of Swedes.
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If your idea of Swedish music is something exotic like Lykki Li, First Aid Kit, and/or Jens Lekman the music of Let’s Sat We Did might surprise you. On the whole the new record hews closer to Big Star meets Wilco dad rock than the drum and bass electronica music coming out of Sweden of late.
Sebastian Fors is one of the main men behind the band. He has been contributing to the Swedish music scene for a few years now in multiple projects and appearing with many different bands. The new self-titled records though is some of the best stuff I’ve heard from him.