tue 26/03/2019

CD: Club 8 - Above The City | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Club 8 - Above The City

CD: Club 8 - Above The City

Long-standing Swedish duo produce enjoyable if hit-and-miss electro-pop

Club 8, boasting that Scandinavian knack for smart, simple design

Pop that summons the word “cute” has a tendency to nauseate. If executed with the correct ratio of candy to content, however, it may persuade. The Scandinavians have proved effective in this area and Jonas Angergård and Karolina Komstedt, from the south of Sweden, add to the region’s good stock. Their latest album sits somewhere between The Cardigans and St Etienne, a very conscious electro-pop tinge coming to the fore, especially on numbers such as the toy town hi-NRG of “Taking My Time”.

The duo have been around for years and this is their eighth album. Angergård is also a member of mid-level indie outfit Acid House Kings but where Club 8 began as a guitar-y post-C86 affair, they later grasped there was a whole heap of similar twee larks to be had embracing the lounge scene, combining crackly old easy listening with bedroom angst and computer beats. Above The City veers between crisp electro-pop and sunset Balearica, touching retro territory akin to that mined by College (the French producer who made his name with the soundtrack to the Ryan Gosling flick Drive).

Tracks such as “I’m Not Gonna Grow Old” and “Less Than Love” appear to be direct tributes to Madonna and Cyndi Lauper at their most frivolous, and emanate the consequent overblown cheesiness, but more often than not the pair summon up something with a sharper, modernist style and thoughtfulness. “Into Air” is controlled but driven and dynamic, as is “You Could Be Anybody”, which contains lyrics that muster a lazy mood of beachside nightlife and lovers' intrigue (“You could be anybody/you could have everyone here”), and there are more in this vein. There’s also a dose of saccharine, of course, but for every inessential sliver of tinny Eighties kitsch there’s a little beauty such as impeccable two minute head-nodder “Travel”.

Watch the video for "Stop Taking My Time"

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters