It’s over boys and girls. I’m calling it. The blessed warmth and light of the summer season has left us for this time around. At least around the neck of the woods where I’m living. With the passing of summer’s warmth and light also spells the end of the outdoor concerts for the year. Aye, it’s a time of much sadness.
*Queue tiny violins playing*
We did have a good run though. My season of outdoor concerts was great this year. I got to see and hear a lot of cool bands and artist put on goods shows, several of which artists and their shows I have chronicled on this here blog in the past few months.
And it ended on a high note. I would even dare to venture to say it ended with a bang. Or to be precise I should say it ended with The Sounds.
I was pretty stoked at finally getting so Swedish Synth-Rock/Power Pop dynamos The Sounds live after missing out on a few opportunities in the last few years to various conflicting events in my schedule and the usual things suddenly appearing at the last second spoiling previous plans. But boy was I was delightfully rewarded for finally making it to one of their shows as I saw them rip through their set at Stora Scenen at Gröna Lund. They rang out and punctuation my summer of 2019 in the most sublime way; guitar riffing, drums a beating, synthesizer a buzzing and with vocals of joy, fire and sass… All while kicking some serious butt doing it.
I have to confess that I haven’t consider myself a fan of the band for that long relativley speaking, just the last 6 or so years. I blame that I wasn’t really that big into the sound of synthesizer and synth laced Rock and Pop music during my adolescent years, it’s more something that have really grown on me in my later 20s.
That said while nowadays genuinely linking their sound out of context of time, I also have a bit of nostalgia for the band because even if I wasn’t during their (arguably) heyday in the mid-2000s their music was still prevalent in the zeitgeist of my adolescent years. I’m talking some of their classic from their first 2 cuts, “Living in America” and “Dying to Say This to You” like “Living in America”, “Painted by Numbers” and “Rock’n Roll”. Yep, those songs brings me back.
For song to go with for this piece though I had much internal struggle in deciding which song to pick. I really like the aforementioned “Rock’n Roll”, it’s up there as one of my favorite songs by The Sounds. Pushed into a concern you may even get me to say it’s the favorite song. It’s got this so cool and sweet groove and delicate vocal performance of the otherwise so fiery vocalist Maja Ivarsson. “Rock’n Roll” feels to me like a so earnest and solemn confession of love and yet surrender to Rock and Roll music and the world of it… it’s so good.
Those praises said though, yet it’s not the song that you saw at the top of this post. The reason for this is while I really love “Rock’n Roll” as a song, I don’t think it’s not particularly indicative of how the band sounds (no pun intended) at large. You don’t get to hear much of the fundamental of what the band are and what’s “their deal” so to speak.
So I went with another tune, namingly “Song With a Mission” of their second album “Dying to Say This To You”. “Song With a Mission” was a standout song for me as I a number of years ago went through listening to their back catalog. I barely remember this song from back in the day although it was the lead-off single of the album (as I learned while reading up preparing for this piece), which is weird considering how anthemic it is.
“Song With a Mission” is a super-duper-power-pop song that is bursting with joy while somehow simultaneously is sticking it to someone, or some people rubbing the band the other way.
Maja’s vocal performance and the lyrics are fantastic, but almost stealing the show for me is the driving guitar part on the song oozing of classic Rock and Roll. I almost get a slight Keith Richards-vibe from it, which hasn’t ever been a bad thing. That said ultimately the coolest part of the song, which for any good pop song, is the chorus. The chorus sees the blending of this classic feeling guitar hook with a subtle yet crucial synth part that makes the chorus really bubble over and makes it feeling marveling.
All of that stuff I wrote above, that’s The Sounds sound and style in a nutshell. It’s a really cool blend of rock sounds and ethos of days of yore with a poppy, synth laced vibe of the 21th century. And that’s also why “Song With a Mission” get my nod for the song of this piece.
I highly recommend you checking out The Sounds if you haven’t already.
With that I say au revoir to the summer of 2019, you have been great. You The Sounds were awesome as well.
Can’t wait until next year’s summer.