It seems we're expanding all over the place at the moment, and today we welcome Adam Hockley into our writers fold. You may know him from his position behind the decks at Lincoln's Ctrl Alt Delete night, but we know him as a friend from back in the Club Indiependance
You may be forgiven for assuming that Miike Snow is a solo project, however, you would be very much mistaken. The band who formed in Sweden back in 2007 consist of Downtown Records in-house producer Andrew Wyatt, joined by songwriting & production duo Bloodshy & Avant (Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg) whose credits include co-writing and producing Britney Spears 'Toxic' which won a grammy for Best Dance Record back in 2005.
Named after the controversial Japanese movie director and producer, Takashi Miike, who is famous for making extremely violent anime-style movies which are often oozing graphic sex, I didn't really know what to expect. This combined with the fact that other than the 3 A's [Abba, Aqua & A-Ha] who often define Nordic popular music, Sweden is primarily famous for it's death metal scene, with the term 'Gothenburg metal' being coined from the genres roots in the Swedish city (which is coincidently where Karlsson and Winnberg began their production careers). Luckily though, this is not the case. There is no 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' from Miike Snow. Right from the opening track and lead single, 'Animal', the album bursts into elaborately programmed Euro-Pop glory. Think more along the lines of Peter, Bjorn & John playing A-Ha covers, and you might be close. However, this image has put a few people I know off the album. Well, Fuck them. I like it. It's very rare that I enjoy a sparkly pop song, or any undeniably 'poppy' song for that matter- but in this case I have found an album full of them which I can't get enough of right now. They seem to hold onto artistic integrity with intelligent pop music, whilst producing a commercially acceptable album. I like that.
I still find myself struggling to decide where I would place this album if it were a season. I don't know why I do this, it is just my thing. At times I find myself driving along the winding country lanes around my home, windows down, Ray Bans on and the undeniably catchy, piano laden pop gem that is 'Silvia', blaring as the summer sun cut through the clear skies above. However other times, the icy artwork and heavily tinged, piano laden, Scandinavian melodies take me back to Winter. I'm sitting infront of the fire with my favorite Icelandic knitwear on, and a bottle of port warming on the hearth whilst the less cheesy, less europop, 'Sans Soleil' sets a much more relaxed mood.
As much as I love this album, It is however, admittedly unlikely to be replacing any of the established favorites in music collections around the world just yet. I predict we will have to wait for a follow-up before Miike Snow are propelled into the limelight, unless of course, one of the almost inevitable flood of remixes that will follow, forge them as the next La Roux- being catapulted to fame as the result of an incredibly simple and unarguably effective remix.
[MYSPACE] Check out Miike Snow on myspace
[SPOTIFY] Listen to Miike Snow's debut album on Spotify