Club 8: Passport Approved | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, September 26th, 2020  

Club 8

Passport Approved

Apr 02, 2010 Photography by Per Kristiansen Issue #31 - Spring 2010 - Joanna Newsom
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Immersing yourself in a new culture can be a time of discovery—new food, new friends, new language—and for Karolina Komstedt (vocals) and Johan Angergård (guitar, synths) of Club 8, new inspiration. Leaving home became unexpectedly crucial to the creative process of their seventh album The People’s Record, a project whose origins began in 2008, during a rare Club 8 international tour that brought the Swedish pop duo to Brazil for the first time.

“[Brazil] had a very nice life to it. Positivity isn’t the right word, but it was very life affirming,” explains Angergård. “I think the people were very welcoming and very alive.” Komstedt likewise was taken by the country’s open social atmosphere. “My first impression was that people there are very different from people in Sweden. They talk louder, stand closer to each other when they talk, touch each other more, and are more intense,” she says. “Perhaps that’s part of the reason why Brazilian and African music appeals to us so much. Maybe we seek our opposites.”

Back in Stockholm at Angergård’s Sumersound Studios, the duo strove to recreate the warmth of South America in a very different climate. “I’ll always remember it being slightly weird and surreal,” recounts Komstedt. “It was a special feeling being in a sweaty jamboree mood in the studio when it was minus 20 degrees outside and people were walking around with their shoulders to their ears, miserable, frozen, stiff, and pale.” For Angergård, the challenge of recording came when handing over his compositions to producer Jari Haapalainen (The Concretes, Camera Obscura), the first outside producer to work with Club 8. “I wouldn’t say I’m a control freak, but maybe I am,” Angergård laughs. “Me, [Haapalainen], and Karolina had a conversation; once we had the conversation I gave him most of the control and let it go.”

Band and producer on the same page, the collaborative effort paid off, infusing Club 8’s sophisticated Swedish pop with intricate Brazilian-influenced percussion and slinky samba grooves. For Angergård and Komstedt, one of the most notable fruits of their collaboration with Haapalainen is the melancholy gem “My Pessimistic Heart,” a song that was originally recorded in a straightforward voice-and-guitar pop style on its demo. “Everything that happened in that song is what happened in the studio,” notes Angergård of the finished track’s layered multi-cultural instrumentals. For Komstedt, the song’s emotional transformation was nothing short of a revelation. “My whole body shivered when I sang it and continued to do so for a long time after it was done. I was very moved and had a hard time talking to anyone after that,” she says.

While it’s too soon to say if wanderlust will inspire future Club 8 albums, Angergård and Komstedt are pleased with the results of their explorations, both ready to follow their muse wherever it takes them next. “It’ll be really boring the day I feel there’s nothing more to discover! That’s the day that I will quit making music,” Angergård says resolutely.

“I must admit I’ve been slightly worried that our old listeners won’t recognize us and perhaps get disappointed, but I don’t think I need to worry,” says Komstedt. “It’s amazing that we’ve recorded an album that people are actually dancing to. Who would have thought that?” (




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April 25th 2019

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