Peter Bjorn and John on “Darker Days”

Finding Beauty in Darker Days

Jan 07, 2019 Web Exclusive
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There's a title track for Peter Bjorn and John's new album, but you'll never hear itat least not now.

The Swedish trio wrote a song entitled "Darker Days" for their 2016 album, Breakin' Point, that failed to make the final cut. Two years later, the band remained inspired by the title, but once again, the song was left out of the final mix. The band's organic approach and learned pop perfection has developed a filter. Title track be damned.

"We started with the title, which came from a song that didn't make the last record," says Peter Morén. "When we wrote separately, we all had that title in the back of our head although you can interpret that title differently. I'd written some of my songs before I had the title, even, but then I had to think about what songs to bring to the table with that title in mind."

It's easy to interpret Darker Days in the light of current events but each of band's members are quick to deflect any such interpretationsnot that they're against personal interpretations that consider these songs as political statements. Rather, they'd rather leave any such notions to the listener and allow them to fill in the blanks.

"I think most people, especially now, think it's about the state of the world or something, but we also think about the geography" says Björn Yttling. "We're always thinking about darker days here, because when it gets darker, it's really dark. When we started doing music, I think we were heavily influenced by being surrounded by such dark days and having no light in the wintertime. But the more shit that happens, the more people will think it's about the state of the world."

"Everything comes in cycles," says Eriksson. "You start really simple and then go into this really experimental phase. Then you get nostalgic and want to play '80s music. Now maybe it's more natural to make political art or music. It's that cycle. You don't think about it, but you get affected by the times you live in, so it all affects our music in some way."

Having released their eighth LP, the Swedish trio shows no signs of slowing down or wearing thina true artistic feat 17 years after their self-titled debut and 13 years after their biggest hit, "Young Folks," brought them international renown. 

"If we felt the well was dry, we'd obviously quit the band," says John Eriksson, "but it still feels like there could be some gold, which is why we keep making albums. I think there's still much to explore."

"We inspire each other," agrees Morén. "We bring new ideas out between the three of us. That chemistry is still there that you can't get with other people because we have played so long together. It's something special and it's not something we take lightly. It's nothing you can plan. You can't go into a room with three new people and come out with what we can. It's precious in that way."

www.peterbjornandjohn.com

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