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Peter Bjorn and John on “Endless Dream”

Endless Well

Mar 11, 2020 Web Exclusive
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Endless Dream is the album. Endless well is the assumed inspiration.

Just 18 months after the release of Darker Days, Peter Bjorn and John are back with their ninth studio album, Endless Dream. And if that’s not enough new music for fans of the Swedish indie pop band, there was a release of live session tracks from their label, INGRID, as well as a new EP, cleverly titled EPBJ. If it’s not already clear, 20 years after Peter Morén, Bjorn Yttling, and John Eriksson first formed, Peter Bjorn and John are as inspired as ever.

“It’s not that we had a backlog but we had some extra things for Darker Days,” says Yttling. “When we started writing Darker Days after the Breaking Point album, we rehearsed a lot more than we did in the past, so it was fun for everybody to try different ideas that we had. So there were a few songs spilling over from that. Not too many of them made the new album, but that got us going a little bit.”

Endless Dream is the band’s latest and dreamiest in quite some time. It’s an intentional response to the tenebrous tracks of Darker Days, an answer to the confusion present and questions asked on the band’s 2018 offering. It’s also proof of the band’s inspirational flow and experimental energy.

“It’s not hard to start songs. That’s the easy part,” says Yttling. “The hard part is to finish them. That’s been a little bit of a struggle in the past because we had other people involved, but since we’ve scaled down on producers and all of that, it’s been easier to finish them.”

According to Yttling, the band might have an even more robust catalog if not for the interruptive nature of the marketplace.

“When we started INGRID [the band’s label], the whole idea was to make us more creative. If it’s tricky to get an album out, then it’s discouraging to want to really do much. So we started the label to shorten the timeline from the idea of the song until we release it.”

What’s most intriguing about Peter Bjorn and John’s longevity is that the newest entries feel right at home alongside the band’s earliest work. It’s a cohesive catalog that somehow yields exciting new compositions within a familiar—or perhaps familial—palette.

“When you’ve made eight or nine albums like we have, you sort of know what’s going to work or not,” says Yttling. “So there’s definitely a PB&J universe that you want to pick the characters from and make new movies with them, I guess.”

While the inspiration remains as strong as ever for Yttling and company, the band’s bassist and keyboardist admits the emotions around a new release have changed considerably during the trio’s career. The earliest days featured physical artifacts that demanded attention, whereas today’s streaming reality changes the nature of an album release.

“It’s definitely different. Everybody can get everything and listen to it today. Before, you had to give someone a CD or something and then they go home and listen and then they might like a song or something. Then they send a letter giving a statement saying, ‘Very nice chorus on the seventh song.’ Or maybe they’d call us from a phone booth,” Yttling says with a laugh

“But now if we meet some people and have some new songs out, they can say, ‘Oh, good,’ and it’s already in their phones. We’re waiting for the LP for sure. It’ll be beautiful. But for people to check it out, it’s so much easier today than before. It’s not as sacred as it was before. I miss that a bit. But I miss a lot of other things, too. There’s nothing you can do about it except to keep on.”

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