Felix Rodriguez, Maja Ivarsson, Jesper Anderberg, Fredrik Nilsson, and Johan Bengtsson
Having just released their latest album, Something To Die For, Swedish indie dance rockers The Sounds recently embarked on their first World Wide Tour since 2009. Comprised of group members Maja Ivarsson (vocals), Felix Rodriguez (guitar), Jesper Anderberg (keyboard/piano/guitar), Johan Bengtsson (bass), and Fredrik Blond (drums), the band is now back with their signature mix of electronic, pop, and alternative rock.
Although they have always been involved in the Swedish independent dance scene, The Sounds began playing music and recording together in 1998. Their 2002 debut album, Living In America, was met with exceptional reviews and even earned them a Grammis (Swedish version of the Grammys) award. The album further established the act in the United States where they developed a highly dedicated, and celebrity oriented, fan base.
The Sounds further went on to release Dying To Say This To You in 2006 and Crossing The Rubicon in 2009. Each record resulted in subsequent worldwide tours with acts such as Panic! At The Disco, Semi Precious Weapons, and Matt and Kim. In early March 2011, the band released Something To Die For after months of recording in their own studio. One major difference that set this album apart from the rest was the fact that they wrote, recorded, and produced it by themselves. Musically, it also contained a greater arrangement of electronic elements such as pulsing beats and bolder synths. As of October 2011, The Sounds kicked off their World Tour in support of the album and I was lucky enough to catch them at the Union Transfer in Philadelphia.
The Union Transfer, named after the train station that previously occupied the building, recently opened this past September to accommodate the city's need for an all-ages venue geared towards independent music. Since then, the venue has become known as one of the best in the city with its top-of-the-line sound system and charming interior. Catering to Philadelphia's up and coming electronic scene, the venue hosted The Sounds, last Tuesday night. Opening up for the electro pop group were The Limousines, Kids at the Bar, and Natalia Kills, all incorporating the hypnotic dance beats and sensuous vocals of the New Wave genre.
The Sounds were met with an eager and energetic crowd as they took to the stage surrounded by darks lights and a bold, yet simple, backdrop. The group immediately jumped into their set as Ivarsson's fierce vocals filled the room and further excited the audience. The Sounds didn't miss as beat as they moved seamlessly from one song to the next. Opening with the bass heavy track "It's So Easy", the band continued with an arrangement of tracks off of Something To Die For including the mystic "Dance With The Devil" and the title track "Something To Die For". Thrown in between were tracks from their previous albums including "No One Sleeps When I'm Awake" and "Tony The Beat".
Overall, The Sounds put on a stellar performance that rocked the audience. The energy in the room was high as people danced around the floor and sang along with each and every song. Clearly The Sounds have been able to cultivate a dedicated following in the U.S. Due to the increasing popularity of electronic music, my prediction for these guys is that they will only get bigger and further establish themselves here in the states.
Review by Kate Strollo, November 2011