Review // Those Dancing Days – Daydreams and Nightmares

3 Mar

A couple of years back in 2008 Sweden produced perhaps the youngest and most effervescent band of recent times in the form of five-piece all-female troupe Those Dancing Days. Their debut album In Our Space Hero Suits caused a minor splash in some circles with its unique blend of indie rock, girl group optimism and little tinges of Northern soul (particularly in lead singer Linnea Jonsson’s voice).

It’s obvious from the first pounding and mature beats that the band have grown up quite a bit since that innocent adventure on their new album – ‘Reaching Forward’ has the power and intensity of any established and sophisticated band. The tone seems to have shifted from the childlike to the adult and this theme is tackled throughout the record. Even its most warm and fuzzy moments seem to be tinged a maturity beyond their years. Take the clearly new wave inspired ‘Dream About Me’. Yes it’s a pop song through and through but Jonsson’s voice seems to weep just that little bit on those chorus vocals: it’s subtle moments like this that set Those Dancing Days apart from other girl bands.

Pop seems to be an inspiration for much of this record. While the band ooze indie cool it’s hard to deny what a massive influence producer Patrik Berger has had on them: he’s worked with Robyn and had imprinted the grown-up pop sound on the young band, most notably perhaps on ‘I’ll Be Yours’, maybe the impossibly optimistic track on the record. Elsewhere, Ladyhawke’s influence can be heard on the quiet-loud-quiet structure of ‘Help Me Close My Eyes’ which concentrates all of its energy into its chorus and keeps it restrained and mellow for the verses. It’s a winning formula that makes it one of the best tracks on the album.

For those searching for those all-out rock’n’roll moments that could be herd on their debut record, lead single ‘Fuckarias’ is bombastic and euphoric at the same time with their signature wonky keyboards pulsing underneath all of those heavy rolling drums and guitar riffs. ‘Keep Me In Your Pocket’ also takes advantage of some frenetic but very danceable drumwork to lift a seemingly mellow tune. ‘I Know Where You Live Pt.2’ keeps the spirit of ‘Fuckarias’ alive and serves as a wonderful singalong penultimate track before the band are joined by the Maccabees’ Orlando Weeks for fnial track ‘One Day Forever’.

Daydreams and Nightmares has shown that Those Dancing Days aren’t just a one-trick pony and far from changing their sound entirely, they’ve actually just developed the ideas that they had for their debut album. The positive spirit and pop sensibilities still remain but subtle elements and a better gift for songwriting has elevated the band to a higher plane.

8 OUT OF 10

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