Swedish indie pop favorites Peter Bjorn and John are hardly the first group to go by just their first names. There's Peter, Paul & Mary; Sonny & Cher; or even Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich (not actually their really names, but you get the picture). But after the success of their breakthrough 2006 single, "Young Folks," PB&J have become household names – at least in the households of fans of cool music!
Although it has been two years since their last album, 2009's Living Thing, the trio has hardly been resting on their laurels. Collectively and individually they have worked on records by Lykke Li, Taken By Trees, Sarah Blasko, Camera Obscura and others. But the announcement of Gimme Some, the brand new Peter Bjorn and John album, is certainly cause for celebration (and aptly titled at that).
The inescapably hooky tunes are still in full effect, such as on tracks like "Tomorrow Has to Wait" and "Second Chance." And the band's savvy use of reverb and other production tricks on tracks such as "Eyes" and "I Know You Don't Love Me" mark the record as another excellent addition to the familiar PB&J canon. What distinguishes this record from previous efforts is its guitar-heavy attack, with some songs recalling 80s post-punkers The Skids, The Soft Boys or even The Police. There are even a couple of songs that come so fast and furious that they don't surpass the 1:45 mark – they quickly get to the point with chugging riffs and sing-along vocals.
Sweden has been such a reliable source of memorable pop music these days that it should come as no surprise when another great Scandinavian record hits our ears. Peter Bjorn and John's Gimme Some is the latest in this esteemed line, one that, given a full listen, probably won't leave your head for some time.
-- Eric J. Lawrence, KCRW DJ and Music Librarian
Gimme Some will be available to stream on demand from March 21 through April 19, 2011. The album will be released on March 29, 2011.
Artists' website: http://peterbjornandjohn.com
1. Tomorrow Has To Wait
2. Dig A Little Deeper
3. Second Chance
5. Breaker Breaker
6. May Seem Macabre
7. (Don't Let Them) Cool Off
8. Black Book
9. Down Like Me
11. I Know You Don't Love Me
Peter Bjorn & John