God, have we missed a band like this.
Sweden’s Shout Out Louds are a band that deal solely in addictive, wonderfully crafted, layered indie-pop songs. It’s The Arcade Fire without Armageddon hanging over their every word. It’s The Cure without the filler. It’s Scandinavia’s finest in a sold-out London venue, and it’s really quite magical.
Back in 2005, Shout Out Louds enticed Britain with their debut ‘Howl Howl Gaff Gaff’. Peppered with choruses and chugging guitars, they were an indie wet-dream, and the support band of choice for The Strokes, Kings of Leon and The Magic Numbers. The forthcoming second album ‘Our Ill Wills’ is equally as chorus-fuelled, but the wide-eyed nature of the debut has been replaced by a depth, darkness, and soul. This brief jaunt to the UK to promote first single ‘Tonight I Have To Leave It’ and the fruits of ‘Our Ill Wills’ has awoken British senses afresh to these Scandi beauties, and the suspense is palpable.
Rammed to the rafters, Bush Hall is bouncing. Arriving on a stage bedecked in flags (emulating the artwork of Our Ill Wills), Shout Out Louds blast straight into their book of past and undoubtedly future hits. Layered instrumentation, and charming hooks chug under vocalist Adam Olenius’ Robert Smith-esque delivery. Tellingly, the fresh songs are met with the same histrionics in the crowd as their older counterparts, largely because they deal in similar bittersweet, lovelorn lyrics and sent skywards with spiraling pop majesty. Shout Out Louds know exactly what they are, and in this fleeting 6-month career span that hazards many a cheeky upstart, that’s already one-up on thousands. From the brilliant, Cure-inspired new single ‘Tonight I Have To Leave It’ thorough to the wholesome bounce of ‘Very Loud’ it’s a carnival atmosphere in Shepherds Bush, with an audience greeting each and every track as minor classics. As the blonde and beautiful Bebban Stenborg coos her way through the lulling ‘Blue Headlights’, by way of the glockenspiel led waltz of ‘Impossible’, and the hauntingly euphoric ‘Time Left For Love’, Shout Out Louds are a band so adamant that each and every song is perfectly formed, that they’re almost worthy of dissection.
A triumph then, and one that shoots Shout Out Louds right back into British headspace. When the new record finally drops in May, we seriously suggest you feed the addiction.