Our favourite Swedish shoegaze trio Echo Ladies have announced details of their debut album, Pink Noise, which is released on June 8. The short and sweet eight-track album was recorded by the band with their regular producer Joakim Lindberg and comes just a few months after their self-titled EP, which got the attention of BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 1, Radio X, Beats 1, Amazing Radio, The Line Of Best Fit and Clash, to name but a few. The vinyl sold out on release (look out for a tape version shortly) and the band play their first shows in the UK this week.
Pink Noise was recorded last year and finds the band – formed by Malmö school-friends Matilda Bogren, Joar Andersén and Mattis Andersson – perfecting their mixture of guitars, synths and drum machines. “The studio was in the middle of nowhere, near a small town in southern Sweden called Vollsjö,” they explain. “It was an old farm and had everything you can imagine. We just hung out for four days and built a wall of amplifiers.”
This is evident from the instrumental opening track, simply called ‘Intro’, which sees the band indulging in some A Place To Bury Strangers-style total sonic annihilation, before giving way to the skewed synth-pop of ‘Almost Happy’ and the first single, ‘Bedroom’, the video for which is now premiering on Loud And Quiet. Watch it below.
The latter half of the album slows things down with the stunning ‘Overrated’, which could be Saint Etienne covering something from The Cure’s Disintegration. The band cite the Cocteau Twins, Lowlife (the Scottish dreampop band, but New Order’s 1985 album is as good a reference point) and The Jesus And Mary Chain as the main musical influences on Pink Noise – they even get away with calling a song Darklands, even if theirs isn’t about talking in rhyme with their chaotic souls. “That song is not actually inspired by the Mary Chain,” they laugh. “It’s about that feeling you get when you stand onstage looking out on the crowd and all eyes are on you, but, in the darkness, the crowd is unaware that you’re looking back at them as well.”
As the last song, the slow and yearning ‘Waiting For A Sign’, fades out less than half an hour later, it’s clear that Pink Noise is not just a concise but also a very coherent body of work. “The EP is four songs that were written over a long period of time, sometimes two years between tracks,” they clarify. “But the album was created with the goal of writing an album, so the songs have more of a connection to each other, there’s more of a theme.”
The theme is, essentially, time-honoured teen angst, or as they put it: “Being scared of growing up and standing on the border of adulthood without knowing what will happen. The feeling of nostalgia and hope for the future, but mixed with the worries and concerns about defining who you are and what you will become.”
This explains their mix of melancholy, euphoria, anger and tenderness, a sense of emotional confusion echoed by the title. “‘Pink noise’ is a setting that you can find on some old analogue synths,” they explain. “It pretty much sounds like the world is ending – the perfect way to describe this album.”
Echo Ladies play the following UK shows this week: