The Swedish outfit, Peter, Bjorn & John, are best known for their dreamy indie-pop sounds. And after more than 20 years in the biz, they grace us with their new and ninth album, Endless Dream.
Back in 2018, their album Darker Days was essentially just that: darker. Their previous music was light and airy and Darker Days introduced us to the darker side of the band. Thankfully, Endless Dream is a little brighter. Still maintaining a sad tone, it deadens the negativity with an upbeat sound that masks the sadness of the album.
Peter, Bjorn & John are known for their catchy intros. Their famous “Young Folks” (which is 14 years old, yikes!), is one of the most recognizable intros out there. Endless Dream is full of amazing intros and “Music” is definitely the best. Syncopated rhythms and note for note harmonies, “Music” is a sizable upbeat step from their previous release. And while it still holds a certain level of despair, the beat alone is enough to grab your attention and make you do a little dance.
Roaring intros have become the norm in recent times, blasting tracks into existence, but Peter, Bjorn & John take a different approach. A simple bass and beat dip us into the echo vocals of “A Week End”, bringing attention to the lyrics. Like any good weekend, it preceded by the mundane goings-on of the week before and musically that’s what this track sounds like. It ramps up with every added voice and repeats to a chorus that is driving while also remaining calm and measured. The track evolves with a little excitement, careful not to go overboard, keeping a medium level of anticipation and zing all the way through. While it never really hits home, it does, however, make for an interesting break in the album.
Never afraid of production techniques, Peter, Bjorn & John push “Rusty Nail” through a generous helping of lo-fi muffling to create a perpetual haze over the track. While sharp guitar motifs reach above the musical mist, the track is weighed down with levels of distortion that create a weird and pleasing juxtaposition. And maybe that’s what they’re trying to do. The song is about reaching for what you want and not getting it, so perhaps they’re trying to create a musical expression of something that serves us that is all shiny and new and something that wears over time.
While Endless Dream is a good album, it doesn’t really knock my musical socks off. It has some catchy tunes and riffs that are quintessentially Peter, Bjorn & John. It is a solid effort that will make a pretty good backing track to lazy summer afternoons on the deck.