Sunday, November 3, 2019

A Loud Shout Out for Shout Out Louds

In the early 2000s, I caught Swedish fever and haven't really ever been able to shake it. Jens Lekman, the Concretes and Shout Out Louds have all spent time on my turntable this weekend, and it's this U.S. promo 12" from the latter that has won the day this time around. Debut album 'Howl Howl Gaff Gaff' was released in their home country in 2003, but I didn't hear it until Capitol picked it up in May 2005. By then the album had been remastered, and the tracklist had changed significantly. Five songs from EPs were combined with six songs from the original album to create a collection with nary a duff note. The two standouts were "Very Loud" and "The Comeback," the latter released as a single in the fall that year.

I prefer the album version of "The Comeback" in all of its simplicity, but these alternative takes would be fun out on a dance floor. Tommie Sunshine has made a career out of remixing songs like this, and electro-rockers Ratatat would have been just a handful of months from hitting it big with their "Wildcat" single. As for Shout Out Louds, they have released four albums since "Howl Howl Gaff Gaff," but to these ears they have never come close to bettering their debut. It's an old story read on these pages time and time again.

The Comeback (Tommie Sunshine's Radio Edit)
The Comeback (Big Slippa Mix By Ratatat)
The Comeback (Album Version)
The Comeback (Instrumental)


The Swede said...

I had a bit of a Concretes phase back in the mists of time, but don't know a lot about Shout Out Louds. 'The Comeback' sounds very good to these ears though.

drew said...

I too had a big Swedish pop phase during the early noughties. At the time I was over in Sweden quite a few times with work, Lund Gothenburg mostly. One of colleagues there, Klaus, looked to me a kind of trendy, what we would now call a hipster so I started talking about the great Swedish pop music and that Radio Dept were named after a repair shop in Lund, not a clue and neither did anybody else in the office. I guess that it was for export only.

If you don't already have it seek out Labrador 100 - A Complete History of Popular Music. Although the title is not strictly true it does contain 66 pieces of wonderful Swedish Pop.

I saw the Concretes a couple of times at King Tut's they were magic, strange but magic.

Days by Sambassadeur and I Was Definitely Made For These Times by Hello Saferide are two particular favourites from that period.

Brian said...

Drew, I have always liked what Labrador does. I got into them just about the time I started this blog... Club 8, Leslies, Mary Onettes and Sambassadeur in particular. The Concretes in such a small venue must have been a real treat.

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