The members of the appealingly musical, annoyingly punctuated Swedish indie-pop powerhouse Peter Bjorn and John have been known to engage in any number of individual pursuits between group projects, and just as when they’re configured as a band, Peter Morén is the one most likely to be out front in the spotlight. Morén’s kicked out a number of solo joints over the years; 2008’s English-sung The Last Tycoon was followed by a pair of eclectic Swedish-language LPs, 2010’s I spåren av tåren and 2012’s Pyramiden that expanded upon PB&J’s already wide-ranging palette. Next week he’ll begin merging those pursuits with a series EPs that translate some of his Swedish songs into English, starting with a four-song platter called Broken Swenglish, Vol. 1. Two of the tunes are direct translations; the other two are lyrical rewrites that maintain the spirit of the originals. Today we premiere one of the adaptations, a startlingly aggro six-string blowout called “Constant Reaction” that plays like the Smiths if Morrissey had a lot more protein in his diet. Here’s Morén with the backstory:
I wrote this after the awful shootings against a youth-camp in 2011
on the island Utöya outside of Oslo.
I had nightmares and was transported back to my days
as a student living in a dorm outside Stockholm’s University
feeling lost & young. Somehow this was mashed up with the terror attack in my dreams.
Though it’s wrapped in surreal pictures I think you can feel the threat & desperation.
There’s lots of guitars on this track of different kinds. I like guitars!
I like guitars too, and I like what Morén’s done with them here. Have a listen below.
Broken Swenglish, Vol. 1 is out 12/9 via INGRID, the label founded by Peter Bjorn and John, Miike Snow, Lykke Li, and other most excellent Swedes. There’s also a seventh PB&J album on the way, the follow-up to 2011’s Gimme Some.