a semi-impressive skyline

Although I’ve only had Peter Bjorn and John’s latest album Writer’s Block for two days, I’ve already decided that I like it enough to unlazify myself and tell you why you should buy this album.

…Because I said so!…okay I didn’t think that would work.

I’ve only heard of PB&J (ohh god, how can I not think of peanut butter and jelly?) in the past few months, mostly on Norwegian radio (the band is Swedish) in the form of the the whistle-y bongo shaker-happy single “Young Folks”, which you can listen to at their myspace page. Thankfully, that’s not the only infectious song on the album, although it’s probably the one most worthy of happy head-bopping. Since there’s no way I could come up with a succinct, adequate description of their music, I’m going to pull one from The Sunday Times:

…all Gallic 1960s pop, 5th Dimension harmonies, Beach Boys cooing, whistling, lo-fi DIY studio non-fakery, melodies and lyrics that pass through you like a warm midsummer breeze.

Yes, that sounds good to me. My main thought was, “This music…sounds old,” “old” in the sense of something my mum might have listened to growing up, as opposed to “old” meaning something stale and smelly. Not old! Nor smelly!

Here’s one song that I am particularly fond of for its dreamy hazy “I’m not sure if I’m awake” feeling (mainly in the chorus):

Peter Bjorn and John – The Chill [removed]

…Or maybe it’s just me.

The following song, “Roll the Credits”, has a similar tranquilizing effect by bathing your head in oohs, ahhs, a soft drum roll and a neverending tremolo played on acoustic guitar. And bells! …Bells are good. It’s a fluffy, six and a half minute layered cake of comforting sounds.

I could stay something nice about every song, but that would spoil it, besides that I don’t really feel like it. Aside from the music, I also like the lyrics. I’m usually oblivious to lyrics, unless they’re notably bad, like finding something inedible in your otherwise inoffensive salad (which hopefully happens less often than hearing a song with bad lyrics). Otherwise, the words moosh together with the rest of the stuff and it sounds right…or it doesn’t. (It’s not like more people care what Sigur Ros are saying, right?) I like this bit from “Objects of My Affection” (listen on myspace) in particular:

And the question is, was I more alive then than I am now?
I happily have to disagree;
I laugh more often now, I cry more often now, I am more me

Granted, I probably wouldn’t like it as much out of the context of the song, but…it’s in a song. And I like it. If you don’t, you can leave. [points to a virtual door]

But I hope you like it. US-based Scandinavian music blog/shop/label/possibly something else It’s a Trap has many PB&J releases in their shop.