(SXSW 2015 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #343: Lust for Youth

By on Thursday, 26th February 2015 at 12:00 pm

Despite our reputation for being idealists and our ability to be hedonists in the California sunshine, Americans seem unable to do the electronic dance sound anywhere near as well as the Europeans. Case in point: Lust for Youth‘s 2014 album ‘International’, out now on Brooklyn vinyl-directed indie label Sacred Bones Records, shows off the Scandinavian ease in taking the humble yet versatile synthesiser to create an irresistable pop beat. The name was originally used for Swede Hannes Norrvide’s solo project, conceived when he realised that as a poor yet ambitious musician with only a toy keyboard to play on, it was better to make music alone.

While his earlier, dronier, rough around the edges sound was a product of his own artistic limitations or not is a matter of debate, but what cannot be disputed is the new sound of Lust for Youth – with Norrvide now joined by longtime live collaborator Loke Rahbek and new band member Malthe Fischer – as an electro powerhouse just waiting for their moment in the sun. Or maybe under the glint of the mirrorball on the dance floor. The promo video for ‘New Boys’, shot by the group’s friend Frederik Valentin and starring Frederik’s younger brother and Lust for Youth fan Oliver, has already met controversy for its potentially erotic interpretation / misinterpretation.

This all seems quite apt, considering the actual sound of the song recalls ’80s New Wave icons such as New Order and Depeche Mode, both of whom faced controversy themselves with their own sexually ambiguous monster hits. No matter how you feel about the video, this tune also has epic synth lines guaranteed to get your toes a-tapping. Another track from ‘International’, ‘Armida’, was unashamedly inspired by a Pet Shop Boys track “where they had sampled a woman’s voice on every snare drum, so we did the same and then the song just came by itself”. An beat ever so insistent urges you on to “shake your feet” and really, who could say no? I’m really hoping the now Copenhagen-based trio will be given the perfect atmosphere to lay down their synth lines in Austin when they showcase at SXSW 2015 in Austin in March.

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