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MARCHING BAND is back after seven years with their fifth album full of catchy indie pop songs. It has a familiar sound, continuing the journey that started almost 20 years ago when the duo began writing pop gems together in a student corridor. This time, the band has collaborated with song writer phenomenon Peter Morén (of Peter Björn and John) on three of the songs.

The first single from the album is called “Better than me”. It is a jangly indie pop song with a repetitive chord progression sprinkled with intricate melodies that are delivered through the band’s trademark lush harmonies and unison vocals. The lyrics mull over feelings of insufficiency and the constant comparison that plague us all to a larger or lesser extent but with a quirky twist typical of the bands’ lyrical style.

Marching Band was founded by Erik Sunbring and Jacob Lind in 2004 in a student corridor. Their early records were DIY labors of love, made from start to finish in a tiny rehearsal room in Linköping. Then, nine years ago, they were invited by Jacob’s long time friend, Cheri MacNeil, to tour with her band, Dear Reader, (then Harris Tweed) in her native South Africa. At a festival in Stellenbosch’s wine district, an american drummer, also on tour in South Africa, witnessed Marching Band battle the wind on an outdoor stage nestled in the mountains. He loved what he heard so much that he soon after signed the duo to his new label, U & L Records, based in Los Angeles.

Marching Band recorded their first full-length album, Spark Large, in Los Angeles in 2008 with producer Adam Lasus (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Yo La Tengo). Rolling Stone reviewed the album: “The Swedish duo crafts their own brand of pillowy pop, brightened with bands of psychedelia.” Their second album, Pop Cycle, was produced by Jari Haapalainen (Ed Harcourt, Camera Obscura, the Concretes). Allmusic.com gave it four stars and said: “Ultimately, as with all of Pop Cycle’s material, songs like the swirling, piano-driven opening cut “Another Day” and the sparkling “Uncomfortably Numb” while melancholy and bittersweet in tone, still grab your ear as much as they break your heart.” Their third self-produced album, So Much Imagine, brought them to Japan for the first time. Through their long time collaboration with &records they have now become what one could call “Small in Japan” and went on their second nationwide tour in October 2016, including a week in China, to support their fourth album Heart Jewel, which was recorded in Tambourine Studios in Malmö, where the band is currently based. The songs were mixed by several different engineers, including long time friend Adam Lasus, as well as new collaborators Eli Crews (tUnE-yArDs) and Gen Tanabe (Water Water Camel). Some of the lyrics were written in collaboration with long time friends such as Cheri MacNeil from Dear Reader.

The band has toured in Europe together with Lone Dear (SE). They have also toured in the U.S. and graced the stages of various festivals including South By South-West (US), Eurosonic (NE) and Motel Mozaique (NE). Their music has been heard in film and TV productions like Zombieland, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs, Beverly Hills 90210, The Ex List, Paris Hilton – My New BFF and Greek, etc. They also won a Hollywood Music Award for best original song in a movie.

“This duo play low-key, folk-touched indie pop… [They] trade high, close harmonies and reassuring words over a warm, slightly ramshackle backing of acoustic guitar, piano, drums, and light electronic effects, like the Shins sliding down better-fitting chutes.”

“Indie-pop that is chock-full of luscious melodies and arrangements.”

Reviews for Pop Cycle

Swedish pop exports Marching Band deliver a slightly darker but no less catchy collection of songs with the duo’s 2010 sophomore effort, Pop Cycle. Having recorded the band’s 2008 debut Spark Large in Los Angeles, main songwriters Erik Sunbring and Jacob Lind moved back to Sweden for Pop Cycle. Recorded during a bleak winter with well-known Swedish producer Jari Haapalainen (Camera Obscura, Ed Harcourt, the Concretes), the resulting album is a move away from the frothy, West Coast sound of Spark Large and toward a more sustained, introverted palette. Which isn’t to say these songs don’t retain much of the hummable melodic pop that made Spark Large such an addictive listen. On the contrary, songs like “It Will Never Slip” and “It’s Not Your Dream (But His)” bring to mind the mature and layered sound of such Teenage Fanclub albums as Howdy and Man-Made. Elsewhere, tracks like the rambling “Something Stops” and “Pink Elephant” are little rhythmic and moody pop nuggets. Ultimately, as with all of Pop Cycle’s material, songs like the swirling, piano-driven opening cut “Another Day” and the sparkling “Uncomfortably Numb,” while melancholy and bittersweet in tone, still grab your ear as much as they break your heart.


Reviews for Spark Large

The latest Swedish sensation comes in the form of Marching Band. Their five-song Spark Large EP,produced by Adam Lasus (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Yo La Tengo), sees Erik Sundberg and Jacob Lind create a multi-layered, catchy-with-a-twist brand of indie pop that recalls both the Shins and Belle & Sebastian but still sounds wholly original. At times the duo sound like they operate with at least three times the manpower, incorporating a dizzying array of instruments into the mix (xylophone, marimba, vibraphone and banjo), and harmonize like the Zombies never existed. Adding to the charm of these recordings are the off-kilter rhythms (check out the shuffle-y rhythm on the amazing “Don’t Go”) and slightly unhinged qualities of the music, like it could break down and fall apart at any moment. I think what we have here is one of the dark horses of 2008, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Marching Band become one of the festival-circuit buzz bands next year. Girls room poster-worthy pop, indeed.


As many people no doubt discovered in Sunday’s The New York Times, “Stockholm Is More Than Abba’s Town.” The same article also brought to my attention the startling news that Christopher Walken once said or did something, possibly humorous, involving cowbells– can any Pitchfork readers give me more information about this hot tip? What the Grey Lady left out, though, is that Sweden’s music scene is more than Stockholm: Jens Lekman, the Knife, the Tough Alliance, the Honeydrips, Love Is All and many others hail from Gothenburg, while I’m From Barcelona call Jönköping home, the Radio Dept. and the LK come from Malmö, and newcomers Marching Band are based in Linköping.

This duo of Erik Sunbring and Jacob Lind play low-key, folk-touched indie pop on “Feel Good About It”, from their forthcoming album produced by Adam Lasus (Clap ur Hands Say Yeah, La Tengo, Lilys). Sunbring and Lind trade high, close harmonies and reassuring words over a warm, slightly ramshackle backing of acoustic guitar, piano, drums, and light electronic effects, like the Shins sliding down better-fitting chutes. Is Linköping more than Marching Band’s town? Dear Ryan Schreiber, I would love to go find out.


Reviews for EP3

Marching Band … seem like really nice guys. If you click around the pictures on their website you’ll see lots of grass, trees, sunsets and bicycles. That seems about right to me, considering this is folk pop written by two friends from Sweden. And while we’re in the beginning of Spring and this music seems rooted in Autumn, I think we can make due. I like that this isn’t country, or especially sad, or especially whiney. It’s not really indie rock. It’s really just pop music with nice harmony vocals, crisp acoustic guitars and some interesting production quirks here and there in the background. I especially like the xylophone quietly echoing the guitar line in the outro. The song has the feeling of something wrapping up, finally coming to a close. It reminds me of both Jose Gonzalez and Kings of Convenience, but it’s a little sunnier than both of those, with seemingly more hope attached. This song comes off the band’s most recent of 3 EPs. You can hear the band’s growth on each subsequent release, with this latest being the most confident and self-assured of the bunch. The opening track “Letters” is a nic piece of pop as well…


Betyg: 8/10. Att göra nägon glad.
“Brevskrivande är en underskattad sysselsättning. Hur många orkar skriva riktiga brev längre? Sätta sig ner med ett papper och fatta en penna, skriva ett brev, betala ett frimärke och släpa brevet till en brevlåda. Brevvänner finns inte längre, ingen vill pennfajtas. Ett handritat hjärta eller en dödskalle eller en kanin kan aldrig ersättas ordentligt av en smiley.”Letters” är första spåret på Marching Bands skiva med handritat omslag. I denna låt skriver sångaren och en person brev till varandra om olika årstider och händelser tills refrängen där sångaren utbrister att brevskrivaren måste sluta skriva brev, skaffa ett liv och nya vänner. Allt ackompanjerat av en liten orkesterkavalkad. Det här är en sprakande underbar poplåt. Något som låter som en xylofonslinga dominerar refrängen och den gör den alldeles fullständigt glad. Och det är bara det första spåret. Skivan följer inget direkt mönster annat än att alla låtar är bra. Otroligt nog är detta tillverkat av två Linköpingsstudenter. Och tydligen med dagens teknik är allt som behövs två snubbar och en dator för att göra fantastisk musik. Med det sagt är ingenting elektroniskt, med hjälp av instrumentlån och några hemmainspelningssessioner har “Marching Band” sett dagens ljus. Marching band påstår att de försöker göra originell indie-pop och vem fan gör inte det. Hur som helst så lyckas de väldigt bra men visst går det att höra influenser, som The Shins och Ed Harcourt. Man skulle nästan önska att de var ett paradband som marcherade runt världen i en glädjeturné. Själva säger de att “målet med musiken är att göra våra egna och våra lyssnares liv lite gladare”. Och det var jävlarimamma det bästa jag har hört på länge.”

Marie Lindström, dagensskiva.com

Corren demorecension, betyg: 5 av 5.

“Ett egetutgivet tiospårsalbum finns redan ute där glada och spralliga Letters inleder. Här förklarar Linköpingsduon att de skriver brev och gärna tar emot dem också. Söta popklanger och infallsrik instrumentering gör att man blir intresserad av Marching Band.

We write letters/we fell that good friends should be kept.”

Groove 06/05

“Linköpingsduon fortsätter att utvecklas. På första fullängdaren har deras charmiga indiepop dragit sig lite mer åt folkhållet, men också åt knasiga orkesterarr. Från Pedro the Lion till Sufjan Stevens, om man ska ta till jämförelser. Men det behöver man inte göra. Marching Band cyklar stadigt på egna hjul. Här presenterar de tio egensinniga låtar som får mungiporna att dras allt längre upp mot öronen. Charmigt och medryckande. På ett sätt som det bara kan bli om det finns begåvning och kompetens i botten. Det här vill jag ha mer av!”

Magnus Sundell, Trots Allt

“…den charmanta poplåten Letters som finns med på killarnas
finfina fullläängdsplatta där de avverkar alltifrån orkestrerade
banjostycken till rusiga klockspelskaskader med allt vad det innebär av
allsångsrefräånger ala Beach Boys…”

Pelle Gustavsson, P3 Lab