This week I’ve been going back to a few albums from my past. Shout Out Louds were one of the bands that I felt like I “found” myself, years ago. After hearing their first single “The Comeback” on internet radio, I got their first album “Howl Howl Gaff Gaff” and have been a fan ever since.
Looking back at the blog, I was surprised to see they have only made my TOTW twice. What is unsurprising though is that both their pervious entries and this week’s recommendation come from their second album “Our Ill Wills.”
Partly this is because the album came out at the very end of my teens; an impressionable time for anyone and for me the time I finally had enough money to be able to buy albums and go to gigs regularly. However, in hindsight my love for “Our Ill Wills” also stems from the production of Björn Yttling of Peter, Björn & John fame.
Although I didn’t become a fan of Peter, Björn & John until a few years after I’d first heard “Our Ill Wills,” it’s clear that the pop sensibilities heard on their records are also implemented on this one, taking some of the Lo-Fi edge of their previous record and giving it a shiny counterpoint that really helps the music pop.
Because of these factors, “Our Ill Wills” Is a record I will always love. It’s chock full of great and under appreciated Indy gems that make the whole record an easy recommendation in my book.
“You Are Dreaming” is a track that exemplifies what works so well about it. The deadpan vocal delivery underpinned with crisp instrumental production has and will always work for many artists. Shout Out Louds continue to pull this off with aplomb to this day.
It was on “Our Ill Wills” that a real production sheen was applied to their sound, and in many ways is when it worked best. The strings on “Are You Dreaming” are a perfect example, creating a weight and a quality to the piece that enhance further the bitter sweet style that Swedish bands like “Shout out Louds” and “Peter Bjorn & John” create so perfectly.