Following being awarded the accolade of Popjustice Single of 2009 for ‘Into the Clouds’, things went a bit quiet with THE SOUND OF ARROWS as they disappeared into London to record their debut album.
But following their recent remix of LADY GAGA’s ‘Alejandro’, they are now back with a short tour to showcase the first fruit of their labours.
Stefan Storm and Oskar Gullstrand hail from Gavle, a town once named the most boring town in Sweden… lack of worthwhile local activity can be an amazing motivator. The opening lines of ‘Into the Clouds’ “I’m going to work my way out of this town, I’m going to be someone and know who I am” may be quite prophetic.
Sharing a mutual love for films, in particular fantasy adventure flicks, the duo found they also loved lushly produced classic pop. Both filmic and musical elements are important factors in THE SOUND OF ARROWS. Accompanied by their own self-directed CGI film projections, the panoramic landscapes and crystal skylines are living a boy’s adventure tale while the ambiguous aura presented really does make the whole thing come across like “Disney meets Brokeback Mountain” as one blogger amusingly described it!
Heavenly! Dreamy! Bright! Widescreen! There are many superlatives that can be used to describe THE SOUND OF ARROWS. Keeping the set fairly uptempo to maintain momentum, there is dancing and smiles among the varied crowd tonight. Gay and straight, male and female, old and young; they’re all here, aware that they are witnessing something fresh and special.
Singer Storm is a lively, charismatic performer, prancing about for the crowd and taking to thumping a bit of electronic percussion every now and then at the back of the stage. Meanwhile, Gullstrand plays the moody synthesist, fingering his Korg MS20 intently and staring up occasionally to look his partner in the eye. Of the various brilliant offerings played tonight, ‘My Shadow’ is a vibrant French sounding disco number with a beautiful synthetic squeeze box leadline. Similarly, some of the oboe melodies in other soaring tunes such as ‘Disappear’ recall A-HA but with 50% extra electro… FREE!
The gorgeous instrumental interlude that precedes ‘Into the Clouds’ is like a Northern Lights update of GIORGIO MORODER’s ‘Love Theme From Midnight Express’. After teasing the audience with several glistening samples of the introductory triad, everyone is treated to a danced up rendition with added VANGELIS synth sweeps. Despite the glorious melancholy, there are chunks of hopeful optimism. ‘Into the Clouds’is a titan of epic proportions and deserves to be embraced by the world at large.
No room tonight though for the choir boy chant of ‘M.A.G.I.C.’ or the GO TEAM inspired ‘Danger!’ Storm admitted later that these singles are now very old and that THE SOUND OF ARROWS wanted to move on in order to pursue the electronic direction that is now their heart and soul.
Under the watchful eye of Big Life, the management responsible LA ROUX and now signed to Geffen Records, things are looking very promising for this Scandinavian pair. Working with among others, LADYHAWKE and LITTLE BOOTS collaborator Kid Gloves plus Storm’s hero RICHARD X, their debut album is expected sometime in early 2011.
Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Richard Price
11th July 2010