The bands that hold such a close affinity for the bright, saccharine sounds of the 60’s must walk a fine line, for fear that they swing quickly from homage to imitation without realizing it. Swedish pop group Caviare Days – whose name is taken from a line in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night – find themselves firmly planted within the realm of reverent pop reconstruction. Their music touches quite extensively on the hazy harmonies and shimmering melodies of bands like ABBA and The Mama’s and The Papa’s but always with an eye toward more modern pop tendencies. They’re peddling an intriguing distillation of their influences and manage to impart the carefree outlook of the 60’s with a deeper rhythmic sensibility.
A good deal of the band’s success comes from the interplay between singers (and sisters) Lina and Maja Westin and the deceptively simple instrumentation which clearly evokes the whimsical music so commonly associated with the “Summer of Love” ideals of the late 60’s. But their music doesn’t come across as flighty so much as it does capricious and unpredictable – as if the band themselves were discovering the music at the same time as the listener. And that lends the band a decidedly headier perspective than many of their sunshine pop peers.
Recently, we sat down with sisters Lina and Maja to discuss a few of the records which have helped to shape the development of Caviare Days’ sound – not to mention their own formative musical experiences. Albums such as Beggars Banquet by The Rolling Stones and Blue by Joni Mitchell bump up against records from The Strokes and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in a mish-mash of influences and musical predilections. Check out what they had to say about these albums below in the latest installment of our On Deck Series.
The Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet
Few albums have had such an impact on us as Beggars Banquet by The Rolling Stones. When looking back at our lives you realize how Jagger and the rest have hypnotized you on so many levels. The first track “Sympathy for the Devil” sets the scene. It influenced us early to pick up and read Michael Bulgakovs Master & Margarita, which became a pathway to Russian literature and mysticism. The decadent aesthetics in the album photos captured in a London mansion inspired us to a certain lifestyle as well as a way of dressing. The madness in the television extravaganza The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (promo film for the album) showed us a way to combine chaos with control. Beggars Banquet is directly intelligent and filled with socio-political statements – all perfectly wrapped in an illusion of a luxury.
Monica Zetterlund – Aah! Monica!
Monica Zetterlund is like a vitamin pill. Your body needs it to survive the long dark Swedish winter. Aah! Monica! is her second studio album released in 1962. We have been listening to it over and over again from childhood until today and will keep on doing so forever. It is masterly created jazz with edgy romantic songs referring a lot to Stockholm, our capital. It couldn’t get more Swedish than this.
Joni Mitchell – Blue
Joni Mitchell. Dad’s favourite. Became our favourite. This album is perfect.
Blue is a masterpiece, and a well-known one. Even people that dislike folk music, the singer-songwriter way, seem to love this album, or Joni Mitchell in general. She’s such a force of nature.
The Strokes – Is This Is
I was fifteen when Is This It came out in 2001, and totally stirred up something. I had a CDR copy of Is This It, which also fitted the Hives’ Veni Vedi Vicious, 80 minutes of milestone indie-rock that all of my friends knew the lyrics to. 2001 was a great year for rock’n’roll, which saw the first real revival since Nirvana’s Nevermind in 1991. Is This It is sexy, packed with great riffs and slick lyrics. The soundtrack to the slim, black jeans that came around at this time.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – B.R.M.C.
B.R.M.C. was also released in 2001, also underlining that this year was a great year for rock’n’roll. They had a show on Hultsfred festival 2002, and I was carried away, I think it was the first time I felt high on a concert. Lina bought the CD for me when we lived in Singapore and it was one of a few records I listened to for almost a full year. B.R.M.C. is raunchy, spiritual, intelligent and multifaceted – all what a great rock’n’roll-album should have.
Caviare Days’ self-titled debut album is out now on Label 259.