TRACK-BY-TRACK: The Mary Onettes

The Swedish indie-pop band introduce us to their upcoming third album, which you can stream in full below

Next Monday, March 11, Swedish synth-pop fourpiece The Mary Onettes release their third album, Hit The Waves (artwork above), out via Labrador/EMI.

Their follow-up to 2009’s Islands, it’s wrought with 80s-indebted fluid guitars and strident snares, and frontman Philip Ekström occasionally channelling Robert Smith, all of which amounts to a gloriously melodramatic LP, aided by Dan Lissvik on production duties, adding his trademark glacial sheen. Listen below, with the band’s track-by-track introduction following, and head here to pre-order the album:

1. ‘Intro’

We have never had an intro on an album before so I thought it was time for that. This intro was actually a whole song from the beginning, with vocals and choruses and everything. A really nice ballad but it never made it in the sorting out so I cut it down. Really like to listen to it, it puts me in a certain mood that I like and the song is so much better as an intro track.

2. ‘Evil Coast’

The first single of the album and still one of my favorites. There are so many interesting sounds in this song – for example, there is a guitar that sounds like a wave through the whole song. So cool! It’s almost hypnotic when you listen to it closely.

3. ‘Hit The Waves’

This song has a nice 90s vibe to it. I had a period of heavy listening to Peter Gabriel and I guess this song came out of that.

4. ‘Years’

This song was the first song we finished together with Dan Lissvik. I have never done a song as monotonic as this one before, but I like it! All the voices that you can hear that sound like synthesizers are actually my voice, layered and over-dubbed. A bit of 10cc maybe…

5. ‘Don’t Forget (To Forget About Me)’

The last song I wrote for the album. It was never meant to be on the album, but replaced another song. We all felt that the album needed a song like this. The piano is the same piano I used on a lot of tracks on Islands, so it feels like this song is partly associated with that album.

6. ‘Black Sunset’

The original recording of this song is so different from what it became after Dan worked on it. This is more like a remix of the first recording, Dan managed to give it a whole new kind of groove.

The lyrics are about fading solidarity.

7. ‘Blues’

This song has a lot of cool elements if you listen closely. It has a very tweaked grand piano that just sounds amazing in itself. For me, this song grows with every listen and now it’s one of my favourites on the new album.

8. ‘Can’t Stop The Aching’

When I hear this song I feel that it has a kind of surf feeling, very American in some way, which maybe comes from my slight obsession with Brian Wilson.

9. ‘Unblessed’

This song is an orgy of old synthesizers – a Yamaha DX7 and Roland JX-3P and JX-8Ps. Henrik [Ekström, bassist] went into the studio and made this song all by ourselves, without even Dan here. There so many details here that are of great importance – for example, there is a sample of seagulls that enriches the song.

10. ‘How It All Ends’

Also one of the last songs written for the album., and it has a matching title for that… From the beginning, this song was only a hymn that I recorded with a little organ, about my way of always seeing things either in black or in white. The chorus line just went on and on with the organ… very apocalyptic!

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