Niki & The Dove: The hippy Scandanavians embracing electro “fairytale pop”
You know who to blame. Just the faintest mention of Girl’s Name & The Whimsically Titled Backing Band and your mind’s flooded with images of florid, tablecloth-wearing drama queens who sing of woods and spooks, yet impose as much genuine portent as a blast of pine air freshener.
Stockholm’s Niki & The Dove might sing of making “friends with trees” on recent download ‘Mother Protect’, but there’s not a trace of ethereal waft about its dark, Fever Ray-down-the-club saucy stomp.
“I’m very into singing about nature and the images that come to you in a vision,” says singer Malin Dahlström. Erm, so what we said about ethereal whimsy… “I’m really interested in the symbolism of nature. Humans have always been using animals as symbols for things.” But rather than trying to evoke some nascent Grimm view of femininity, Malin and Gustaf Karlöf are hurtling through the forest in search of what Gustaf calls “perfect fairytale pop”, leaving behind red herrings – asked about their reputation for being elusive they whisper to each other in Swedish – and pathfinder clues to transport you back to where it first knocked your virgin ears for six.
“It might sound pretentious,” says Gustaf, “but when we make music, our aim is always to capture the power that pop has, the way it can change your life in one split second.” It was late last summer when their debut single, ‘DJ, Ease My Mind’, first popped up online, Malin imploring the DJ to “play that song again, ’cos we were in love”.
Quickly dubbed ‘The Knife does oriental Eurovision’, its gleaming production sounded like the work of a crack pop team pushing the buttons. Its follow-up, ‘Under The Bridges’, brought to mind Prince inciting a tribal rave. “Nope, it’s just us,” says Malin. “All the sounds are organic, acoustic at the source – beating on suitcases or chair legs – and then we change them.” “The whole world is an instrument!” declares Gustaf.
So maybe they are a tad hippyish. But one thing’s for sure – in the pop copse, their songs have big enough lungs to huff, puff and blow every wafty princess away.
Need To Know
• Gustaf reckons that because pop music is young in expression, we might still be listening to Britney Spears in 300 years. We reckon he’s been at
• Malin used to be in a trio called Midaircondo. She still occasionally makes music on her own as Disdishdance
• Live, they play with third member Magnus, who lives in Gothenburg