Album Review: Those Dancing Days – Daydreams & Nightmares (Wichita)

Stockholm’s twee girl-gang return all grown up, as heartsore heroines of dancey angst

When [a]Those Dancing Days[/a] released the delightfully monikered ‘Fuckarias’ onto the internet, the whole fey-loving indie world held its breath. Gone were the woozy fairground synths and tinkly guitars. In their place was a teeming electro-waltz of scattershot drumming, feedback wails and Linnea Jonsson’s heady growl. It seemed like the Swedish girl group had grown up.

One of the main qualms with the girls’ 2008 debut ‘In Our Space Hero Suits’ was that it was all a little, well… drippy. Not so ‘Daydreams & Nightmares’: take album opener ‘Reaching Forward’, which shimmers along as a glorious slice of [a]Friendly Fires[/a]-aping new rave, or ‘I Know Where You Live Pt 2’, which is about as far removed from the band’s erstwhile romanticism as it is possible to be. A jagged ode to romantic fixation, it’s pierced by Linnea growling, “Obsession is a curse that no-one runs away from”, nervily.

Not that it’s all straitjackets and reverb. Single ‘I’ll Be Yours’ is pure synth-topped naiveté, and while ‘Keep Me In Your Pocket’’s lyrics may dwell on groupie battles and unrequited love, the angst is played out over a backdrop of surf-pop guitar and Fisher-Price xylophone.

It’s closer ‘One Day Forever’ that crowns the album, however. A duet with [a]Maccabees[/a] frontman Orlando Weeks, it features Linnea and ’Lando cooing sweet nothings into each other’s ears before the whole thing explodes into devastating, sun-dipped loveliness.

While the forgettable ‘Forest Of Love’ and ‘When We Fade Away’ signal a bit of a mid-album lull, this is a remarkably solid affair. By letting their heads float off into the clouds and planting their brogues firmly on the ground, [a]Those Dancing Days[/a] have created an album of fizzing indie-pop to charm both the starry-eyed teen and the world-weary indie connoisseur.

Katherine Rodgers


Order a copy of Those Dancing Days’ ‘Daydreams & Nightmares’ from Amazon