The Electric Pop Group - Sunrise EP

matinée 067  /  March 2008
The Electric Pop Group - Sunrise EP
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The Electric Pop Group - Sunrise EP

matinée 067  /  March 2008

Brilliant Matinée debut from popular Swedish band The Electric Pop Group. The quartet astonished everyone late in 2006 with a self-released debut album that came out of nowhere to make numerous year-end lists and earn countless favorable reviews including comparisons to legendary bands on Creation Records (Razorcuts, Primal Scream, The Pastels, Jesus and Mary Chain) and Sarah Records (The Sea Urchins, Another Sunny Day, Brighter, and The Field Mice). As one of many indie record labels that took notice, Matinée made contact with them just as they started work on new recordings last summer and this EP is the first fruit of those sessions. Especially notable given the band’s name, this EP also marks the addition of acoustic guitars to their repertoire.

The EP kicks off with ‘I Could See The Lights’, an incredible tune and one of the first new songs the band recorded following the success of its debut album. Guitars jangle, drums pound, keyboards chime…the song simply shimmers and will serve as a perfect summertime anthem even in the face of less agreeable weather. It demanded to be released as a single so here it is!

In addition to the lead track, the EP features three glorious additional songs: ‘This Is The Town’ is another chiming A-side, an infectious song that features prominent keyboards as the perfect counterpoint to three glistening guitar parts. ‘Summer’s Day’ is a showcase for the newly added acoustic guitar, a fragile song that is similar to and every bit as poignant as the classic track ‘For Always’ by Razorcuts. Finally, ‘Come And See Me’ employs keyboards to great effect, creating a mesmerizing and soaring hit that is an especially lovely way to end the EP for sure.

On this release, the band takes its sound—described by one esteemed music writer as “both studiously retrospective and thoroughly contemporary”—and expands it with added instrumentation and superb songwriting. The result is a modern indiepop classic and another sparkling addition to the Matinée discography.

  1. I Could See The Lights
  2. This Is The Town
  3. Summer's Day
  4. Come And See Me


The Swedish quartet are back with this EP after gaining a lot of attention due to their self-released debut album in late 2006. If they’re going to be successful anywhere it’s going to be here in Scotland. Earning themselves countless favourable reviews and comparisons to Glasgow based Creation records favourites including Primal Scream, Razorcuts and The Pastels. It’s not difficult to hear why. First track ‘I Could See The Lights’ is a perfect shoegazing melancholy love song with jingle jangle guitar sounds. It wasn’t until this EP that the band decided to add something unplugged to their repertoire, it’s with ‘Summer’s Day’ that they decide to showcase the new addition of the acoustic guitar. It ties in beautifully and only adds to their sparkling sound. Finally, ‘Come and See Me’ is the perfect ending as it combines lush layers of keyboard and warm toned reverb with singer Erik Aamont’s nonchalant singing style this is a Woodside Social, National Indie Pop League classic in the making. The Electric Pop Group have gained many comparisons and I don’t disagree. There’s definite hints of Jesus and Marychain and Belle and Sebastian (along with the aforementioned) and they deserve to be held in such high esteem, however I think this is a band that will stand alone after a few more years honing their shoegazer talents.   --Is This Music?
Leave it to indie-pop stalwarts Matinée Recordings to keep the EP going strong as a format, even if now it's all CD-EPs instead of vinyl. There's something unexplainable, really magical, about putting on a great short recording, where songs captivate you and then disappear. Even better if there's eye-catching artwork, a memorable photo or graphic image. So far this year Matinée has released four EPs by newer bands, keeping that mystique going while building their roster of bands with a genuine grasp on the art of crafting a song plus an equally strong awareness of pop/rock music history. The Electric Pop Group is an unexceptional band name for such an exceptional band. In a way it fits, though, because they don't stand out for barrier-breaking as much as for fitting so well into a larger tradition of smart, sensitive-melodic songwriting and playing. Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, the band is fronted by songwriter Erik Aamot, who has an ear for both tunes and human situations, placing the universal cycles of love and heartbreak in an everyday-life setting. That's on display right from the romantic first track, "I Could See the Lights", which memorably sets a scene of infatuation: "And you told me about all the things / that have happened in your life / how you were falling out of love / Well, I was falling in". Just as strong, with a more severe demeanor and excellent, especially expressive singing by Aamot, is the second track "This Is the Town", about that push-pull of hometowns. They're nicely rounded out with two more great, if more low-key, tracks that leave you with the feeling that the Electric Pop Group have great things ahead of them.   --Erasing Clouds
Equally earnest are Swedes the Electric Pop Group, whose new EP "Sunrise" arrives just in time for 'spring', showcasing their linear wraparound of guitars and the Aamot brothers' vocal harmonies in full blossom. "I Could See The Lights" is the first number: like their track on the Matinée Hit Parade CD, "My Only Inspiration", it's an impassioned paean to a hug target, seemingly one met at a Magic Numbers gig, but despite those unpromising beginnings you can feel the love. It shares gently understated indie-pop bounteousness - think maybe BMX Bandits circa the Star Wars LP - with the closing track, "Come And See Me", ensuring that the EP is topped and tailed with headskipping 6-string chimes of the highest order, guitars vying for the truest jangle. In between, just as Ghetto skipped back a generation to metamorphose into Sticky Fingaz, we swear that EPG do the same with none other than Brighter. "This Is The Town", its delectable verses dripping with the melancholy of smalltown entrapment, starts to ring towards the end with musical hints of the harder-edged Brighter singles. And then there's third track, "Summer's Day": it would be possible, we suppose, to listen to it and not think of Brighter, but you'd probably have to be on crack (although given that Brighter once garnered a review that mentioned the Beatles, Snow Patrol and the Stone Roses, some reviewers evidently are). What is laudable, however, is that "Summer's Day" is a hale, rather than a pale, imitation: it could almost be from Brighter's "Laurel" sessions at the White House the best part of 20 years ago, the lyrical wistfulness ("I wanted to run away") and world-worn sentiment ice-wrapped by acoustic guitars. It is, honestly, delish, and the Sunrise EP is part of the Matinée renaissance.   --In Love With These Times In Spite Of These Times
With Sweden’s Electric Pop Group you pretty much know what you are going to get. And in many ways this predictability is what makes them so loveable. This is a quartet that has swallowed the rulebook on how to make the coolest jangle pop imaginable. So it comes as no surprise that the lead song from their latest ‘Sunrise’ EP is as chipper as a postman after a recent cull of all the neighbourhood hounds. Martin Aamot’s vocals are perfectly pitched with the requisite spoonfuls of twee considerately pushing the focus back on the softly tilted chords. In other words ‘I Could See The Lights’ is impossible to dislike and in many cases it will be about as welcome as the first warm day in early summer. Precious.   --mp3 hugger
The Electric Pop Group's Sunrise EP follows up on their debut album. That was good, but what an improvement this is! (Decent artwork does it a world of good as well.) The first time I heard these guys I wondered how they could simply have appeared out of thin air. They didn't. I just recognised Martin was one of the members of the bygone and scarcely noticed Aquadays - that's why that guitar-playing sounded so familiar... His current band garners surprisingly frequent namechecking of Brighter and Razorcuts for not sounding very much like them. On the new ep there's song called "Summer's Day" which is the first to land in Brighter territory because of the novel use of acoustic guitar and the lack of a drum track where previously they have relied completely on the combination of three electric guitars. All the songs are solid, competent compositions - all by Erik it would seem? In "I Could See the Lights" they are at their most accomplished, the major-to-minor chord-change in the chorus of "This Is the Town" is effectual and it's nice that the drum beats are a little more varied than before. There are still lots they can do with the arrangements, the bpm control on the drum machine, and there's still a few to many chorus repeats. All four songs are over 3:30 actually, which is ok on an ep but for the next album I hope they've cooked up some up-tempo hits that can be played after "Does Love Last Forever?" on the dancefloor!   --Heaven Is Above Your Head
The Electric Pop Group have recently released their first new songs since their self released debut saw the light at the end of 2006. They've now been snapped up by Matinée Recordings. The 'Sunrise EP' contains four songs. I have been waiting for this EP to come out for what seems like the longest time. And now I've got a copy - I can fall in love with The Electric Pop Group all over again. I even wrote a mini review of the lead song 'I Could See The Lights' when it first appeared on their My Space page. So it's a joy to have the complete EP in my hands. Everything is in the right place, the monotone vocals, the beautiful guitars that allow the band to sound like the best bits of indiepop and shoegaze rolled into one. On 'Summer's Day' we start with a gentle acoustic strum and it really does sound like the best moments of Sarah Records condensed into a wonderfully fragile 3 minutes and 40 odd seconds of pop heaven. Lovely stuff. But I think my favourite is the pacier 'Come and See Me' which, if truth be told, is more mid-paced - but it's a wonderful little pop song and I for one will be humming it for the next few hours.
A brand new and excellent EP from The Electric Pop Group is out now on Matinée. The Sunrise EP treads most of the same ground as their self-titled record from last year (very late 2006, rather), but, to me, that's quite alright because it's the type of ground that would have likely secured them a spot on Sarah Records in a different time. "This Is A Town" grabs me the same way "Walk Away" did just months ago, which means it wont be letting go for a while.   --Skatterbrain
The Electric Pop Group's sound is probably best defined by what it is not. It isn't brash. It isn't boisterous. You might even go so far as to say that it isn't extroverted, either, or petty, or impolite. Just in terms of texture, you could probably say it isn't lumpy, either. This is, above all, extremely comfortable music, the kind of jangly indie pop rooted in core influences like the Field Mice and the Orchids. Sunrise is the Electric Pop Group's sophomore release following their self-released 2006 debut, and if it indicates anything it's that this little band from Sweden has some staying power, if only because they'll sound so familiar and accessible to fans of this genre. Sunrise touches on all the typical themes of shambly twee pop: it's nostalgic, albeit reluctantly (see "This Is the Town"); it's hopelessly romantic ("I Could See the Lights"); and it features a song about summer ("Summer's Day"). But even if the Electric Pop Group tread the same old indie pop territory, they sure make it seem like a great place to revisit. "Summer's Day" finds the group at their tentative, sparkling best thanks to some glowing synth strings, crisp tambourines, and Erik Aamot's shy, unaffected vocals.   --All Music Guide
The Electic Pop Group come from Gothenburg in Sweden and are based around brothers, Erik and Martin Aamot. They play their own brand of laidback up- beat acoustic pop music as their new record, the digestible 'The Sunrise EP', reveals. It is suitable title for it as all four songs on it are sunny sounding in tone. It opens with ‘I Could See the Lights’ which gently sets the tone for the other songs with their breezy acoustic and electric guitars and Martin's simple vocals which perfectly compliment the style of music. The vocals miss a few notes here and there, but this only adds to the stripped down simplicity of the songs. The songs do sound quite similar, but despite this they never make you want to switch off. It finishes on ‘Come and See Me’ which has the chorus most likely to stick in your head. The whole EP has a beautifully innocent air about it and serves as the perfect soundtrack to a summer's day.   --Pennyblack Magazine
You know how I love to talk about my favourite labels, and here I go again… Matinée Recordings has two goodies ready for release, - both are among their best releases ever, and both are from the Nordic countries. The first is from Sweden’s The Electric Pop Group, a band we’ve written about here in Eardrums a couple of times before. “Sunrise EP” is the band’s first release on Matinée, and they do not disappoint this time either. Four jangly popsongs with everything we have learnt to love about The Electric Pop Group. The “Electric” in their bandname is not 100% true on this release, since they have included acoustic guitars to their repertoire.   --Eardrums
Matinée seems to have an endless cache of Euro twee pop EPs at their disposal these days. The Electric Pop Group hail from my beloved Sweden and this disc offers the same chiming guitars and glistening electronic swells that have served the country's pop scene so well this decade. Singer/songwriter Erik Aamot's vocals are shot through with alternating layers of icy and warm-toned reverb which give his tales of stultifying routine and nostalgia ("This is the Town") and excitement for seasonal change ("Summer's Day") the same indistinct mixture of emotions. The latter feels like a wonderfully amped-down version of Slowdive, with a clear guitar lilt swapped for the thunderous fuzz of shoegaze. In the hard-wrought transition between winter and spring this year in the Midwest, this track in particular -- and the EP in general -- is one to latch onto for that extra bit of reassurance that change is indeed in the air.   --Ink 19
Come avevamo anticipato un po' di tempo fa, la mai abbastanza lodata Matinèe Records, patria senza confini dell'indie-pop più delicato e nostalgico (ma domiciliata a Santa Barbara), ha inserito nel suo roster dorato gli svedesi The Electric Pop Group. A due anni di distanza dal debutto omonimo, piccolo gioiello autoprodotto, votato anima e corpo ad un twee-pop dalle tinte pastello, che faceva pensare a gruppi di orbita Sarah Records come Brighter, The Field Mice e Sea Urchins, esce oggi per la blasonata etichetta californiana questo Sunrise ep. I quattro pezzi nuovi contenuti nel dischetto sembrano l'eco sonora ed atmosferica dell'alba che campeggia sulla copertina: luminosamente malinconici (This is the town), scintillanti di chitarre jangly, sia elettriche che acustiche, e morbidi tappeti di tastiere (sentite la quieta dolcezza di Summer's day), leggeri e rinfrescanti come una brezza serale in una giornata rovente (I could see the lights, deliziosa memoria di Belle & Sebastian). Lo stile insomma è quello delle canzoni contenute nell'album di esordio ma, nonostante il nome del gruppo, la misura pop dei fratelli Aamot e compagni sembra spostarsi impercettibilmente verso un suono più acustico e raffinato, senza per nulla perdere la freschezza degli inizi.   --Just Another Pop Song
Nouvelle signature pour le label, le quartet suédois The Electric Pop Group sort un premier EP plus acoustique que ne laisse supposer leur sobriquet. Ces quatre titres papillonnent en effet tantôt du côté des roses épineuses des Smiths (pour les cliquetis de guitares), tantôt vers le coton estival des Field Mice (pour les mélodies éthérées). "I Could See the Lights" et "Summer's Day", les deux perles du disque, témoignent du grand écart dont sont capables les frères Aamot (Erik et Martin), sans jamais perdre de leur efficacité : le tube entêtant pour la première, le rayonnement fragile et mélancolique pour l'autre. Un disque à écouter si l'on se sent sinistre ou euphorique, voire (idéalement) les deux à la fois.   --Pop News
Dansk pop, som låter läskigt likt vad? Ja, det hör du nog. Antingen gillar du eller så hatar du dem av samma anledning som att min kompis hatar Håkan. Det finns någon riktigt dålig story om hur »The Electric Pop Group« kom till genom nätdejting runt 2003 så resten av det skippar vi. De släppte en skiva självbetitlad skiva 2006 och är nu tillbaka med EP:n »Sunrise«. Låten I Could See The Lights låter dock inte särskilt eletrisk, som man kan tro när man ser deras namn. Bara hederlig pop från Göteborg!   --Tram 7
Hay grupos que persiguen con ahínco durante años una personalidad propia, consagrando su existencia a la consecución de un sonido original que considerar como propio, otros sin ser menos estetas dan pronto con su sonido, a veces incluso desde su primera grabación, sintiéndose cómodos con el papel que voluntariamente aceptan interpretar, aunque esto suponga que un sinfín de referencias vayan irremediablemente unidas a su nombre cada vez que éste sea mentado. Los suecos The Electric Pop Group son el perfecto ejemplo de esto último, aparecieron de la nada hace un par de años con un meritorio Lp repleto de estupendos temas que parecían estar consagrados a la consecución de la perfecta melodía, sin embargo su nombre apareció desde un primer momento inexorablemente unido al de un montón de nombres legendarios en esto del Indie Pop, encabezando la lista dos piezas clave del estilo como fueron Razorcuts y Brighter. Presentes ambos en casi todas las canciones de aquel debut por mucho que sus autores entonces afirmaran no haber escuchado nunca sus canciones, una afirmación de la que aquí desconfiamos para no pecar de ingenuos. Inspiración al margen, el hecho cierto es que aquel disco autoeditado por la propia banda montó un pequeño revuelo en todo el mundo indie, estando en boca de todos aquellos aficionados a Pop más amable, que vieron aquí una especie de vuelta a ciertos orígenes, quedándose con los méritos de la banda y olvidando algunos detalles a pulir en un futuro, como el de la calidad de unas letras que muchas veces podían ser calificadas de ingenuas. El buen trabajo realizado y su reconocimiento a nivel popular llevó a The Electric Pop Group a ser tentados por diversos sellos discográficos, siendo finalmente Matinée Recordings quienes se hicieran con los servicios del cuarteto. De pura lógica teniendo en cuenta que Matinée Recordings se ha mostrado desde su nacimiento como el mejor sello de Indie Pop del momento gracias a una impecable trayectoria, y especialmente por ser la casa responsable de la publicación del último recopilatorio conocido de Razorcuts (más un Ep.) y de recopilar la discografía completa de Brighter. No es de extrañar que conociendo los gustos de los responsables de Matinée se decantaran rápidamente por el fichaje del grupo sueco. Así es como a principios de 2009, y más de dos años después de darse a conocer, The Electric Pop Group publicarán su segundo trabajo largo. Pero antes y para iniciar su andadura en su nuevo sello contentando a los más impacientes, ha visto la luz durante este año un pequeño Ep. titulado Sunrise con cuatro canciones que sirven para adivinar qué deparará en el futuro la música del grupo. La entera escucha de Sunrise nos muestra que más que cambiar el grupo ahonda en aquello que ha caracterizado a su música, potenciado su sonido aquí por el hecho de contar con una producción que eleva muchos enteros la capacidad de seducción de unos temas que suenan absolutamente deudores de sus predecesores, que por otra parte es lo que la mayoría de los fans del grupo a buen seguro buscarán. Sentadas ciertas premisas comenzamos un análisis del disco tropezando en primer lugar con I Could See The Lights que sin duda podemos calificar como una de las mejores canciones compuestas hasta ahora por The Electric Pop Group, melódica como ninguna otra de sus composiciones cuenta con una guitarra arrebatadora, heredera del jangle pop que ahora grupos como Celestial quieren revitalizar. Si solo fuera por esa guitarra I Could See The Lights ya merecería la pena, pero lo mejor todavía está por llegar, puesto que su mayor encanto reside en el trabajo vocal de Erik Aamot, doblando su voz en la grabación para crear unos coros que convierte el tema en pura adicción. Una vez batidos ante el ímpetu de esta primera canción la predisposición para seguir con la audición del Ep. es infinitamente mayor, pasando a encontrarnos con This Is The Town, que bien podría haber formado parte de su disco de debut, aquí el ánimo decae para situarse en los ambientes melancólicos que tan bien domina la banda. Las guitarras se multiplican creando junto con el teclado un efecto especial que nos lleva a la concluir que nos encontramos con otra canción que hubiera podido ser firme candidata a abrir el disco. Summer’s Day parece que va a romperse en cualquier momento, fragilidad a la que contribuye sin duda la inclusión de la guitarra acústica, instrumento no dominado por el grupo hasta ahora. Acude en este momento a nuestra memoria la figura de Keris Howard para señalar que Summer’s Day es puro Brighter, no hablando ahora de parecidos entre ambas bandas, sino de un experimento de clonación del que The Electric Pop Group salen muy bien parados. Para cerrar Come And See Me propone un medio tiempo inofensivo que representa quizás la pieza más débil del conjunto, más por los méritos de sus acompañantes, con altas marcas en el listón, que por encontrarnos ante la típica composición destinada a segunda cara de disco. Come And See Me cumple perfectamente con su cometido, redondeando a la perfección un disco que alcanza holgadamente el notable. Sunrise Ep., así como el resto de catálogo de Matinée, puede conseguirse a través de la propia tienda del sello con precios muy interesantes y un gran número de novedades publicadas en los últimos meses.   --360º de Separación