On a beach. With the setting sun. I will anchor here… in the Sound. The friendly wind loses me at sea. Seagulls away. The sand is green, and your dreams may be purple. You have Boat Club in your ears and you are looking for yourself. Silent. We all know the Balearic Beats from the mid-90s, when they started wreaking havoc on the islands of Ibiza. We go back to the summer of 2007, and we can talk about a whole Sweden ready to bring back the desire to travel to the sea, while sitting back on a sun lounger, in the same chorus as the dolphins. Somewhere one dreams, and dreams fantastically well. Enough so that we don’t feel senile by ourselves.
First it was Citylights. Their project began discreetly in ’98, when Andreas and Magnus met. Andreas more with the voice, Magnus more with the guitar. A beautiful gang, they had initially called themselves The Secret Society, in which they had gathered the good world of Gothenburg, with a desire to create chic music… Total madness… The plan, says Magnus, was to make “music that you can escape to far away with.” Oh yes! And God knows where you escape with the handsome blond’s guitar…
You can add Hannes on drums, and I also remember a whole chain of bass players… With whom the group, until 2006 and the time of their disbandment, lied beautifully to the public all over the world: “Hey, there will be a disc! Wait, there’s no disc!”… All that remained after eight years of work, however, is an EP and a few demos (later to become Boat Club songs), superb in their unstudied esotericism, glued to the ear like the lips of Love on the back of your desire’s head…
They were then, and continue to be, very modest and sinfully expensive to look at. They rarely say much, and focus mainly on their music. It is also the reason why initially the airplane pilot, Magnus, elegantly refused the interview I requested by phone in that year when I fell in love with him and all of Scandinavia from/through his guitar. Years later, in 2014, he finally accepted my invitation to open up about ten of his favorite tracks on my blog, which is named after a song from their irreplaceable EP – Warmer Climes. Beyond stage life, you can still count the amount of interviews they have done on your right hand fingers today.
For the mornings and dawns…
They trace their roots to their older brothers, The Embassy, and you can find similarities in their great friends, the now-disbanded sensations Air France, the “neo-violent” The Tough Alliance, the frail Kuryakin or the “disco naughty” Nordpolen.
Boat Club was born right after Citylights broke up, when each member started a personal project. Some in the band Fontän – with singles remixed by the much-appreciated Studio. Carl took on the name Carl Liis, and Magnus started some… let me count… five! different projects on websites that were the MySpace of the times: Etapp2, Etapp3, Etikkett, My Life in Pixels and Diktendo. It didn’t take long and together with Andreas, they started rehearsing like crazy for a new project. They shot “Caught The Breeze” in March, and in August of the same 2007– surprisingly/ironically! – of the Dolphin… They were releasing their EP that would sweeten my whole next decade and my life altogether. A Swedish friend told me then, that they fit into the “not cool yet!” category. You should know that I am absolutely agreeing. They never achieved the worldwide success their musical textures fully deserved!
Boat Club is the eternal music of the beaches. Boat Club recalls one of the most refined forms of audio disconnection you can afford in these frozen times of social, political fog, you name it… Airy, dreamy, whispered vocals, with echoes, drum imitations dressed-up in bongos, synths to leave all your worries aside and grab your suitcase, a hesitant bass, like an “I love you” in a coffee shop, and the downright divine guitar that Magnus knows terribly well to master, by which it seems to sanctify the breaking of the waves against the rocks where only the seagulls are rulers.
If Studio makes music for barbecues in Spain or cycling through Indonesia, Boat Club makes music for counting the constellations and talking to the Ocean.
You’re always away… On rainy days…
This is how Andreas whimpers on “Always Away”. The sound of the lover sequestered in an incomplete love bears the name of this Swedish duo. At that time, the Swedish scene was bringing abundant perfume to all forms of Indie. José González, Jens Lekman, Pelle Carlberg, and El Perro Del Mar were making waves on the world’s stages. No, let’s not misunderstand the almost-permanently sunny Gothenburg. We must be aware that Sweden still has resources. I would also mention the Pacific! inspirations hosted by Moshi Moshi or Labrador Records adventurers Pallers, who were also releasing their debut EP around the same time (actually months later in 2008).
The Electro-Surf was and still is in great demand. I wholeheartedly praise these “relaxation” groups who know how to reintroduce us spontaneously and gently, like a yellow ray, the succulence of the Balearic Islands and the Balearic Pop of flowery hills and luxury yachts, lost in the Sun, singing with the whales…
Boat Club is proof that you can run away without excesses. Songs that allow me to be naive and let me lead my escapades, are songs with dignity. I think I respect that the most, in such a personal way, in the gentle finesse communicated so discreetly by these two secretive Nordics. The Psychedelic groove of the 60s, surfing under the waves in California, refreshed by young minds like the two in question, makes Scandinavia something more than the already too vibrant home of the beloved The Knife and Zeigeist.
I lose my mind for warmer climes…
The six songs with their best effort were released among the first materials on Luxury, a modest but visionary label that later became home for Palpitation, The Honeydrips or Acid House Kings. Years after, in 2013, after I intoxicated Cascine’s Jeff Bratton and Sara Croft with how awesome these guys are, a re-release of their single material to date happened (sadly overproduced, I prefer the original released back home in Sweden, although you can hear certain new effects on the gentle opener “All The Time”) – Caught The Breeze EP. Even though now they had an exhibition in New York, exposed in full to the American public, the collection has not been able to escape into the spiral of hype. A huge sin. And I wonder how many other creators end up similarly, even though their productions could change the world like Boat Club changed my whole universe…
The release perfectly captures a decade of music that celebrated windswept melodies and youthful recklessness – the sweetness of an era laid to rest.
The imagery makes me cry about a love I never touched and always dreamed of… Here’s some lyrics from the ballad full of lust “Memories”:
I recommend their music with great dedication and leave you with all the shades of sexy-hazy blues that these sincere guys offer in their nocturnal-tempting expeditions. They tell with shiny instruments stories about closing your eyes (“Spanish Castles”), sighing, sand in your hair, kisses, egrets, pictures through the plane window and the silence of being happy. It’s intimacy like nobody ever repeated after.
Featured Image is To Distant Shores by Anna Dawson
About the artist (source: annadawsonart.com)
Hello, my name is Anna, im a 45 yr old Russian lady who loves to paint, i use pastels all the time as i really enjoy using them, i have recently finished two art courses from a Russian art school.
Ive been interested in art from a very early age and really only recently decided to put the time, effort, and cost into doing a hobby which i really enjoy doing, my house is very quiet, my cats are running around and its an ideal setting just to sit down, relax, and get my pastels out. Its peaceful and very contenting on the heart so to speak, my heart and soul go into every picture i draw.
Ive always loved to draw, but finding pastels has really put me in my element, my own little world, and i could spend many hours a day, everyday just getting the paper out, pastels out and trying to create a lovely picture.
Thanks for reading.
Other works by Anna Dawson