The Sounds turn up the heat in Atlanta

Thesounds325 "Is Swede-pop a genre yet?" my friend asked as we waited for the show to start.  I'm pretty sure someone has coined it by this point, but the truth is that the Sounds only vaguely fit the bill.  They'd more accurately be described as Swede-post-punk.

The five piece band, hailing from Helsingborg, Sweden, played their unaffected yet blistering songs to an energetic audience on Friday night at the Loft.  The crowd only danced a little to the DJ set by Preston Craig of KISS Atlanta that preceded the band.  But by the time the Sounds took the stage, the audience was loud and excited.  Holding their winter coats in the hot, sweaty club, they raised their fists and sang along with the encouragement of lead singer Maja Ivarsson.

Ivarsson, with her blonde hair and punk attitude, is Sweden's 21st century version of Debbie Harry.  She's famed for her unrestrained performances; she's been known to kick off her heels and crawl around on her knees, do high kicks and back bends, and even break ribs by falling off equipment.  Friday night, she acted a little bit more mellow, but the show still enthralled.  Ivarsson looked gorgeous in her shorts and oversized blazer, and she sounded great too.  She spoke sweetly to the crowd in her slightly accented English, then shouted and sneered her way through songs like "Living in America" and "Hope You're Happy Now."

The rest of the band sounded tight as well, though with Ivarsson front and center, the quiet boys recede a little into the background.  Still, they backed her up flawlessly.  They made not be Swede-pop, but they're definitely the hottest thing from Sweden to hit our shores in a long time.

– Alexandra Edwards

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