The sole reason I didn’t give Tonstartssbandht a listen sooner was their name. Little did I know, Tonstartssbandht aren't another of the cloying Swedish dance/pop groups finding their way to young American listeners’ ears in droves.
Brothers Andy and Edwin (neither of whom are Scandinavian, as far as we know) have recently been producing a sound that draws immediate allusions to the Ducktails, Julian Lynch, Sun Araw school of music. While the experimental duo fit neatly into this cozy, tropical psychedelic niche, (they even opened up for the first two on Tuesday night at Santo’s Party House in Manhattan), there's more going on in the music of Tonstartssbandht. And, like Matt Mondanile, the man behind Ducktails, they're also no strangers to divvying up their output into other projects, the NASA track below exposing their jammy, guitar-n-drum freakouts to what sounds like a single, shitty mic.
At the risk of exaggeration, their new album, An When, is really a conglomeration of everything that’s great about current pop and experimental music alike, without all of the needless chaff and bullshit. Particularly the pop side: Tonstartssbandht's melodies and sing-songy vocals are better than their contemporaries'. That is not to say that the vocal stylings of Matt Mondanile or Julian Lynch are tantamount to nails on a chalkboard, it’s just that the singing of Andy and Edwin plays a more dominant role in their song structure, rather than being a secondary element swathed in distortion.