By Chris Brunelle
Like the introductory keyboards seemingly rallying an arena to chant “CHARGE!”, Those Dancing Days have already become darlings in Europe and now are indeed charging towards America with sunny injections of pop and soul. These five young ladies from Sweden are barely out of high school and bring an honesty and purity of youth to their lyrics and their album that's falling into American laps just when spring begs a new slew of good time records.
With her engaging voice, one can already smell a solo career down the line for vocalist Linnea Jonsson, but it's hard to say if she could do better; in Dancing Days, Jonsson's soulful sweetness is underpinned by synthesized, jangley indie-pop and a consistently propulsive drum attack. It's a slightly novel juxtaposition: most bands with a rhythm section like Those Dancing Days end up in the Twee genre. Instead, the earnest, innocent, and upbeat tones of Twee glow while Jonsson's affecting delivery helps the music to resonate somewhere deeper in the gut.
“Run Run” wields a California-Uber-Alles-esque riff below Jonsson's thick bellow. The chorus opens up into a child-like wonder: “The sky’s way bigger than I ever thought it could be. I really can’t see where it ends,” she sings.
“Hitten” is Swedish for “hit” meaning the girls think this is their best chance at Jimmy Fallon or whatever. It is indeed a standout track but more for its singular stance in the context of the album. There's radio potential there, but Rebecka Rolfart's jangly guitar and Lisa Pyk-Wirtstrom's whimsical keyboard patch conjure something luminous.
You seem to be able, in “Hitten” and elsewhere, to hear the ladies of Those Dancing Days figuring out their lives as they come of age and it's their idealism and hope that makes their music so infectious. It's not hard to hear the joy accompanying their music's performance, so let spring in and celebrate with them.