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Artist Spotlight - they owe us

(Photo Credit: Annie Hyrefeldt)

We had the opportunity to interview Swedish duo they owe us! they owe us has an electronic-pop sound that is tight and features some fantastic harmonization. Their upcoming debut full-length album, Broken English & Sad Serenades, is out June 7 via oneRPM! So be sure to check out their music, but first, check out our interview!

1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?

"Wow! We've been doing music for so long. We’ve been a part of the Swedish music scene for a long time. Basically behind, at a corner, or drinking someone else’s beer backstage. We always made music. But none with such a focus as with "they owe us”." 2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?

Kris: "We wrote our upcoming album, Broken English & Sad Serenades, together. One of us would bring a chord change, melody, or lyric idea, and we tried it out. We wrote the album during a few 24 hour sessions, spread out over a few months. A lot of Prosecco mixed with love stories and loud synthesizers."

3. What artists have inspired you in your career?

Rane: "I like artists with a deeper or certain expression. Jazz pianists like Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans and Jan Johansson. Singers like Chet Baker, Peter Gabriel and Scott Walker. Bands and artists like Björk, Radiohead and The National. Also a lot of ambient music, lo-fi pop and world music like Sigur Ros, Ariel Pink and The Police." Kris: "I like people who find a way to tackle a political fight in a smart, educational and civil way. But that’s more what inspires my way of living my life.

"Musically, I get turned on by people who do their own thing. Like Kraftwerk, Feist, Sepultura, Aphex Twin, Bernt Staf and Bob Dylan." 4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?

Kris: "I build my own drums and use weird cymbals. I’ve got a soft spot for Fender's '70s amps. Analog phasers and Binson echos."

"Basically, I love everything that distorts or fucks up the sound a bit. But not too crazy. Just messed up if you spend time listening." Rane: "I have a certain romance with old analog keyboards. They seem to connect me to a musical universe, and provide beautiful melodies. Analog gear has soul, and when you reach that spirit, magic usually happens." 5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?

Kris: "Ha, we have only done one show thus far with this band - Klanggut festival in Leipzig. It felt magical, but also nerve-racking. We played a Beyonce song that night, and sort of jammed over a track. It felt like the crowd did not understand why her voice suddenly went out in the PA system. Ha ha!"

"That's the best part of live shows. You can easily change, develop and put a gold frame on it. The Beyonce part might need some more work. :-)" 6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?

Kris: "We did this because we have fun making music together. Hopefully, the public will hear our joy towards each other, the music, and that we enjoy challenging the formula of making songs. It's ok to sing out of pitch and play outside the beat if the vibe is there. It's only human."

"We tried to capture the moment. A lot of takes on our upcoming album were taken from demos, and a few are first takes as well. It felt the most pure and made the most sense." 7. Do you have any recent/upcoming projects or performances you would like fans to know about?

"Try to come to a show! There is always something new there. The NYC Bowery Electric show on June 6 will be a great one. We will release our debut full-length album, Broken English & Sad Serenades, on June 7 via oneRPM."

More dates: 5/25 Göteborg @ Bengans 5/28 Hamburg @ Michelle Records 5/29 Berlin @ Rock Steady Records 5/31 Donaueschingen @ KuBa Kulturbahnhof 6/1 Stuttgart @ Galao 6/6 New York @ Bowery Electric 6/8 Frenchtown, NJ @ Little Engine

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