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Those Dancing Days

From the very first notes of Those Dancing Days’ impressive sophomore album Daydreams and Nightmares, it’s clear that the charming indie pop band from suburban Stockholm, Sweden has evolved. What’s emerged from the past two years of touring – traveling to all corners of the world (including Russia, South America, Japan, China and the United States) – is a captivating and confident young band. In expanding their sound, the five women of Those Dancing Days have at once maintained the evocative vivacity of their 2008 debut In Our Space Hero Suits, while also adding a nuanced hand at songcraft, giving the songs broadened dynamics and a piquant edge.

“We didn’t go into the studio and say: ‘Let’s change our sound.’ It happened naturally, almost unconsciously. I think it is because we have gone through so much together the last few years. We have grown up, simple as that,” says drummer Cissi Efraimsson.

“All the live touring has really made an impact. When you stand on stage, you really want to max out. Now we have maxed out in the studio as well,” adds keyboardist Lisa Pyk Wirström.

Daydreams and Nightmares was recorded in Stockholm over the spring, summer and early fall of 2010 with Patrik Berger, the fast rising young producer known for his recent work with Robyn. Many of the songs are about, above all, the power of imagination: future hopes and wishes, and – of course – all kinds of dreams. “If you didn’t have dreams, if you couldn’t imagine, how would you be able to write songs?” asks guitarist Rebecka Rolfart.  Filled with soaring choruses led by singer Linnea Jönsson’s sweetly sultry vocals, the tracks range from the blissful pure pop of “I’ll Be Yours” to the defiant, hard charging anthem “Fuckarias,” and from the New Wave-tinged, starry-eyed “Dream About Me” to the wistful, reluctant build of “When We Fade Away.”  The album is book-ended by the angular guitars and thundering drums of the pummeling opener “Reaching Forward” and the winsome closer “One Day Forever,” a duet with The Maccabees’ Orlando Weeks. The lushly vibrant “Can’t Find Entrance” was co-written by Max Martin (Kelis, The Veronicas, Katy Perry), who approached the band about working together after hearing their debut.

Like all the best bands, Those Dancing Days are a true, distinctive unit, operating as individuals but together equal a sum that is greater than its parts. They each mostly write separately and, if needed, bring in different pieces to the group to finish, because “Sometimes you need help from your friends,” says Rolfart.  The cover artwork for Daydreams and Nightmares ties it all together: “It was difficult to think of an album sleeve that would represent each member of the band but also all the songs on the album. I wanted the cover to portray how we are as individuals and as a band,” says Efraimsson.  “I thought of all the sweaty gigs and the long journeys across the world that we’ve done together. All the great times and all the difficult situations that have torn at us and then welded us back together, making us even stronger. So the image has each of us equally creating one complete ‘Those Dancing Days face.’ Together we are stronger.”

Those Dancing Days formed in 2005 while Jönsson, Efraimsson, bassist Mimmi Evrell, Pyk Wirström, and Rolfart were all still teenage students in Nacka, Sweden. They knew each other through school or previous bands, and found near-instant chemistry upon playing together.  After paying their dues in local clubs, Those Dancing Days – who are named after a Led Zeppelin song – recorded a demo with friend Max-Måns Wikman and branched out into playing gigs in Stockholm.  The local press began to take note and the band signed to V2 in Sweden in mid-2007.  Those Dancing Days released their eponymous debut EP in September of that year, and after touring throughout Europe, recorded and released In Our Space Hero Suits – which featured singles “Hitten,” “Run Run,” and “Home Sweet Home” – in October 2008.  They have toured with artists including Peter Bjorn and John, The Cribs, Shout Out Louds, and The Magic Numbers, among others.

Those Dancing Days are: Linnea Jönsson (vocals), Cissi Efraimsson (drums), Mimmi Evrell (bass), Lisa Pyk Wirström (keyboards) and Rebecka Rolfart (guitar).