On Tuesday (March 29), Swedish hookmeisters [artist id=”2017962″]Peter Bjorn and John[/artist] return to stores with Gimme Some, their sixth full-length album and their third since they became internationally famous (and poster children for whistlers everywhere) with their hit “Young Folks.”
Of course, given the rather stiff competition PB&J face here in the states — Gimme Some has the relative misfortune of being released against both Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale and Wiz Khalifa’s Rolling Papers — the guys aren’t optimistic about their album’s chart-topping chances.
“Our chances are probably not so good. I don’t know,” Peter Morén laughed. “I guess any kind of debut would be amazing for us.”
Then again, that doesn’t really matter all that much. After all, it doesn’t seem like PB&J made Gimme Some for the majority of the record-buying public. They made it for themselves. Because unlike 2009’s Living Thing or 2006’s Writer’s Block (which, of course, featured “Young Folks”), their new album is a decidedly live affair, a crackling thing that sounds very much like a band setting up in a room and letting it rip.
“We wanted to make an album that would be fun to play live and would also reflect more how we sound live and how we’ve been sounding live for a lot of years,” Morén said. “I don’t think the records have really shown that. Live, we’ve always been a little more punky and energetic. So we wanted to put that on vinyl for once … there were some tweaks and overdubs, but the idea this time was that the live take would be there first, and we’d work off that.”
And somewhat fittingly, the album bristles with pure pop energy — check first single “Second Chance” or “Breaker Breaker” for proof — and blows by in just 37-odd minutes, a tact that might not earn PB&J a #1 debut here in the states, but most certainly made the album an absolute blast to make … and take on the road.
“[There were] quite a lot of songs around, but we never finished [them], and part of the reason was because they were slow ones. I mean, I love ballads, but this time around, we have a couple of ‘medium’ songs, but there’s really no ballads,” Morén said. “And that was a deliberate decision. We always aimed to make records that are kind of short, but we never succeed. This time, we definitely kind of tried to keep it short … and we all love the record, and it’s been so much fun to play these new songs live.”