Alphabeat is back!
I’ve been a fan of the Danish pop band since hearing “Fascination” in early ’08, so I’m beyond thrilled that they’ve got an equally fantastic new single, “Vacation,” (finally) out in the U.S. today. Even better, the occasion offered me the chance to catch up with Anders SG, one of three Anders in Alphabeat and the charming fella who shares lead vocals with Stine Bramsen, the sextet’s sole female.
POPSERVATIONS: Tell me a little about what you’ve been up to since your last album, 2009′s The Spell (aka The Beat Is… ), and the inspiration behind your new single, “Vacation.”
ANDERS SG: We come from the cold north with endless winters and sometimes you really wish you were somewhere else. We have played loads and loads of gigs. From China to New York. Opened for Lady Gaga at her arena tour in UK. After touring, we got our own studio in Copenhagen and we’ve been spending a lot of time there. Probably a bit too much!
I find the sunny pop vibe of “Vacation” totally irresistible — especially that breakdown bit! — and the reaction to the single has been supremely positive. That’s got to feel good as you ‘come back.’
Thanks! Everyone in the band is very tense at this stage as it’s always nerve-racking to release a new single. Especially the first of an album.
Your debut album, This Is Alphabeat, was full of fun, ’80s pop touches, while The Spell was definitely ’90s dance inspired. “Vacation” seems to be closer to your debut. Is the single indicative of what the new album is shaping up to sound like? Or should we prep ourselves for a 2000s feel, as Alphabeat marches along through the decades?
We didn’t talk about how we wanted the album to sound before we individually started to write songs for it. When we played the first demos to each other they sounded very much alike and things made sense. The sound is really a mix of the first two albums. The organic feel of the This Is Alphabeat and the synthetic vibe of The Spell. As simple as that!
“Vacation” seems to be very much an American word, with “holiday” the preference most other places in the world. So why “Vacation” over “Holiday”? Was it a turnabout thing, like Madonna did “Holiday” — an admittedly brilliant piece of pop — so we’ll aim to make an equally brilliant piece of pop called “Vacation”?
Vacation sounds better in the chorus. “Ho-li-day, uh-oh-uh-oh, I wanna go, I wanna go-go-go” — Nah, it wouldn’t work!
There are six of you in the band. I imagine being in such close proximity leads to the occasional frustration or irritation. Which Alphabeat-er is most likely to be sent on a ‘vacation’ by the others?
That would probably be me!
Imagine: Alphabeat ruling the U.S. airwaves. How can we make this happen?
It is bound to happen! Isn’t it?
That’s the spirit, Anders — the power of positive thinking!
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Released on Alphabeat’s own Copenhagen Records, “Vacation” is getting a big backyard push in Denmark. Currently unsigned elsewhere, the band is issuing the single worldwide as a service to their fans: “That fact is not gonna stop us from giving our fans and pop lovers new music no matter where they may be on this blue planet.”
Major thanks to Anders SG for the chat and a huge tip of the hat to Alphabeat for helping to make the music world a bit more flat! The band’s new album is expected late this summer.