Bouncy Riffs of Alienation
The contemplative alienation of a gray industrial town gets pumped up by upbeat pop rock riffs in “Hang ‘Em High”, a new single by Swedish indie rock trio Surfin’ Charlie. The song’s pop-influenced production evokes associations to 2000s acts like Mando Diao, however with a sense of disillusionment and existential reflections that tie the band to its British peers.
Produced by Alexander Asp (better known for Cold Winter Love), “Hang ‘Em High” goes all-in on Swedish music’s love for catchy melodies. The country’s distinctive rock sound is further highlighted by Henryk Lipp’s mastering (Håkan Hellström, Millencolin, Thåström).
The contrast between the lively pop riffs and the jaded tone of the lyrics feels like an emotional liberation: “The music doesn’t always need to reflect the words. It’s rather a sort of ‘stand up and scream to the lyrics on the dance floor’-depression”, frontman Julius Mann explains.
The band also ponders on a nuanced idea of growing up, embracing both the good and the ugly: “Impatience and anxiety, no one said that it’s easy, but it can be quite cool in between!”, Mann continues.
Surfin Charlie was formed back in 2013 in Skövde, during its member’s high school years. They released their first single “Sugar” in 2017, a song that got them a feature on Swedish radio station P3 and over 200 000 streams among European audiences. The band got signed to Gothenburg-based Rexius Records later that year.
After several performances across Sweden, the band is now preparing for the release of their first album, recorded and produced at the label’s studios. “In a way, it’s a very depressing set of songs, but very liberating at the same time”, Julius Mann explains. “Hang ‘Em High” will be released in February.