Swedish rock band, The Royal Concept, has just released their psychedelic new album ‘The Man Without Qualities’ which they produced with long-time collaborator Chris Seefried (Lana Del Rey). The group came together while studying Jazz at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and as session musicians, they worked and toured with the likes of Robyn, Icona Pop, and Tove Styrke. Their music has been played on FIFA, Tim Burton films, Grey’s Anatomy, TheSims and Netflix series LOVE. They have headlined festivals from Madrid to Tokyo and shared stages with Imagine Dragons & The 1975.
The Royal Concept’s new album, ‘The Man Without Qualities,’ is a colourful project full of indie, synth hits and drum kicks. It’s bouncy and energetic; a fun listen with summery sounds and a Two Door Cinema Club meets Mystery Jets flavour to it.
You’re introduced to the album with ‘Wake up’ – a glimmering intro begins, simple but effective and very The 1975, followed by a subtle build up. It’s stress-free easy listening and sets the tone for the album.
The boisterous ‘The Man Without Qualities’ has more body to it, it’s punchy and bouncy despite David Larson’s surprising high-pitched vocals. It sounds like a classic already, there would definitely be fun vibes at their gig hearing this. The synth tones add an extra element to the track, making it more exciting and colourful.
There’s a fun twist with ‘Kick It’, what sounds like the beginning of a slow, acoustic number is actually the beginning of a chaotic indie dancefloor classic. There are thudding drums like Arctic Monkey’s Brianstorm, building tension and high-energy; it’s madness. Easily a new dancefloor favourite, it’ll be up there with ‘Mr Brightside’ and ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’. ‘Kick It’ is a no-fuss, exciting number that is definitely going to be everyone’s favourite on the album.
The calm after the storm comes in the form of ‘Silver Lining’, a chilled, summery tune you could easily listen to all day. It’s the type of song that takes you away to a beach; you can feel the sun on your skin and hear the waves crashing it makes you feel that chilled out. There’s a really pretty, flowery guitar rhythm with hints of jazzy synth and it’s a nice change; breaking up the enjoyable but slightly repetitive bouncy thuds.
‘The Man Without Qualities’ is a cleverly written mix of hits which will all be well-loved. It’s an enjoyable listen full of high-energy, punchy tracks – everyone’s new favourite summer album.
We caught up with the band behind this masterpiece:
How would you describe your sound to new listeners?
Kanye’s attitude, Bon Iver’s beauty, Paganini’s blistering technique, and Phoenix’s sound.
How does your new album, The Man Without Qualities, differ from your other music?
Kanye’s attitude, Bon Iver’s beauty, Paganini’s blistering technique and slightly less of Phoenix’s sound.
What’s the music scene like in Stockholm?
Well, we’ve heard that there are some great indie acts out there, Linn Koch-Emery, Amason, Viagra Boys, Hurula, but all we hear when we’re out and about is techno and trap.
Any plans to tour the UK soon?
Always! Stay tuned.
Apart from the release of your new album, what plans are in store for The Royal Concept?
We just got home from a China tour and next up is Japan, Spain and a Swedish tour.
As much as we love creating albums it’s playing live that gets our juices flowing.
Festival season is upon us, will you be playing any over summer?
We’ll be playing a few shows in Japan, Spain as stated above, apart from that 2 of us just had babies and are gonna be focusing on daddy stuff.
What are the best and worst parts of touring?
Best: Playing, meeting fans, exploring new places, eating great food, getting to know new people.
Worst: Hauling your gear all the time, check-ins, early mornings and bad breath.
Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with or share a stage with?
You’ve toured the USA, Japan, Asia, China… where has been your favourite place and why?
I don’t think it’s possible to pick out a winner, they’ve all been amazing and very kind to us.
But first time touring the US was a childhood dream, of course, climbing the great wall of China and selling out Tokyo for the first time, those all stand out.
Any memorable stage moments you’d like to share?
That one time when our instruments got lost for a festival show in Japan and we had to borrow Earth, Wind & Fires whole rig. Let’s just say that aesthetically that was our coolest show.