How Swede it is!
An almost 30-year-old New York City pop group has found a second life thanks to the pop-loving denizens of ABBA’s home country. The Mommyheads, who will play at Union Pool on Sept. 29, released five albums between 1989 and 1997, and its members went their separate ways. But then a few influential Swedish musicians discovered that final, self-titled 1997 album, according to the band’s guitarist.
“They probably found our record in the reject bins at record stores and wondered what it was,” said Adam Elk, with a chuckle.
The band became popular in Sweden, where its music is favorably compared to sophisticated, ambitious pop acts like XTC and Jellyfish. Based on that interest, the band got back together in 2008, and have since released five more albums of new music —including its latest, “Soundtrack to the World’s End.”
After a week-long tour in Sweden earlier this month, the band will have its New York City album release party at Union Pool this weekend. The band is happy playing to its dedicated audience of fans, without the pressure of being on a major label.
“Now, we’re much more chill about everything,” says keyboardist Mike Holt. “We do hope the latest album reaches new people, but we no longer have illusions or attachments about becoming stars. We’re mainly just in it for the joy of music.”
But they are still using digital distribution and talking to the press “in the hopes that something will catch on, and that people we don’t know might actually show up at our shows and get our music online,” said Holt.
The music on the band’s new album is impassioned, catchy, clever, and meaningful. The lyrics make their point, but in a tongue-in-cheek way: “The penguins are wearing bikinis up in the tundra,” for example.
Adam Elk says that the apocalyptic title is not intended to be political
“It’s more an ecological cry for help,” Elk says. “This is a tricky topic and way outside our comfort zone, which made it a huge but rewarding challenge.”
But he warned, “If you’re a climate change denier, you probably won’t like this record.”
The Mommyheads at Union Pool (484 Union Ave. at Meeker Avenue in Williamsburg, www.union
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