O'Spada
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O'Spada

Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden | INDIE

Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden | INDIE
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The background: It's a terrible name, but that will be the last negative thing we say about O'Spada, even if we do feel duty bound to inform you that, if you're not a fan of mid-80s production techniques, you're going to be tearing your hair out, although this is clearly not going to be a problem for the New Band of the Day writer. O'Spada's debut single, Time, is a sensational blast of knowingly exuberant 1984 synth-funk, so much so that you'd swear Junior Senior had gone back in time with Justice to re-record a Jacksons track with Jam and Lewis at the controls. Put it this way: you could play Time back to back with brilliant, ephemeral mid-80s pop-dance hits such as I Can't Wait by Nu Shooz and Say Yeah by the Limit and no one would blink, apart from listeners with a nervous twitch.

We were thinking: the history of pop is provided by the careerists, the ones who sustained it over the distance: the Beatles, the Stones, Bowie, Prince. But there is an equally important parallel narrative, one supplied by the one-hit wonders, the sort who flare up for one magical moment then disappear forever. Another theory: sometimes the best records in a genre arrive a bit early or late. Time, like the Nu Shooz and Limit singles, evokes that era after disco, an era without a name that loosely covers the period 1982-6, i.e. between Shalamar and the complete mechanisation of dance music by Stock Aitken and Waterman and techno/house. It wasn't all played by proper musicians on real instruments, nor was it totally dehumanised. It was synthetic and authentic – Prince and Teena Marie made careers out of this juicily melodic cyborg cha-cha-cha, one that for want of a more exacting musicological phrase we shall term "succulent electro-funk".

Our whole one-hit-wonder theory, however, is scuppered by O'Spada who have inconsiderately made the other tracks that we've heard so far from their 2010 debut album just as great as Time. Enemy, Let Go and Ten Strikes are awesome testaments to the idea that shiny exuberance can be just as valid a response to life's travails as raw emotionalism. Time is a fizzy burst of jazzy "fauxsetto" female vocals over the sweetest machine R&B. Enemy is confident and crisply produced, with guitars processed to sound like synths, or vice versa. Ten Strikes, the next single, recalls Teena Marie at her Madonna-trouncing peak i.e. circa 1988's Naked to the World. And Let Go is a ballad so sticky and squelchy it feels like being squirted by synth goo. If we were going to compile a list of the new-band tracks of the year, these four would be on it alongside Kindness, Memory Tapes, Washed Out, Empire of the Sun, Ellie Goulding, Cold Cave, Deastro, Krikor and the Dead Hillbillies, Toro Y Mio, Nite Jewel and tomorrow's lot Pyramid. Yum, basically.

The buzz: "Synthy like Passion Pit, rhythmically fractured like Hot Chip, and poppy without remorse."

The truth: They're a four-hit-wonder, at least.

Most likely to: Blow our theory by being too good for too long.

Least likely to: Make you go bald.

What to buy: Time is released by Make Mine on 23 November.

File next to: Teena Marie, Nu Shooz, the Limit, Shalamar. - The Guardian


God we are falling all over ourselves with this synth-glossy funk right now. Was this track made in 1984? Did we just discover it as an unmarked white label mixed in with our tio’s old freestyle vinyl collection? And when we ask him about it, will he be like, “Oh yeah, that’s my old friend’s single! She had this one club hit and that was all. She’s still kicking around the neighborhood.”? No! This song is by this Swedish band our Tio has never even heard of. This is the only single they have so far and it’s killer. We have a rollerdisco date soon, we need more, Swedes! - The FADER


Really, Sweden? How is it possible that your citizens are so overflowing with soul? FADER faves O’Spada, fronted by the lovely-voiced Julia Spada, finally dropped another gem of extra glossy funk that keeps a live eye on the future with a house pulse but also isn’t scared to spark it up with some Sheila E. lace glove-age. As far as we can tell this song is about a dude who abuses his girl, which is both an intense topic for a super upbeat song and highly topical. Or maybe we’re just projecting from the amount of times we’ve had to incredulously defend Rihanna this week. Either way, track bangs.

/Julianne Escobedo Shepherd - The FADER


Crush Bands are back with O’Spada, a Swedish quintet that takes their cues from the jacked-up, synthed-out sound of early-80’s Prince, the swooning lite-jazz funk of Teena Marie, and slick grooves of post-disco, post-funk bands like Raydio or the mighty Ready for the World. The band is tighter than a bad toupee, the synth sound is fat and squelchy, and in Julia Spada they have a singer who can convincingly put some gritty, slightly daffy soul into their mix. Did I mention they were from Sweden? Nice! They’ve put out a few singles and there is a healthy buzz growing around them that we are more than happy to contribute to. - All Music Blog


Discography

Time (single), released digitally September 2009, has had radio airplay (eg. Swedish national radio and BBC Radio).

Ten Strikes (single), released digitally November 2009, has had radio airplay (e.g. Swedish national radio)

Pay Off (single), released digitally May 2010, has had radio airplay (e.g. Swedish national radio and Finish national radio)

Pay Off (album), released 2010 in UK, Japan, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxemburg and Holland.

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Bio

O’Spada is a five piece from Stockholm fronted by songbird and mastermind Julia Spada. The last 12 months has been a complete whirlwind for the band. O'Spada's reputation has grown in epic proportions as their unique brand of synthesized pop has captivated listeners around the world. The band is just back from New York, where they did some very successful shows, including the CMJ Marathon, to stunned audiences.

With diverse musical backgrounds - from hip hop to hardcore - the
members met studying jazz, but were joined by the will to make pop music, and decided to drop school. The
result is a sound that is not only original, but insanely catchy and extremely danceable. In 2008, O’Spada was
snapped up by Swedish label Despotz, which saw the band live and was instantly mesmerized.

This summer, O’Spada released their debut album Pay Off. It’s first singles have recieved praise from Annie Mac, The Guardian and Mark Ronson, to name a few.

So far, Pay Off has been released in UK, Japan, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Austria,
Switzerland, Belgium, Luxemburg and Holland.

Said about O'Spada:

“Was this track made in 1984? Did we just discover it as an unmarked white label mixed in with our tio’s old freestyle vinyl collection?... …This is the only single they have so far and it’s killer. We have a rollerdisco date soon, we need more, Swedes!” / The Fader

"Time is a fizzy burst of jazzy 'fauxsetto' female vocals over the sweetest machine R&B. Enemy is confident and crisply produced, with guitars processed to sound like synths, or vice versa. Ten Strikes, the next single, recalls Teena Marie at her Madonna-trouncing peak i.e. circa 1988's Naked to the World. And Let Go is a ballad so sticky and squelchy it feels like being squirted by synth goo. If we were going to compile a list of the new-band tracks of the year, these four would be on it..." / The Guardian

"The band is tighter than a bad toupee, the synth sound is fat and squelchy, and in Julia Spada they have a singer who can convincingly put some gritty, slightly daffy soul into their mix. Did I mention they were from Sweden? Nice!" / All Music Blog