The Magnettes
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The Magnettes

Pajala, Sweden | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Pajala, Sweden | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
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"POPCRUSH PRESENTS: THE MAGNETTES"

Every week at PopCrush, we’re putting the spotlight on one up-and-coming act you need to know about. Why? So you can get on board early before everyone else and their mother jumps on the bandwagon…and so you can be that one friend in the group who’s always like, “Um, actually, I prefer their earlier work.”
Sweden’s metaphorical musical ground is rife with pop gold. The success of hit makers like Max Martin and Icona Pop are just two of many examples, and new duo The Magnettes have emerged as the country’s latest sonic force to be reckoned with.
Vocalists Rebecka Digervall and Sanna Kalla first met at the age of six, forming a close friendship that would lead to the creation of their musical union. By the time the two turned 14, Digervall had already written a slew of songs for themselves, and things snowballed from there.

“Paper Cut,” the Magnettes’ debut single, dropped in 2012. The song’s a healthy contrast to the more yielding, glittery pop-lean of their current material, but offers a solid glimpse into the group’s modest pop-punk beginnings.
After performing to their growing following across Europe and Russia, the duo headed to the US in 2015, where they performed at SXSW and wrote together in Nashville. That trip, they say, offered them something of a creative breakthrough.
“Something happened in Nashville,” says Digervall. “We were just like, ‘Yeah, it’s time to be fearless and write whatever the f—k we want.’ So we went home and did that!”

The Magnettes have since found their footing with a sound that’s a pinch more pop, juggling catchy hooks, robust synths and biting vocals with an underlying edge that stays true to the attitude and brashness of their 2012 debut single. When they sing, “Let’s be best friends, be alone together / And grow up on Bikini Kill and Back in Black,” on current single “Killers in a Ghost Town,” you might long to re-live your teenage years with them — growing pains and all.
“[It’s] about being an outcast and an underdog,” The Magnettes said of the track. “About claiming your space and identity. About growing up as a goth or punk kid wanting to look like Robert Smith and everyone telling you to brush your hair out.”

This us-against-the-world mentality acts as a running theme throughout their work, but it’s always carefully delivered with a wink and a nudge. They say it best, though, on their 2015 single “Bones” when they sing what appears to be their unofficial motto: “And no one in this world will understand / But who the f—k needs ‘em?”
Like what you hear? Head over to iTunes to check out their full discography. - Pop Crush


"7 Best Acts I Saw At CMW 2016"

The slightly retooled Canadian Music Week 2016 featured less big name Canuck headliners and what felt like more international co-presents. While this may have reduced the number of sure things and verifiable buzz bands, it also increased the opportunity for discovery if you were willing to pound the pavement.

Over five nights I ended up seeing seven acts that managed to not blow while traveling from club to club, including my new faves, the creators of something called the “Sad Girls Club.”

1) The Magnettes
Saturday, May 7 @ Handlebar

The Magnettes were a revelation. Dressed in matching cheerleader outfits with “Witch” and “Psycho” on them, Rebecka Digervall and Sanna Kalla introduced themselves by welcoming the spotty Handlebar crowd to the “Sad Girls Club” before unleashing a flurry of wryly anthemic electro that perfectly intersected Icona Pop and Lykke Li. Their backstory was sharp: They moved from a small northern Swedish town to the big city to get laid… but they couldn’t because everyone was into indie rock, so they had to start their own band. Their moves were sharp: synchronized blowing your own head off gestures married to cheer steps, stomps and jumps. And their songs were deadly catchy, too. Even their electro-fied cover of Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark” fit perfectly. I’m pretty sure I joined the Sad Girls Club that night and I’ve got a strong suspicion there are going to be a lot of people filling out membership cards in the near future. - Risky Fuel


"The Magnettes Are 'Killers In A Ghost Town' & Will Take Over The World"

Sweden has long been the breeding ground for some of the most prolific pop artists of our time. Roxette, Robyn, ABBA, Lykke Li, Ace of Base, Icona Pop, Seinabo Sey. And the list goes on and on and on. Now, we can add electro-pop duo The Magnettes to that impressive lineup; they are as magnetic and spellbinding as you could imagine. Their new single Killers in a Ghost Town (out now) has already racked up over 100,000 Spotify streams, appropriately setting the stage for their impending global domination. The video, too, is a mixed drink of equal parts radical, persuasive and earthy. When the duo, comprised of Rebecka Digervall and Sanna Kalla, look at the numbers, they are taken aback. "It’s a nice little wall to break through for the first time, the six figures, the fact that it’s not just your family listening, and we’ve seen the numbers grow and looked forward to it for some time, but once we got there it was also this sense of, like, 'Great! OK, let’s go for 500,000!'" they share with Popdust in a recent email.

Gaining momentum is only just the beginning. They continue, "Things definitely seem to be going in the right direction. It means a lot when people we’ve never met actually take the time to listen, follow us or tell their friends about us and so on. We know how easy it is to just move on, switch track and never look back."

Digervall and Kalla first met when they were both six years old, in their hometown of Pajala, Sweden (a town of 2,000 people). Needless to say, "There's not a whole lot of shit to do. There are no bowling alleys or shopping malls up there. We basically spent our teenage years outside, under bridges and up on rooftops, stealing liquor from our parents and never getting tired on summer nights because the sun never sets."

The music video for Killers in a Ghost Town transcends time and place by both paying tribute to their roots and majestically galloping into the future. The title alone has a significant meaning for both of them. "The world is full of bullshit and old ideas that don’t work anymore, and we’d rather be active, maybe part of a counter-movement to make things better, than dead-passive, a.k.a. ghosts," they say, "and of course, 'killers' in that context can mean a lot more than, well, 'murderers' or something. To some extent, it’s even about 'killing it,' you know. Finding out what’s cool to you and allowing that to shape your identity. So, the title basically draws a line between people like us and bitter old farts. To us, the song is partly about rebellion, partly about identity and mostly about friendship and riding your bike really fast on a summer night."
With Killers being such a pivotal moment, the Magnettes set their sights on a full-length album, hopefully to release later this year or early 2017. While they put the finish touches on what will be their next manifestation, they tease upcoming appearances and new tunes. "We’re doing some festival shows in Sweden this summer. We’re dropping a new single this summer and then another one in the fall, probably coinciding with another U.S tour. And then it just goes on."

Drawing influences from Kathleen Hanna (known as the punk frontwoman for Bikini Kill and later Le Tigre) and producer/songwriter Max Martin, Kalla and Digervall discuss their stylistic direction for the new record. "We love punk and lo-fi music as much as we love perfect pop gems, and to us that’s not really a stretch. It’s all so simple and raw and honest. So we’ve basically tried to do perfect pop songs from a different viewpoint, using a lot of rough lo-fi-sounds, voice samples and weird drum machines and synths. It’s sort of like if Selena Gomez would record with Le Tigre."

Their irresistible musical urges are even more enticing, "Right now, we’re really excited about one of the last songs we wrote for the album. It has a cool disco groove, a soulful piano hook, jangly pop guitars and we swear a lot. There’s another new song that merges our love for The Eagles with a fuckin’ epic anthemic chorus, if we may say so, and one that’s kind of 90’s and Primal Scream-ish. There’s also an acoustic song based on an old folk song from Tornedalen (our small northern corner of the world), that stands out on the record, it’s just one mic, one take, and it feels really cool to be able to share something like that."

"We’re really proud of what’ll probably be the last song on the album, because the lyrics are really important to us. There’s no kitsch, no punk yelling, no irony, it’s just raw and to-the-point, and we’re glad we get to show some of that too," they say.

The album also features contributions from band mate Tomas Bäcklund Thuneström, as well as a bevy of mixers, including Jeff Braun, Christian Cummings and Erik Wiss. Fun fact: the entire album was recorded in Thuneström's kitchen.

As they have been developing and honing their overall aesthetic, they focus on several key elements. "A lot of it sort of hovers around this central idea of the ugly youth, the cheerleaders for the outcasts, the desire to do the exact opposite to perfection and lifestyle porn. We’ve tried to incorporate these ideas into a lot of the songs, the sounds, the clothes, the live show, the videos and the pictures."

Along their journey, they had the chance to visit Nashville, the melting pot of rock, country, folk, pop and everything in between. They recount their experience, "We’ve loved Nashville from the start, and a lot of it has to do with the people we work with there, but also the sense of community in the scene. And we’re sorry, but we love Broadway. We spent Tomas’s birthday there last year, got drunk at Robert’s and continued to a karaoke bar where we belted out Whitney’s 'I Wanna Dance with Somebody.'"

They added, "Being that far away from home and out of the loop made us a lot more free in our writing process. Experiencing the American culture that is just so straight forward and BIG made us feel free to write whatever we wanted. Not just beat around the bush, but being more like 'THIS IS US,' it's better if it hurts a little."

Grab a copy of The Magnettes' new single Killers in a Ghost Town now on iTunes. - Pop Dust


"SONG: The Magnettes – ‘Killers In A Ghost Town’"

Swedish duo The Magnettes WOWed us last summer with the release of ‘Sore Feet & Heartbeats‘. And they’re back with new single and video ‘Killers In A Ghost Town’. It’s a laidback and nonchalant electro coo. A reulctant synthpop banger. A taking-it-easy on the dancefloor raver. You get the idea here. It’s also quite immense; - Scandipop


"THE MAGNETTES – BONES"

Pop stars are usually clean cut, well behaved artists who write about nice things, such as love and rainbows. Not The Magnettes; a racy electro pop punk trio founded by best friends, Rebecka and Sanna.

In their new track ‘Bones’ the #sadgirls advocates talk about getting wasted, getting laid, and being social misfits in their small home town in Sweden. - Indietronica


Discography

Single - Paper Cut

Single - Who We Are

Single - Sore Feet & Heartbeat

Single - Bones

Single - Killers In a Ghost Town

Photos

Bio

Pop music remains one of Sweden’s chief cultural exports. However, quite far from the Stockholm of Max Martin and Icona Pop—a little over ten hours to be exact—the tiny town of Pajala sits just miles from the border of Finland. The Magnettes fondly call this city of 2,000 home, and it’s the birthplace of their infectious and inimitable glitter (punk) pop sound. The group’s co-vocalists Rebecka Digervall and Sanna Kalla proudly refer to themselves as “non-normative and in control,” “Riot Grrls,” “goths,” “witches,” “Tornedalingar” [literal translation: natives of the Torne valley, a Swedish minority], or “Sisters Of The Ugly Youth.” However, that subversion makes their songs even more spellbinding.

“We’re reclaiming the word ‘Ugly,’” declares Sanna. “Why does beautiful have to be the standard? Why can’t anything that is not totally perfect be cool? We have no regrets. We’re saying exactly what we want to say.

“There’s some sort of Northern rebellion,” adds guitarist, keyboardist, and producer Tomas Bäcklund. “We don’t want to be your average singing self-obsessed diary entries. We aim to do something bigger. However, we want to do it without moving to Stock-holm, London, or L.A. and writing songs about beaches and being super fit. Because what’s interesting about that?
The seeds of that rebellion became planted when Rebecka and Sanna met at six-years-old. By the age of 14, Rebecka had written a plethora of song for them as a duo. In 2012, they released their first official tune
 “Paper Cut” and performed across Europe and Russia. By 2014, the group expanded to include to have more musicians on stage. All this was supported by the local artist development company BD-pop.

2014 The Magnettes went to USA for the first time and played on New Music Seminar in NYC. Back in Sweden in Sweden The Magnettes also appeard as the main subjects in Hans-Erik Therus’s documentary ”Pajala State Of Mind”, featured at the Gothenburg Film Festival, the Tempo Documentary Festival Stockholm  and on Swedish national television.. The end of the doscumentary leaves the band on stage in NYC.

The group headed stateside spring 2015 to perform a string off head-turning shows at SXSW (where they had the official last gig at legendary Stubbs) and write songs in Nashville. “Something happened in Nashville,” says Rebecka. “We were just like, ‘Yeah, it’s time to be fearless and write whatever the fuck we want.’ So we went home and did that!”
Galvanized by the trip, the band began recording in Tomas’s kitchen, carving out a middle ground between their chief influences Talking Heads, Costello, Bikini Kill, and Katy Perry.

The SXSW got them booked to The Great Escape in Brighton just an mounth after the USA trip.

They returned to USA in autumn of 2015. But before that they played a couple of festivals in Sweden like the showcase festival Live at Heart. Then they went to Barcelona to play during Future Music Forum and head to London for a showcase on Macbeth. The autumn USA tour took them to Los Angeles, San Diego and San Fransisco. They also went on Key Largo Songfest in Key Largo, Florida and the tour ended in NYC and shows on the showcase festival CMJ.

During CMJ it went official that the band signed with the american record label Digsin and the first relese was ”Bones” on their new label.

In the spring of 2016. The Magnettes signed a booking deal with Blixten & Co for Scandinavia witch led them to perform on  the swedish showcasefestival Where’s the music and also By:Larm in Oslo, Norway.

They released the new single ”Killers in a Ghost Town” in february.

The band also opened for Danish Oh Land in Stockholm and got to be opening act for Ida Gaards Womb Tour in Denmark for 5 dates. In May 2016 they went for their forth trip to North America, this time to play on Candian Music Week in Toronto.

In the summer The Magnettes played on the important Almedals veckan and got  lot of attention.

Their debute album is going to be released in October 2016.

 

Band Members