Song of the Day: Makthaverskan - Asleep

Song of the Day
09/23/2014
Jacob Webb
photo by Jessica Lund

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Morning Show with John Richards, is “Asleep” by Makthaverskan from the 2014 album II on Run For Cover Records.

Makthaverskan - Asleep (MP3)

Exchanging brute force for cascading, gorgeous tones, Makthaverskan's punk roots shine through the intensity of their performances, particularly those of singer Maja Milner. Formed when the band members were still in their teens in Gothenburg, Sweden, Milner, guitarist Hugo Randluv, drummer Andreas Wettmark were later joined by bassist Irma Krook and guitarist Gustav Andersson, quickly establishing a reputation for deliberately not sounding like a wave of pop-influenced Swedish musicians that the band deemed "too cute". That's not to say there's no melodic influence in their music, but behind it all is a rooting in punk rock and Swedish alternative rock, particularly that of the Goteberg group Broder Daniel, and by the time their second album, II, was released in Sweden, the band had already achieved a level of fame at home. Boasting an absolutely crushing chorus, "Asleep" stands as one of the band's most immediate and quintessential tracks thus far. The band's rhythm section locks in at an upbeat tempo as Randluv and Andersson's twinned chiming guitars wash over everything except for Milner, whose repeated rallying cry – "it's not me you're dreaming of" – as is as catchy as it is affecting. In a post-hardcore punk world, it's easy to associate all things "punk" with sonic or visual abrasion, but Makthaverskan's spirit and fervor on "Asleep" is a reminder that, not unlike 1979 pioneers Blondie or Talking Heads, to stand out in a crowded field is more powerful than any distortion pedal.

Makthaverskan don't have any announced North American tour dates at the moment, but if they make plans to cross the Atlantic, that news will be on their Facebook and Bandcamp. Below, watch the 2011 video for the band's track "Know Love":

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