Mar 232011
Authors: Michael Elizabeth Sakas

Peter Bjorn and John released their whistle-along single “Young Folks” in 2006, gaining the group popularity through the tune’s infectious indie sound.

The hit was created from the band’s uniquely passionate style, and on their sixth studio album, “Gimme Some,” that passion merges with 1960s and 1980s influences. The result is an indie-pop-punk soundtrack fine for the longer spring days ahead.

“Tomorrow Has to Wait” gives the album a thumping kick-start with John Eriksson’s heavy drumming and Peter Moren’s quirky-whiney voice. “I don’t think that you are sorry for what you did,” he sings back-and-fourth to himself, as the song continues marching loud through its end.     

“Dig a Little Deeper” brightens the mood with its island-y slide guitar and bongo-like echoes as the group howls “oooh-oh, ooooh-oh!” in a Vampire Weekend style. It’s possible that the same individual who wronged them in the first track is again sung about with the poppy lyrics, “You enjoy the silence when I want to discuss/You like to keep it tidy, I want to mess it up/I don’t want recognition if you don’t recognize me.”
A lo-fi, 1960s tambourine vibe is added to the third track “Second Chance,” and Morens channels a sound similar to that of the Beatles’ earlier days.

Their influence leaps forward a few years to the 1980s with The Cure’s hit “Close To Me.” A very similar clappy, dancey beat drives Peter Bjorn and John’s song “Eyes,” and the lyrics are focused more on the start of a relationship than the end: “Don’t wanna make you interested/I just wanna make you the only one/I don’t wanna ask myself forever/why I didn’t put myself together.”

But the lyrics shift back to bitterness with the rocking minute-and-a-half garage tune “Black Book.” Moren matter-of-factly sings, “Before you break my heart, before you start/I’m gonna break your arm and concentration” over Bjorn Yttling’s heavy 1970s punk influenced bass.

Fans of “Young Folks” won’t find the song’s same sound on this new album, but if a listener wants to become a fan of Peter Bjorn and John, listening to “Gimme More” will make you one.

Music reviewer Michael Elizabeth Sakas can be reached at

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