Indie-electronic-dance trio Miike Snow building momentum
Wed, Aug 1, 2012 (11:22 a.m.)
In 2007, three jackalope-loving musicians united in Stockholm, Sweden, under the name Miike Snow. The band’s individual members boasted blue chip résumés: Grammy-winning Swedish duo Bloodshy (Christian Karlsson) and Avant (Pontus Winnberg) have collaborated with Madonna, Britney and Kylie Minogue, and Andrew Wyatt is notable for production and songwriting with Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars.
But rather than relying on popular pasts, Miike Snow has gained momentum from a cult-like following while mostly avoiding the mainstream-radio route. The sound is unique and widely debated. Europeans call it pop or dance. In the U.S., it has largely been labeled indie rock. In reality, it’s an avant-garde mélange of indie/electronic/euphoric/dance-rock/house—a post-genre known to the trio as “Snowish” and a sound you can experience August 3 when the group plays a DJ set at Marquee.
- Miike Snow DJ Set
- August 3, 10 p.m., $20 women, $50 men.
- Marquee, 333-9000.
Miike Snow’s first album earned critical acclaim, seemingly to the group’s surprise. “In the first album, we were just writing song by song, just trying to release some tunes,” Karlsson says. “But the second one, we knew that it was going to be an album, and that definitely changed the way it felt going into the writing process. The fact that we did almost 300 shows and 20 months of touring after our first record changed a lot, going into the studio knowing that we were writing songs that we were gonna play live for people who actually know who we are.”
For its live tour, Miike Snow developed a huge synthesizer called the Blob. “It does everything we want it to do,” Karlsson says. “Andrew once presented it like this: ‘Part synthesizer, part testosterone, all headache, ladies and gentlemen, we happily bring you a costly device with planned obsolescence written all over it …’ ”
While Miike Snow touts the virtues of spontaneity in songwriting, the group is also meticulous in its layers, instruments and editing. “It’s all pretty spontaneous until we’ve got the song and know we’re gonna use it, then we start planning how to finish it and how we want it to sound,” Karlsson says. The result is a compelling combination of raw emotions and polished production—with some “Snowish” on the side.