Album Review: Marching Band – So Much Imagine
It’s been a very long 4 years since Swedish indie duo, Marching Band, released their last full length LP, Pop Cycle. A band that I stumbled upon back when I was discovering great music that existed outside of the top 40 bubble. I instantly fell in love with their sound. Just enough pop to make them accessible and radio ready while still creating a complex sound that would catch the attention of someone with a more refined ear. They garnered some attention on both TV (“How I Met Your Mother”, “Scrubs”) and in movies (Zombieland, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist), though they never quite achieved the success that I thought they were worthy of.
So Much Imagine makes up for the long wait since Pop Cycle with a whopping 21 songs. The album is filled with tracks featuring Erik Sunbring and Jacob Lind’s signature hooks, array of multiple instruments, and rich vocal harmonies. The time it took to create this indie pop dream really pays off and is definitely the most ambitious and personal album released by the duo. Sunbring and Lind chose to self-produce this time around, allowing them to experiment more with their sound.
Along with the indie influences of the late 90’s and early 2000’s akin to The Shins and Belle and Sebastian, you’ll hear some 60’s and 70’s influences as well. “You Had Me At Imagine” is a wonderful example of the fusing of multiple decades of pop cohesively to create one of my favorite songs on the album. The low vocal harmonies are straight indie pop set against lush horns and electric guitar riffs before building to a harmonious chorus that sounds like it came straight from a Wes Anderson musical montage. On the other side of the spectrum, “But Not Anymore (Ja Ja)” is a gentle lullaby with soothing guitars and female vocals to accentuate the quiet croon of the lead vocals as it ebbs and flows between chorus and verse.
So Much Imagine manages to marry the classic sound of Marching Band to a new, more experimental approach to their music without missing a beat in a way that will keep old fans coming back and attract a slew of new ones. All in all, the wait was worth it and I would gladly go another 4 years if they can keep putting out music of this caliber.