Smile is a spot-on name for the new electronic project from Bjorn Yttling (Peter, Bjorn and John) and music video director and Teddybears member Joakim Åhlund, mostly because you can’t help but do just then while listening. The band, which does mostly instrumental electronica, has just dropped the debut album, A Flash In The Night, a collection of a dozen charming, sweeping songs just waiting to score whatever adventures you’re going to have this summer that was released on Ingrid, a label started earlier this year by Swedish musicians including Lykke Li and members of Miike Snow. We caught up with Yttling and Åhlund to find out more about the band.
How did Smile form?
This could be true: Smile was formed by Bjorn and Joakim because someone needed to record a classic kraut-folk-disco-cosmic-pop album again. (They thought anyway). Yes! There are just too few records like that out there. We invited some real good friends and pay them a lot of money to come and play music and drink for two days.
Your record is coming out on a new label, Ingrid. What’s the story with the label and how did you decide to release your record with them?
Ingrid is more like an artist collective. There’s no one telling us what to do on Ingrid and we try to help each other out. It’s a Scandinavian socialist thing a lot of people would vomit on if they knew the whole story. So please don’t tell anyone.
How do you think fans of your other bands might take to the new project?
They will recognize some sounds and then they can brag and say they like Smile even more than our other bands.
This is a mostly instrumental record, why is that?
We thought: What would Joe Meek, Chopin, Sun Ra and Link Wray do? And then we did just that. Instrumental records live longer.
What was the last thing that made each of you smile?
Bjorn: It isn’t the leaking ceiling in my living room anyway.
Joakim: When I watched the swedish TV program Blåsningen on YouTube. So funny.