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Shout Out Louds

Shout Out Louds are back at work. It only just dawned on them what the rest of us have known for a long time: they were born to do this. This is what they do. They write songs, record them, and tour. Thats their work. Hence Work, the title of their third album.

Theyve had some time off. A six-month break to regroup, to see other things, places, and people. To work on a tan, to work on love and life. Bebban did so in Los Angeles and Adam in Melbourne, while Carl, Ted, and Eric remained in Stockholm. And when they got together again, they realized that this is what they do and wha ...read more

Shout Out Louds are back at work. It only just dawned on them what the rest of us have known for a long time: they were born to do this. This is what they do. They write songs, record them, and tour. Thats their work. Hence Work, the title of their third album.

Theyve had some time off. A six-month break to regroup, to see other things, places, and people. To work on a tan, to work on love and life. Bebban did so in Los Angeles and Adam in Melbourne, while Carl, Ted, and Eric remained in Stockholm. And when they got together again, they realized that this is what they do and what they will continue to do. A you-dont-know-what-youve-got-til-its-in-Melbourne sort of thin.

Adam wrote many songs down there, in a tiny room with a little synthesizer, an acoustic guitar, and GarageBand on his laptop. The song Walls came first and then the rest, one by one (brick by brick, if you will) whilst the Australian trams passed by outside. He shared the songs with the others, who listened closely from their corners of the world, questioning and challenging himlike a good band shoulduntil the songs that make up Work had all passed the test, made the cut, and lived to tell the story.

Their last album, Our Ill Wills, was all about travel, from the song titles down to the flags that graced the cover. Although Work was written in Melbourne and recorded in Seattle (and for the first time with a non-Swede in the producers seat), its the coming-home album, the one where they decide to keep it simple: lose the percussionist, sack the string quartet, trust the songs. Or as singer Adam Olenius puts it in one of those songs: Throwing stones, theyre rolling home. It happened just like that. Each piece found its natural place.

The band got Seattleite Phil Ek to produce the album, and they describe him as a much-needed force. They wanted someone who was used to working with bands and used to doing things the old-fashioned waywith hard work and 1-2-3-4 live recordings. Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, and The Shins are fine testaments to Phil Eks producer work ethic, so he seemed a natural choice.

Adam also says this album and the way it sounds boils down to a few things. Foremost, he is in a better place in his life. There may still be dark skies, but lately theyre only partly cloudy. In the words of Mary J Blige, no more drama. And perhaps with the change of weather came the realization that there really is no need to multilayer everything and fill all the spaces with stuff. Significant points have been made with little more to back them than an honest attempt to keep things organic, unadorned, to the point. (Revisiting John Cales albums may have played a small part in it too, if were being honest.) It all may sound quite simple, and thats the point. But simple is rarely that; simple can be awfully complicated in all its plainness, and countless are we who have tried to hide our simplicity behind overdubs, mysterious press releases, animals masks, and fabulous graphics.

Shout Out Louds may have left out the bunny ears, but just like the rest of us, they have definitely been guilty of one or two of the other misdemeanors on that list. Well, not anymore. Theyre keeping it simple now, trusting in the power of bare skin over panache. At the end of the day, its work, and they are happy to do it. And for that we are truly thankful.

http://www.mergerecords.com/artists/shout « hide

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Optica
02/26/2013

3.1
14 Votes
Work
2010

3.4
13 Votes
Our Ill Wills
2007

3.6
26 Votes
Howl Howl Gaff Gaff
2005

3.6
31 Votes

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