Shout. Shout. Let It All Out.

Carl Von Arbin and Ted Malmros of Sweden's Shout Out Louds sit down with PlugInMusic.com on the first night of their US tour to talk about their new album "Howl Howl Gaff Gaff" and about the music scene in Stockholm.

- Chris Pacifico

posted December 12, 2005

Shout. Shout. Let It All Out.
     As far as 2005 goes, it has been a great year for music. The music world has been blessed with the avant pop stylings of Wolf Parade, Black Rebel Motorcycles moved away from their fuzz rock aesthetic to a more stripped down and twangier sound, and the beautiful clutter of the self titled release of Broken Social Scene was an album that we will never forget. We could sit here and talk all about the great tunes and albums that were released in this the Year of the Rooster (or cock) but today, boys and girls, we’re here to discuss the Shout Out Louds.

     On their debut full length “Howl Howl Gaff Gaff” (Capitol), the Shout Out Louds show a clever guile for merging an indie pop aesthetic with a sort of cuddly emotional temperance in the voice of singer Adam Olenius. Joined alongside by Bebban Stenborg on keys, drummer Eric Edman – a dead ringer for Moby’s long lost twin brother, guitarist Carl Von Arbin, and bassist Ted Malmros, “Howl Howl Gaff Gaff” is an album that will be playing in your head long after it is over.

     On the first night of their fall tour with the Sun, Malmros and Von Arbin were nice enough to shoot the breeze with Plug In backstage at the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia. Von Arbin, a shaggy haired, baby-faced individual, and Malmros, who seems like he is the direct descendant of some famous Nordic conqueror from history, have a disposition hanging out that represents their band’s sound: one that is cool and calm, yet maintains depth and clarity.

     Formed in Stockholm in 2001, the Shout Out Louds released a four song EP in 2003 on the Bud Fox label which eventually led into their full length “Howl.” After touring throughout Scandinavia as well as being heard over the Internet, they were asked to come over to New York to play at the world famous Mercury Lounge. This, in turn, led to Capitol’s distribution of their album throughout the States.

     When asked about the work ethic put forth by the band, Von Arbin states, “We like to inspire people and be inspired as well. That’s one of the things we aim to do.”

     Of course, their sound resembles various hints of Yo La Tengo, Weezer, and Pavement, but Malmros cites his primary influences as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and any other bands that have “that certain spark.”

     Most Americans just assume that Sweden’s only exports are their meatballs, IKEA, and gorgeous, leggy blondes. But after hearing the Shout Out Louds, one is left to ponder if Sweden is one of the world’s greatest untapped reserves of good music. After all, so many great bands have been emerging out of there for the past couple of years whether it is the Hives, Caesars, Meshuggah, In Flames, Dungen, the Concretes, et cetera.

     “A lot of bands don’t live in Stockholm, but they move there to get started,” states Malmros. “There are a lot of good bands and good venues.”

     But Von Arbin is quick to reply, as he lights up a cigarette, that “there are so many good bands that you’ve never heard of unless you live there. There really isn’t this ‘Stockholm scene’ yet but it seems to be growing.”

     With the exception of psych wizards Dungen, who sing in their native tongue, Von Arbin and Malmros say that a lot of bands over there sing, play and record in English.

     Having started to road test some songs, the Shout Out Louds do plan on entering starting a new album in the spring of 2006. In the meantime, if you haven’t picked up “Howl Howl Gaff Gaff” yet, it is highly recommended. The album’s catchy melodies are sure to provide the soul of the listener with an inner warmth to help get by during a chilly winter.