September is back! Releasing a new single next Friday, and a brand new album in late October.
Except you can actually forget everything you know about September.
Firstly she’s changing genre ever so slightly. She’s leaving behind the dance music and the Jonas von der Burg cuts that made her a worldwide star in the late noughties (and an even bigger local star in recent years) and she’s going for a sound that she’s described as a cross between Coldplay, Florence & The Machine, and Depeche Mode. Plus, her main man that she’s been writing with this time around is Jocke Berg, who is most famous for his work with massive Swedish indie band, Kent.
Secondly, she’s switching languages. The new album will be in her native Swedish as opposed to the English language albums that she’s always released.
And finally – to wrap up both of these quite significant changes, she now won’t be releasing this music under her artist name, September. Instead, the new album and its singles will be released under her real name, Petra Marklund.
We’ll be honest here. We really didn’t like the idea of this at all. We’ve always loved September’s music, right from the very start. So the idea of her turning everything on its head and doing something different, concerned us a little. Disappointed us even. Realistically after four albums, of course she’s going to want to start experimenting with a new sound. And after the runaway success of her stint on Så Mycket Bättre a couple of year back, there’s absolutely no question at all that a more grown up sound would be lapped up in Petra Marklund’s native Sweden. But STILL. What about September? And what about the not inconsiderable number of us who loved what she was doing before?
Well actually, we needn’t have worried. Today we were sent the brand new single, ‘Händerna Mot Himlen’ (Hands To The Sky), and allowed to be given the very first review. And thankfully – we’re quite relieved to be able to say – it’s going to be a positive review.
To compare it to another song almost does ‘Händerna Mot Himlen’ something of a disservice, as it really does sound extremely fresh and not like anything else out there at the moment. But that’s always the easiest way to describe something to someone else who’s not yet able to listen, so yes – we’ll take the easy route and compare it to something you’ll know. It sounds not too distant from Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’. It’s DRENCHED in strings throughout. And aside from a good dance beat, strings are our biggest weakness in pop music production. Although she’s also gone and included a good dance beat anyway, so there’s two thumbs up from us straight away. Even leaving aside the vocals, it doesn’t take too large a stretch of the imagination to realise that ‘Händerna Mot Himlen’ could be a song by the same woman who brought us ‘Resuscitate Me’, ‘Looking For Love’ or even ‘Satellites’. So it was probably pretty foolish of us to think that she would change her sound completely (unless the album proves our concerns right).
The production and also the melody are both joyfully rousing and jolly. And the whole thing was imprinted on our mind instantly, thanks to a dramatic string riff that plays throughout. Plus, she completes a total 360 in terms of this reinvention, by actually singing like we’ve never heard her sing before. It’s a great comeback/reinvention for her. And you have no idea how relieved we are to be saying that, given the initial reservations we had about the whole idea.
The song is gonna earn her a lot of new fans in Sweden. And aside from perhaps some of the more hardcore Clubland compilation crowd, we can’t imagine it losing her too many of her current fans either. Anyone with an appreciation for great pop should love this. It’s great pop!
‘Händerna Mot Himlen’ (written by Jocke Berg and produced by Daniel Ledinsky and Saska Becker) is released in Sweden on Friday, September 14th. And the brand new album ‘Inferno’ arrives on October 24th.
We’ll be streaming the song, in full, here on scandipop.co.uk on Monday. The same day it’s sent to Swedish radio.