It’s tempting to think of the Swedish indie rockers Peter Bjorn & John as newer players in the indie rock scene. But in reality, the band — which takes its name from the first names of the three bandmates — are responsible for six studio albums over the course of nearly a decade, with their first self-titled album released back in 2002 on a small Swedish label.
The trio will play at the 9:30 club on Saturday, April 30. The band is touring to support their new release, “Gimmie Some.”
In 2006, PB&J gained critical and commercial attention with “Writer’s Block,” their third release and the band’s first on a major label. The album’s success, and the band’s rise to notoriety in general, was driven primarily by the massive hit “Young Folks.”
With its ubiquitous whistle and bongo drums, “Young Folks” was the indie pop song of 2006, popping up everywhere from commercials to the opening scene of the “Gossip Girl” pilot to a “Now That’s What I Call Music!” compilation. “Young Folks” was the epitome of a breakthrough single, and as a result, the band has since struggled to shrug off the “one-hit wonder” condemnation. On their disappointing next release, “Living Thing,” the band chose a darker, sparser sound, and their rather unwelcome departure from the cheerfulness of “Writer’s Block” produced an underwhelming and cold album.
PB&J’s newest release “Gimmie Some” shows the band’s return to form, and lively lead single “Second Chance” has a handclap-driven spark that was sorely missed on the band’s last release. It’s no “Young Folks,” of course, but judging the band’s releases against their one megahit is no way to enjoy their strong new album. PB&J may not have developed a distinct sound over the course of their career, but their eclectic and fresh-faced releases place them amongst the best indie pop acts today.
The group is joined on their tour with Bachelorette, a one-woman electronic project from New Zealand. Annabel Alpers, the woman behind Bachelorette, produces blissful synth-pop songs featuring her looped and layered vocals and plenty of reverb.
This tour features two talented acts that occupy different realms of indie pop and will be sure to make for a night of excellent live music. Peter Bjorn & John’s endearing live show is not to be missed, and, yes, they will definitely play “Young Folks.”