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Echo Ladies (Sweden) – Dirty Dancing (single, possible track on forthcoming album)

Settle down girls, it isn’t anything to do with Swayze.

We’ve already had an echo…echo…echo this week with Copenhagen’s OK Echo, now it’s the turn of Sweden’s Echo Ladies, from just across the Øresund in Malmö.

I have to admit I was a little confused. Setting aside all the gender confusion that’s around at the moment this looks a like a lady and a couple of blokes. It seems the band name came about partly as respect to a drum machine used by a favourite band of theirs, Echo & the Bunnymen.

They are three school friends who have played in other bands but suddenly realised they work best together and they’ve been around for a while with a discography of singles and a debut album, ‘Pink Noise’ (2018), that date back to 2016 and several tours including one in the UK.

They have in the past mentioned Cocteau Twins, Lowlife and The Jesus and Mary Chain as their musical influences and their ethos is shoe gaze and dream pop. They were with a label that went out of its way to support such genres but having recently signed to Rama Lama Records it is a case of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, comme on dit dans le quartier français a Malmö.

With another album anticipated before year end, ‘Dirty Dancing’ is the first taste of what is expected to come.

I always found it amusing that The Onion, the US satirical magazine, insisted that its writers create the headline first and then write the story around it and that is what Echo Ladies have replicated here as they liked the title so much they wrote the lyrics around it.

It concerns a friend who was to become a parent, and how excited she was to meet her child. They add that it’s also the song that changed the most during the recording session; the verse becoming the chorus, the bridge the verse and so on.

That’s my queue to write something about the song; it’s about time! It has the shoe gaze imprint stamped on it for sure, in the vocals and the slightly distorted jangly guitar part,  but it transcends even the ethereal nature of that genre, becoming quite psychy straight from the off. And anyone who can instantly remind me of Alela Diane as vocalist Matilda does wins my vote of confidence equally quickly.

It’s replete with atmosphere and it builds nicely towards the last 30 seconds when what sounds at first like a synthesiser is thrown into the mix but which on second thoughts is more like a multi-tacked ‘choir’. Whoever or whatever did it; it creates a dreamy anthemic finish which leaves you wanting more.

Speaking of which, the forthcoming album, which has been a work in progress since ‘Pink Noise’ is ready to be released. They are all about balance and previously they tried to convey the feeling of nostalgia and hope for the future, mixed with worries and anxieties about defining who you are and what you will become.

But on the new album they attempt to balance the emotions of sorrow and loneliness, with anger, frustration, and the determination to make a change for the better, hung on their mantra that “Nothing Ever Lasts”; meaning that good things can come to an end, but that bad things will also pass.

Echo Ladies are Matilda Botwid, Mattis Andersson and Joar Andersén

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