Shout Out Louds - Ease My Mind [LP] | RECORD STORE DAY

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In their 15 years as a band, Shout Out Louds have toured the world many times. The band played a show in the Brazilian rainforest with a freezer box for a dressing room. They once performed in Yokohama, Japan, for an audience of two Austrians. They played in a Sicilian rainstorm so heavy they had to shake out their instruments afterwards, with the soaked backdrop left hung to dry on a hotel façade. The music sites will remind you that the band have performed for David Letterman and Jay Leno and toured with The Strokes during their heyday, but most importantly, they have released four albums of brilliant pop music. Ease My Mind, the band’s fifth full-length, is a welcome return from these Swedish pop masters. After the departure of drummer Eric Edman who played on 2013’s Optica, the band recruited Lars Skoglund, known for his drumming with Lykke Li. One could say that Shout Out Louds returned to their roots. They recorded the album with Fredrik Swahn (from the band The Amazing) who filled the band with such new energy that they were willing to commute to the ’burbs during the darkest months of the year. He was joined by Måns Lundberg who produced the song “Souvenirs” and Axel Algmark who produced “No Logic” and “Angel.” After a three-year break for family life and side projects, Adam, Bebban, guitarist Carl von Arbin, and bassist Ted Malmros decided to focus on Shout Out Louds once again. This was an active choice—as it has to be, perhaps, to keep going after having already spent half a lifetime together. The four band members have been friends since high school and grew up together as colleagues and travel companions. You never get to know someone as closely as you do when you’re crammed together in the same touring vehicle, mile after mile. Are the band members more like siblings or an old married couple, then? “We’re more like siblings than anything else. We all know what everyone else hates about ourselves at this point,” they all agree. “We all have sides that are easy to make fun of. We play because we enjoy it so much, but we’ve also done this for half our lives. We’ve learned not to take everything to heart, and to just go for it.” The title of the second track, “Paola”—Bebban’s given name—was chosen by Adam as a tribute to the band members’ longstanding friendship. He explains, “It’s about a time in our lives before we started the band. It’s about finding a different way of living than the one you came from. Choosing another path. I had different lyrics for it at first, but then I felt like the album needed a song like this one.” Adam and Bebban write: “The world is a different place now than it was in the beginning of the 2000’s. We didn’t grow up very aware of political messages in music and probably didn’t feel much of an urgent need to understand the world around us, in that sense. However, that has changed over the years. The world has seemed extremely dystopic and frail for quite a while now, and having children and getting older forces you to open your eyes to issues more devastating than heartbreak and feeling lost. But in our music, we still allow ourselves to address things the way we always have: through emotions rather than analysis. Music as a means of escape, a need to take a break from feeling petrified with fear. Ease My Mind is a lot about that for us.”