By: Peter Gaston
Try going through customs with Envelopes: Four Swedes and a French girl, all of whom have British residency. Oh yeah, and just hope that bassist Martin Karlsson isn’t wearing his striped muscle man-style leotard on the plane; that would only confuse people even more. The quintet met mostly as school chums in Sweden, but ultimately settled in rural Yorkshire to hone their sound. And while Demon might sound like a particularly aggressive sounding first record, it’s actually Swedish for “demos,” a little modest hint from the band that their art is still a work in progress.
There are some obvious stylistic touchstones for Envelopes, and despite their multi-national makeup, those influences mostly stem from old school American college rock. “Glue” has that loud-quiet-loud vibe (interspersed with occasionally out-of-tune guitar) that earned the Pixies droves of fans, as does the meandering but ultimately super-catchy “Sister in Love” (Listen). Then there’s the quirky “I Don’t Even Know,” whose whah-oh-ah-oh chorus feels like a Talking Heads outtake. But ultimately, it comes off less like sonic rehashing and more like studied reverence.
Envelopes will play dates in Sweden this month before hitting the European festival circuit this summer.