In the gorgeous new video for their 2011 single, “The Fox,” dramatic Swedish synth-pop duo Niki & the Dove perform the haunting song live in the forests near Issaquah, Washington — a setting distinctly, but beautifully, at odds with the music’s futuristic feel. Singer Malin Dahlström is festooned in red thread whiskers accented by a splash of glitter, and keyboardist Gustaf Karlöf accents the unexpected, syncopated notes in the song, playing down the metronomic pulse of the studio version.
Starting on August 31, the group’s earthy-synthetic feel will be put to good use on a 24-date American tour starting at the Echo in Los Angeles. Dahlström and Karlöf took time out from rehearsing their live show to speak with us about the upcoming jaunt. “[Performing as a duo] makes me and Gustaf have to do something completely different now — which can also be completely challenging,” said Dahlström, “we love it when we can improvise.” Karlöf added that the more minimal ensemble will be “quite beautiful” for the set of shows at which NATD are opening up for Twin Shadow.
Dahlström and Karlöf had been making music together for almost 10 years in various groups before “DJ, Ease My Mind,” from the recent Instinct, set off a flurry of interest. That means the current tour will mark the Swedes’ first U.S. forays outside of New York City and Los Angeles. “I see this really long, straightforward desert road, and we’re driving in a ’70s car with the windows rolled down and some Bruce Springsteen in the speakers,” imagined Karlöf. Dahlström had a different American classic rock act in mind: “I had the vision of the Simon & Garfunkel song ‘America.’ I always see myself sitting in that bus and listening to that song.”