If there’s any group singularly responsible for my sloppy love affair with Scandinavian music, it’s likely the Swedish superstars that are Kent. Back in 1999 they began what would be a sadly short-lived relationship with America, ending it abruptly after two releases that resulted in a surprising lack of a foothold commercially. But though they returned to their Nordic peninsula with seemingly zero interest in selling me records, it didn’t much deter my already obsessive listening (glossing over slowly adapting to not hearing them sing in English), and to this day I still count them amongst my favorite artists.
You’d think that roughly two decades of playing, coupled with the luxury of being one of Sweden’s most popular acts, would have dulled these gents a bit musically, but their talent has proven nothing if not reliable over the many years. In a few months time they will release their tenth full-length, Jag är inte rädd för mörkret, and if lead single 999 is any indication, they still haven’t lost a bit of the plot. And if you count yourself amongst the fans that were excited about the more pop-rock leanings of their previous release, En plats i solen, you will be double excited to hear the band once again firmly embracing their guitars. It’s not quite as blissful as Skisser för sommaren, and I am not even a little sure of what Michael Jackson and Michael Bolton have to do with anything they’d want to sing about (going to lean on my old friend Lars for help with that one), but damn if I am not excited about this.