Pop music remains one of Sweden’s chief cultural exports. However, quite far from the Stockholm of Max Martin and Icona Pop—a little over ten hours to be exact—the tiny town of Pajala sits just miles from the border of Finland. The Magnettes fondly call this city of 2,000 home, and it’s the birthplace of their infectious and inimitable glitter (punk) pop sound. The group’s co-vocalists Rebecka Digervall and Sanna Kalla proudly refer to themselves as “non-normative and in control,” “Riot Grrls,” “goths,” “witches,” “Tornedalingar” [literal translation: natives of the Torne valley, a Swedish minority], or “Sisters Of The Ugly Youth.” However, that subversion makes their songs even more spellbinding.
“We’re reclaiming the word ‘Ugly,’” declares Sanna. “Why does beautiful have to be the standard? Why can’t anything that is not totally perfect be cool? We have no regrets. We’re saying exactly what we want to say.
“There’s some sort of Northern rebellion,” adds guitarist, keyboardist, and producer Tomas Bäcklund. “We don’t want to be your average singing self-obsessed diary entries. We aim to do something bigger. However, we want to do it without moving to Stock-holm, London, or L.A. and writing songs about beaches and being super fit. Because what’s interesting about that?
The seeds of that rebellion became planted when Rebecka and Sanna met at six-years-old. By the age of 14, Rebecka had written a plethora of song for them as a duo. In 2012, they released their first official tune “Paper Cut” and performed across Europe and Russia. By 2014, the group expanded to include having more musicians on stage. All this was supported by the local artist development company BD-pop.
2014 The Magnettes went to USA for the first time and played on New Music Seminar in NYC. Back in Sweden in Sweden The Magnettes also appeared as the main subjects in Hans-Erik Therus’s documentary ”Pajala State Of Mind”, featured at the Gothenburg Film Festival, the Tempo Documentary Festival Stockholm and on Swedish national television.. The end of the documentary leaves the band on stage in NYC.
The group headed stateside spring 2015 to perform a string off head-turning shows at SXSW (where they had the official last gig at legendary Stubbs) and write songs in Nashville. “Something happened in Nashville,” says Rebecka. “We were just like, ‘Yeah, it’s time to be fearless and write whatever the fuck we want.’ So we went home and did that!”
Galvanized by the trip, the band began recording in Tomas’s kitchen, carving out a middle ground between their chief influences Talking Heads, Costello, Bikini Kill, and Katy Perry.
The SXSW got them booked to The Great Escape in Brighton just a month after the USA trip.
They returned to USA in autumn of 2015. But before that they played a couple of festivals in Sweden like the showcase festival Live at Heart. Then they went to Barcelona to play during Future Music Forum and head to London for a showcase on Macbeth. The autumn USA tour took them to Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. They also went on Key Largo Songfest in Key Largo, Florida and the tour ended in NYC and shows on the showcase festival CMJ.
During CMJ it went official that the band signed with the American record label Digsin and the first release was ”Bones” on their new label.
In the spring of 2016. The Magnettes signed a booking deal with Blixten & Co for Scandinavia witch led them to perform on the Swedish showcase festival Where’s the music and also By:Larm in Oslo, Norway.
They released the new single ”Killers in a Ghost Town” in February.
The band also opened for Danish Oh Land in Stockholm and got to be opening act for Ida Gaards Womb Tour in Denmark for 5 dates. In May 2016 they went for their fourth trip to North America, this time to play on Canadian Music Week in Toronto.
In the summer The Magnettes played on the important Almedals veckan and got lot of attention.
Autumn 2016 they went back for playing on the festival Youbloom in Los Angeles and record new songs at FTO studio in NYC. They released the single “Hollywood”.
Their debute album is going to be released in 2017.
2017 started with them release the single “Sad Girls Club” that got a lot of placements on Spotify play lists. The single also got a shout out from the blogger Perez Hilton.
Biografi på svenska
Uppmärksammade popgruppen The Magnettes bildades i Pajala av Rebecka Digervall och Sanna Kalla. Efter några år anslöt Tomas Bäcklund Tuneström och trion började mejsla ut ut den synth-, riot grrrl- och new wave-influerade pop som numera beskrivs med termer som ”fuck-pop” och ”glitterpunk”. 2015 landade de ett skivkontrakt med amerikanska DigSin, en underetikett till Universal, där de släppt singlarna ”Bones”, ”Killers In A Ghost Town”, ”Hollywood”, ”Sad Girls Club” och ”Young & Wild”.
De senaste åren har de turnerat i bland annat USA, Kanada, England, Spanien och Danmark, framträtt på mässor och festivaler som South By Southwest, By:Larm, The Great Escape och Canadian Music Week och uppmärksammats av Perez Hilton, Elle, Idolator och The 405. Deras musik har även hörts i TV4:s ”Finaste Familjen”. Under 2017 videobloggar Sanna och Rebecka för SVT:s räkning under hashtaggen #MinSquad. Debutalbumet ”Ugly Youth” kommer 30 juni 2017.
Quotes about The Magnettes
People has said about them.
Perez Hilton – The Swedish duo is very reminiscent of fellow Swedish duo Icona Pop, whom we love.
Beehive Candy – The pop hooks grab you, whilst the punk overtones give the song some real edge. All of which makes the debut album something to look forward to.
The 405 – ‘Killers In A Ghost Town,’ is a black-hearted love song and call to arms for every bored teenage girl who’s outgrown her small town’s offerings.
Drowned in sound – Swedish pop sensations The Magnettes, whose fast paced electro pop owes as much to Abba and Roxette as it does leftfield artists Ladytron or Surfer Rosa.
Pop Dust – The Magnettes Are ‘Killers In A Ghost Town’ & Will Take Over The World
Galore Magazine – The Magnettes prefer to be more accurately described as “21st Century Fuck-Pop,” a genre we are more than willing to be down with.
The magnettes are developed by