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Peter Bjorn And John: Swedish Pop Gets Darker

The Swedish indie-pop band Peter Bjorn and John found a huge wave of success a few years ago, thanks to the endlessly catchy single "Young Folks." Now, it looks to build on that momentum with the release of a darker pop record called Living Thing. The group performs songs from the new album in a session from World Cafe.

The band got its start playing together in high school, and became official in 1999, when Peter Moren, Bjorn Yttling and John Eriksson performed their quirky new-wave pop aboard a Stockholm boat. Since then, they've built their fame slowly and steadily: After two albums, the trio released its third studio disc, Writers Block, in 2006. Filled with whistles, bongos, maracas and an instantly recognizable element of warmth, the album was an instant hit, with "Young Folks" heard on radios around the world.

After keeping a low profile for the past few years — apart from the occasional solo project and an instrumental, download-only release in 2008 — Peter Bjorn and John returns with Living Thing. The disc demonstrates that the band has more than a few infectious pop tunes up its sleeve; the new songs are a bit more cynical their predecessors, and even more clever.

This story originally ran May 22, 2009.

Copyright 2009 XPN