It’s really heating up over here in the UK! We recommend this remedy for a scorching Friday: get Shuffle Baby’s new single ‘Over It’ on full blast, soak up the sunshine, grab your favourite beverage and shimmy (or shuffle) that booty! Ready? Then let’s meet Erland from the band to find out about their influences, their favourite places in Norway, and how they used the crappy Covid times to work on DIY new music!
Tell us who you are and what’s your sound?
We’re a three-piece synth pop band from Bergen, Norway. Someone recently coined our sound as “the 80s for the 2020s”, and I don’t think that’s far off the mark. We play synth heavy and retro pop music, characterised by drum machines and funky synth bass underneath layered pop vocals and analog synths. We’re definitely inspired by the great dance pop and electro funk classics of the 80s, but we’ve adapted that for a more «modern» sound in terms of productions and arrangement.
What exciting projects have you got coming up?
We just released a new single, “Over It”. It’s our first self produced track, and we wrote and recorded it in our living rooms during the Covid-19 quarantine.
With the outbreak of the virus, we suddenly had a lot of extra time, but all our plans of spending it touring or recording new music in high end recording studios had to be cancelled. In lack of better options, we gathered the recording gear we had, and set up a home recording setup in our apartments. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise: while our DIY-setup didn’t have the glamour of a proper studio, it was really liberating and gave us a major creativity boost. We ended up writing and recording a lot of new music, and “Over It” is just the first of several songs we’re gonna release this fall.
Where did you grow up and what music influenced you?
We all grew up in Bergen, and got to know each other by playing in various bands together. Me and Jonas (vocals) met and played in a punk rock band together when we were 13, and I started playing in an indie rock band with Truls (drums) when was 15. All three of us grew up both listening to and playing music more on the heavier side: punk, garage rock, and heavy metal. While the music we make now is miles apart from that, I think we’ve probably incorporated some of the rock mentality into crafting pop songs; in song structures, instrumentation and showmanship.
In the later years, though, we’ve been really inspired by pop classics such as Michael Jackson, Queen and Prince, as well as more modern funk pop acts such as Mark Ronson and Chromeo. We’re suckers for a beautifully crafted pop song featuring irresistable beats and old analog synthesizers.
What cool places do you recommend to visit in your city (bars, restaurants, etc)?
The city centre of Bergen is really tightly knit and compact, and the nice part about this is that most everything is in walking distance from each other. Starting at Nygårdshøyden, you’ll find the best coffee at Blom, a hip place run by really knowledgable and nice people – don’t be surprised if you spot any Norwegian pop royalties sipping down a fancy coffee here. For dinner, you could either go with delicous burgers paired with an exhaustive gin selection at Royal Gourmetburger & Gin, or a serving of great pizza, oysters and natural wine at Hoggorm. For clubbing, check out if there’s any cool events at Landmark, or go dancing at the silent disco at Vaskeriet.
Bergen is about a lot more than eating and drinking though, and if you’re visiting you should definitely shake off the hangover by going on a hike on one of the seven mountains surrounding the city. Depending on you comfort level in the mountains, either take an easy sunday stroll up Mount Floyen, or go all out and walk over Vidden.
We love recommendations – what have you been listening to, watching, or reading recently?
I just discovered Pink Sweat$, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why ‘Icy’ isn’t the most streamed track in the world right now. I think he’s gonna be huge. Also, I’ve been listening to Franc Moody’s latest album ‘Dream In Colour’ on repeat, it’s a fantastically danceable collection of pop gems. We actually just made a playlist of a bunch of songs we’re listening to at the moment, feel free to check it out HERE.
In books I just finished the first volume of Haruki Murakami’s ‘1Q84’, and I really liked it, can’t wait to start the second one. I also recently saw Cinema Paradiso for the first time. An instant favourite for me, just a simply beautiful movie and tribute to cinema itself. Both me and Jonas are really into movies, and both the more technical as well as artistic aspects of cinematography. As a result, we’re pretty involved whenever we’re making music videos, and have a ton of fun doing it.
We’re also lucky enough to be friends with a great director, Christoffer Møgster, who’s gotten shout-outs from Russel Crowe, has and done all our music videos!
Finally, what was the last thing that made you swear out loud?
I yell and curse at most of the electronics I own whenever they disappoint me by not acting like (I think) they’re supposed to. I think I screamed at some bluetooth headphones that refused to connect to my phone earlier today – does that count?
If it doesn’t, I probably have to boast and admit that I let out a ‘HOLY S**T’ when we got back the final mixes for the next song we’re going to release – because it sounded that good. Can’t wait to share it.
We are seriously digging these guys – get following and supporting them on Instagram @shufflebabyband
Interview by Alex Minnis