School ’94 is a post-punk/indie-pop quartet from Gothenburg, Sweden. That city is also home to electro-pop duo The Knife as well as that really horrible pop band from the 1990s Ace of Base. Future Hockey Hall of Famer Daniel Alfredsson is from there, and so was the 1959 heavyweight boxing champion of the world Ingemar Johansson.
They used to call themselves School, but recently changed for some reason. Yesterday, they released their debut EP Like You via Cascine Records (North America, UK) and Luxury Records (Sweden). They generated a bit of buzz ahead of the release, and this has been dubbed a “much-anticipated” release. I got something in the mailbag about the EP, and if I’m honest, I knew I liked it before I even laid ears on it. The email said that they draw their sound from classic punk and modern pop, and it also included an attention-grabbing quote from a review done by Wondering Sound:
(The EP’s title track is) a gorgeous bit dewy-eyed heartsick guitar pop
I’ve been featuring a lot of shoegaze lately. That really is my genre of preference, but I do have a pretty sizable soft spot for that dewy-eyed heartsick guitar pop.
Tonight’s song has been kicking around for about a year, and a video for it was released a few months ago, but the EP itself just came out yesterday. This is that song.
“So Long” by School ’94
There’s so much to like about this song. There are elements (especially the bass) that remind me of The Cure. There are other elements that remind me of some 80s new wave stuff. And on top of all that, Alice Botéus sings in a very strong but sexy way that sounds a bit like Miss Nika Roza Danilova, who is much better known as Zola Jesus.
Somehow, this song is simultaneously gloomy and bright. I don’t understand it, but it works really well. There’s also something that’s really charming about the late-1980s-style long, gradual fade at the end. It’s magical. When they were doing that long fade in the 1960s, it often sounded like they just didn’t know how to resolve the song. The 80s long fade was a bit of a different animal.
For some extra credit, here’s a 90s-style performace video.
You can buy the six song Like You EP from Amazon here.