Thieves Like Us, the mesmerizing sound of Sweden


We missed our last Sunday’s Sunday Music Day because we were busy at the NYNOW Gift Fair showcasing our exclusively distributed brands here in the states.   So I’m pulling from my secret stash to introduce one of my favorite groups – Thieves Like Us, a Swedish America band born out of Berlin.  And it’s difficult to categorized their unique sound.  In Wikipedia the band is described to be “mostly electronic and is also influenced by the krautrockitalo discoglam punkpost-punkFrench touch and hip-hop genres.” These big words aren’t exactly saying much.  At the time of my discovery via Youtube, the hit song Shyness (music video above) had under 100K plays, but as of now it has accumulated over 1.8 million views.  Still a small player in the world of pop music, but the more you listen, the more you are drawn into their Scandinavian groove – a little cold, a little distant, a little poetic in a post-contemporary way, and sometimes almost sterile.

Thieves Like Us‘ official music videos are usually made from indie Scandinavian films that only the most artsy would’ve ever watched.  But like many things in life, it is those fine and sometimes peculiar touch that lures us in.  With Shyness’ official MV (based on the movie A Swedish Love Story), the repetitive collage of video loops somehow reminded us of our own childhood.  Late night rides with friends in the streets of no street lights, stealing a glance at your secret crush at the school dance – the video and their message seem to be universal.  It is a kind of “shyness” that kept our childhood innocent and memorable.  Now that our lives progress so much faster it becomes so much more difficult to remember how we used to be.  And when a simple image or sound rekindles a feeling of years bygone we appreciate what the artist can do for us.  That is the power of media and I applaud Thieves Like Us making a truly low budget music video actually work.



Then there was the music video for Your Heart Feels (see above).  The song is darker and so is the movie used for the MV, based on Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo (We Children of the Bahnhof Zoo), a film based on the life of Christiane F.  I ended up watching the entire movie, which was quite an eye opener.  Another perfect pairing of sounds with visuals, and with the right pair of headphones, you find yourself putting the Youtube video on repeat.



The last song Stay Blue (see above) was released in late 2012, and keeps you in check with moodiness.  It is fine, though, summer is almost over, and autumn is the perfect season for that slight shade of blue, that mesmerizing sound of melancholy, from Sweden.

Bonus: Listen to Thieves Like Us’ Forget Me Not music video based on the 1974 Finish film Supermarkt.

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