Who: Heavy Swedish pop outfit fronted by manic 34-year-old singer Josephine Olausson, a fierce frontlady who has a fan in Karen O. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer likes the band so much it inspired her song “All is Love” on the Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack.
Sounds Like: The band’s insanely catchy new disc Two Thousand and Ten Injuries combines the sound of early Nineties grrrl-punk acts bands like Huggy Bear and Bikini Kill with warm Sixties pop harmonies. “Kungen” borrows from the Turtles “Happy Together,” but drowns it in rich psychedelia. “Bigger Bolder” is buzzing garage-rock, boasting fuzzed out bass and Olausson’s Björk-like vocals. “I usually just tell people we play rock music, because it gets too complicated,” Olausson tells Rolling Stone.
• The band’s name derives from a late-night TV session. Olausson was flipping channels at home in the working-class city of Gothenburg when she saw classic Sixties spy program A Man From U.N.C.L.E. In the episode, she remembers secret agents infiltrated a Manson-like hippie sect when she spotted her future band’s name on the creepy entrance gate to the compound. “It looked perfect,” she says, but the band didn’t go for it at first — and Olausson seems to regret her choice. “People say ‘You’re in a Beatles cover band?’ ” she says. “I realize now it’s kind of a retarded name,” she says. “I think you only feel that way once a week.”
• The band has some tangled romantic relationships. Olausson used to date drummer Markus Görsch, but after they split she married to San Francisco indie artist Wyatt Cusick in 2006. Cusick co-produced their new disc, but Olausson swears things weren’t awkward with her former flame. “I think to outsiders it’s weird,” she says. “We never had a major falling out or anything. If anything, we’re more brutally honest with each other and criticize each other.”
• The band is full of klutzes, which inspired the album title Two Thousand and Ten Injuries. Olausson smashed her nose when she fell down a narrow staircase a year and a half ago in Switzerland, and she helped break Görsch’s nose while the two were playing their one and only game of catch. Bassist Johan Lindwall is just always sick. “It seems like things go wrong a lot. We’re a very fragile band.”
Get It Now: Watch the band’s clip for “Kungen” up top, and grab a free download of “Bigger, Bolder.”