Although their cover of “Put It There” appeared as a bonus track on last year’s Art of McCartney compilation, Peter Bjorn and John haven’t released a new song since 2011. That’s not to say they stepped away from the music world: In 2012, the trio co-founded a new label, Ingrid, with a group of musicians that included fellow Swedes Lykke Li and Miike Snow. All three members have contributed to music released on the label, but they hadn’t put out anything together until Thursday’s release of “High Up (Take Me to the Top).”
The song itself is based around a series of loops – a few layers of grooving percussion, occasional feedback, toy piano flourishes and LCD Soundsystem-esque bass squelches under the hook. The song, describing a moment of euphoria, will be released on Record Store Day compilation Ingrid Volym 2. The limited-edition double-LP (only 500 copies will be pressed) also features music from artists like Teddybears and Chrissie Hynde, whose recent Stockholm featured production from PB&J’s Björn Yttling.
The band’s 2011 tracks had appeared on Gimme Some, a studio album touted as their return to rock. “The adorably wimpy Swedes’ whistled 2006 focus track, ‘Young Folks,’ suggested sensitive boy-children who would have a hard time lifting guitars, let alone rocking out on them,” Rolling Stone‘s Jon Dolan wrote in a review. “But Peter Bjorn and John’s sixth disc is pretty mannish, a foray into Seventies English punk rock, early U2 and R.E.M. anthemics, arena-drum bombast and a cowbell-happy jam their fan Kanye West could flow over.”