Peter Bjorn and John | photo by Johan Bergmark
Peter Bjorn and John channels the deep winter of Sweden for the moody “Darker Days” video
Stockholm indie trio Peter Bjorn and John released their eighth album, Darker Days, on the Swedish arts collective label INGRID last autumn, and though the record was packed with the effervescent pop they’ve become known for over their two decades as a band, there was indeed a darker side to the proceedings.
The would-be title track was an idea that had been kicking around for a while, since the sessions for their 2016 outing Breakin’ Point, and went through several re-versions (including one that bassist / keyboardist Björn Yttling tells us “was called ‘The Smiths 0.4’ for some reason”). Even though the song found its final form with Yttling playing piano and bandmate Peter Morén playing bass, and lent its name to last year’s record, its soft and introspective vibe didn’t totally fit with the album’s more urgent pace and was left on the proverbial cutting room floor. Until last month, when they collected it, and a few other songs like it, and released them as the EPBJ set.
Today we’re happy to give you a first look at the spectral music video for “Darker Days,” which show Yttling standing in a dimly-lit room as projections of the song’s lyrics flickering across his face: “Try and go against the tide, staying in control. Some of us are growing up, and others just grow old. Darker days, longer nights, endless dreaming.” The song moves to a pattering pulse and the minimal arrangements of piano, bass, and flourishes of xylophone capture a wistful emotion of aging with both grace and uncertainty.
As Yttling tells us over email, the mood of the season (particularly on the Scandinavian peninsula) was a factor in the mood of the song, and its visual component.
The chorus lyrics on “Darker Days” are inspired by the dark winter in Sweden (we actually call it the half year of winter, so you def know it’s long too). Features are: dark in the morning, dark when you come home, dark when you go to bed. White beautiful snow and freezing cold temperatures. So you might as well stay in and dream about other things. Sometimes it feels like the dreaming will go on forever…
Watch the “Darker Days” video below. Peter Bjorn and John plays The Foundry of The Fillmore Philadelphia on Wednesday, April 24th. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.