“Post-death is a genre that we made up as a bit of a joke,” says Norea of Junodef, “but it still has a point.”
It’s almost a relief to hear that there’s humour behind the four-piece’s music. Debut release Ocean is a bleak and atmospheric five-track EP sung in both their native Swedish and English: “It’s dark music, mostly about death, with a lot of post-rock influences.” The Hives, they are not.
Although now based in London, there is a definite “Scandinavian perspective” to Junodef’s music, with the album recorded at the famous Studio Möllan in Malmö and then released on Swedish label Rundgång Rekords. Especially for such a new band, it’s a very polished and confident recording, which is particularly surprising considering how Ocean was made: “Four weeks before the recording, we still only had two songs finished…! But I think we had a well thought out sound that you can hear on the album: there is a nerve to it and we’ve chosen to keep some of the mistakes.”
There seems to be a real spontaneity to Junodef, a sense that they are willing to embrace life as it comes. Take their move from Lund to London: “Of course it has been a big change for us as a band… To rehearse is much more expensive and we’ve had to find new ways to write songs since Rode (synth) is still in Sweden. That is something that we’re still working on.”
But there are clear advantages to the move. London offers a wider range of venues and has a bigger group of regular gig-goers, raising the possibility of more and larger shows. The band seem to be making the most of these new experiences: “One of our most memorable gigs in London was actually at our local pub, The White Hart in Crystal Palace. They don’t really have a stage so we had to play on the floor, but we had fun and the place was packed. During one of our last songs, a bar fight broke out and we had to stop playing. The lights got turned on and they had to kick a guy out (to the sound of us playing Eye of the Tiger…) before we could continue!”
For a band with such a dark sound, this humour and obvious enjoyment of their music is a welcome surprise. Their music might be post-death, but Junodef are a band full of life.
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Cover photo by Daniel Ekenberg