Formed in 1995, Club 8 became one of the pillars of Sweden's pop scene with a string of melodic, eclectic albums.
Members Karolina Komstedt and Johan Angergård had previously worked together in the band Poprace, and their new group -- which began as a recording project before growing into a full-fledged touring band -- explored everything from bossa nova to trip-hop. Pop always remained at the center of Club 8's sound, though, and Angergård made additional contributions to Swedish music by helping run a respected indie label, Labrador Records, and logging time in several different bands.
Komstedt and Angergård recorded their first three songs in 1995. After fielding offers from several labels, the two decided to partner with Siesta, a Spanish label, for the release of their debut single, "Me Too." A full-length album, Nouvelle, followed in 1996. Both releases sported an animated twee pop sound, but the band's second album -- 1998’s The Friend I Once Had -- found Club 8 stretching their wings by incorporating elements of dance music. One year later, the musicians headed overseas to make their live debut at the CMJ Festival in New York, which spread Club 8's music to a new continent.
Now releasing albums on an international level (and touring in support of them, too), Club 8 continued tinkering with different influences throughout the early 2000s. A self-titled album appeared in 2001 and earned comparisons to Portishead's work, while 2002's Spring Came, Rain Fell was even more experimental and electronic, due in no small part to the construction of the band's own recording studio. After releasing Strangely Beautiful in 2003, Club 8 took a small break as Angergård turned his attention to a new solo project, the Legends, and working with Acid House Kings, a band that featured former Poprace member Joakim Ödlund as well as Johan's brother Niklas Angergård.
Eventually returning to the Club 8 fold, he and Komstedt recorded their sixth album, The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming, and released it during the autumn of 2007. After taking another break (during which they absorbed the musical cultures of Brazil and West Africa), the duo recorded its seventh album, The People's Record, in 2009. Released in May of 2010, the record marked the first time Club 8 worked with an outside producer (Jari Haapalainen). For their next album, 2013's Above the City, Angergård was once again in the producer's chair. Using purposefully outdated recording technology and trying out some new styles, the album was their most varied and sonically interesting outing to date. Angergård remained busy in the next few years, to the point of releasing two albums in 2015 (Eternal Death's self-titled debut and the Legends' It's Love). Later that same year, Club 8's ninth album, Pleasure, was released. Before recording Angergård wrote 30 songs; he and Komstedt then chose eight to record in synth-heavy, Euro-disco-influenced fashion. Angergård spent the next couple years working on another Legends album, Nightshift, and a dance pop collaboration with vocalist Rose Suau under the name Djustin. Both albums came out in 2017, by which time Club 8 were beginning work on another album and another change in musical direction. 2018's Golden Island is built around vintage synthesizers, field recordings, and samples, placing Komstedt's vocals in sparse, sometimes haunting surroundings while sounding like nothing the duo has previously released. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi