Swedish indie band Westkust makes music that’s layered with euphoric pop arrangements built around a noisy shoegaze density — they construct this defiantly catchy melodic foundation through loud and rollicking rhythms coated in a vivid pop exhilaration. Blending a certain musical weight with sugary melodies, they concoct a compelling roar that’s equal parts amplitude and persuasion. Their work is dreamy and often vague, a collection of half-remembered experiences that have been swirling around in their collective consciousness for years.
It’s been a few years since we last heard from the band, going all the way back to 2015’s “Last Forever.” We now know that their new self-titled record will be released on March 1 via Run for Cover/Luxury. But a lot of things have changed for the band in the lead up to the album’s debut. Three band members (two of which they shared with fellow Gothenburg band and label-mates Makthaverskan) departed the band, leaving the remaining musicians with the task of reordering and continuing on. Vocalist Julia Bjernelind took up guitar duties alongside guitarist Brian Cukrowski and drummer Philip Söderlind while Pär Karlsson joined as the band’s bassist. This new configuration allowed the band to experiment with their sound, discovering new ways to approach and adapt the sounds for which the band has become known.
The band recently shared the lead single, “Swebeach,” from their forthcoming release, and it’s a brief but ferocious jolt of rock electricity which happily traces the details of your nervous system, sending shivers to every corner of your body. Guitars pummel and recede, and pummel again. This cacophony is help together through the sheer force of the song’s remarkable melody, a memorable bit of pop carnage that balances the squall with a surprisingly reflective narration. The band is acutely aware of how all this could have fallen into disarray, but they manage to keep all the parts moving together, resulting in a raucous and ramshackle clockwork scorcher.