As part of southeastern China, Shanghai is far from the coldest
place in the country but the city's winter is still pretty
unbearable. It rarely snows in Shanghai, but the humidity amplifies
the coldness, chilling citizens to the bone. At such times, it is
best to enjoy a cup of hot coffee or tea in a cozy place while
listening to some good music.
The music should relieve the pressures of work, family or
relationships but it shouldn't be simply sweet and therefore too
shallow to appreciate over and over.
It should contain a little melancholy but this must be well
disguised so it doesn't destroy what little sunshine there is.
"Love in December" by Swedish band Club 8 would fit the bill, with
its perfect balance between sunshine and melancholy.
Although a band, Club 8 has only ever had two members since its
formation in 1995-Karolina Komstedt is on vocals while Johan
Angergard writes, composes and plays all the songs.
After they finish their live performance in Beijing tonight, the
two will fly to Shanghai for a concert tomorrow night at the
exquisite Shanghai Concert Hall.
Categorized as Anorak Pop, the band is heavily influenced by
legendary independent UK label Sarah Recording and such seminal
bands as the Smiths and Portishead. Komstedt's voice, the symbol of
Club 8, is direct but innocent, like that of a teenage girl whose
biggest problem is deciding what to wear. But somehow the
multi-layered emotions make the voice unforgettable - sensitive
like a lady in love, cheerful and more than a little
Although Komstedt's voice has remained the symbol of Club 8, the
band has matured with each of their six albums.
As the title of their debut album, "Nouvelle," indicates, the
sound was brand new, fresh, naive and in places even twee. Komstedt
sings about the various bittersweet moments of her youth with a
naive yet emotionally drenched voice.
After their second album "The Friend I Once Had" in 1999, the
band started mixing different musical genres to create their own.
Their mix of bossa nova, glittery guitar sounds, chilled out pop
melodies and hidden dance beats made that album stand out. They
also made their live debut that year in New York.
The band has intentionally moved away from pop songs since then,
resulting in a much darker and slower third album - "Club 8." Since
then, their albums have become progressively more innovative and
Swedish singer Pelle Carlberg is touring with Club 8 in China.
Inspired by the likes of the Smiths and Lloyd Cole and the
Commotions, Carlberg has been lead singer and songwriter in bands,
but he has also had normal office jobs too.
With sweet melodies and quirky lyrics, his songs are arranged in
a simple, accessible way. His first solo album was released in
Date: January 18, 8:30pm
Venue: Shanghai Concert Hall, 523, Yan'an Road
Admission: 200 yuan pre-sale (US$27.64) and 250
yuan at the door
(Shanghai Daily January 17, 2008)