Club 8 was formed in 1995 by Karolina Komstedt (from the band Poprace) and Johan Angergård (Acid House Kings, Poprace). They made simple bedroom recordings of their three first songs and sent them to their ten favourite labels. The response was just as immediate as it was good with half of the labels wanting to release the band. Club 8 chose the Spanish label Siesta where they released their debut single “Me too” later the same year and the debut album “Nouvelle” the year after.
The sound on the debut album was definitely a bit naïve and twee. And as charming as a lot of people found the debut, the follow up “The friend I once had” (1998) felt like a big step forward for the band. Their mix of bossa nova, glittery guitars, shiny pop melodies and small hints of dance music made this album an indie-success. They also debuted as a live act with a performance at CMJ in New York in 1999.
Striving for constant change and improvements Club 8 moved away from the bossa nova influences and direct pop songs of “The friend I once had” with the self-titled follow up. “Club 8” (2001-Parasol/Labrador/Flavour of Sound) was both darker and slower. Still, they managed to expand their audience and had somewhat of a hit with “Love in december”. The only real problem the band had experienced was the fact that recording on limited studio time was a hindrance to their experimental lusts. Late in 2001 Club 8, along with fellow band Acid House Kings, set up their own recording studio – Summersound Studios.
With 24/7 access to a recording studio of their own, Club 8 entered their most creative and productive phase to date, recording the diversified, semi-electronic and slightly experimental, but intensely emotional “Spring came, rain fell” in 2002 (Parasol/Labrador/Dodgie Disc) and the more guitar-based and kept-together follow up “Strangely beautiful” (2003-Parasol/Labrador/Quince). The latter contained the song “Saturday night engine” which was, very accurately described as “a storming (very) Northern soul-inspired track bursting with an excitement that sounded quite out of place in that quiet group’s discography” and a forerunner to Johan’s band The Legends according to Allmusic.
After the release of “Strangely beautiful”, Club 8’s activity slowed down while Johan formed The Legends and released three albums with the band between 2003 and 2006, plus the album “Sing along with Acid House Kings” with Acid House Kings in 2005. During this period Club 8 only did a few minor tours in Asia and Europe.
By the summer of 2006 Club 8 was about to burst with creativity and the urge to start recording again and in September they started recording their 6th album. The result was “The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Dreaming”, an album balancing between sunshine and melancholia. Twelve songs that’ll make you sing along about death while dreaming of summer days.
In the spring of 2009 Club 8 started working on songs for their seventh album. The band had travelled to Brazil for inspiration and bought records made in the 70’s in Western Africa and a new, more rhythmical side of the band started to show in the new songs. The band was also becoming curious about working with a producer. After having read an interview with Jari Haapalainen (Camera Obscura, The Concretes, Ed Harcourt, etc) they decided to ask him. He loved what he heard and the result was “The People’s Record” (released May 2010) which ended up on Under The Radar’s Top10 albums of 2010.
After “The People’s Record” Johan Angergård returned to the producer chair. Over 18 months of recording and another 6 months arguing about the track order, song titles and album title – Club 8 finished their 8th album “Above The City” in 2013. The album was produced in the thirteen year old program Cubase VST 5.0. – with less advanced technology at hand you need to create your sounds in a more ‘hands on’, in-artificial kind of way.
As a prelude to Above the City, Club 8 released a video and song named Kill Kill Kill (January 2013). The video was made in cooperation with Djurens Rätt (Swedish animal rights movement).
– We stole the song title from McCarthy. As much as I love them the topic of ”kill kill kill kill” (yes, we settled with one ”kill” less …) felt really wrong. They were offended by animal right activists caring more about animals than people, which, of course, is not true. I believe most would be happy if animals were treated as animals in opposite to dead, manufactured products. (Johan Angergård).
Club 8 are right now working on their 9th album due to be released in the fall of 2015.