As the world becomes more and more enamored with hip-hop and trap music of all kinds, the idea of what is “pop” is changing, and in many ways, being pushed out of the top 40, which it once dominated. Pure pop acts are either adapting to fit the times, or they’re holding true to who they are, making music for their fans and letting the charts be damned!
One such act that has just made a big comeback to the world of pop is Alphabeat, a beloved group from Denmark that had a string of European hits in the early part of the decade. The band, which just released “Shadows,” their first single in years, took some time off to relax and for some of its members to explore solo endeavors, and now that they’re back, it’s clear they are interested in creating the same wonderful pop music that made them favorites overseas and for those who are truly in the know when it comes to underground pop.
spoke with Anders SG, one of the members of Alpahbeat, about the new tunes and why they decided now was the best time to return and gift the world some much-needed pop music.
Congrats on the new single! So good to have you back! What makes this the right time to return?
Anders SG: Thanks! We are really happy to be back. The timing is a matter of gut feeling, really. We sincerely feel like making music together again and missed creating stuff together. That’s what a good break can do for you. Feels like we got our mojo back as a band!
What has the reaction been from fans regarding the new song?
Anders SG: We’re pretty overwhelmed by all the love and excitement we received from old and new fans. We had no idea what to expect and were mainly hoping that the Danish fans would pick up on it. But the international fans were even quicker and people from more than 10 different countries around the globe have been commenting and supporting us.
Did you feel any pressure writing and recording new Alphabeat music after so long, knowing there was huge anticipation among fans?
Anders SG: It’s very flattering that fans have been asking so much for new material, so there is definitely some pressure, but at the same time, we can only write the songs that want to be written, if that makes any sense. Right now, we make the music that comes to us naturally and easily. Some people are into the electronic sound on “The Beat Is,” and some like the more band-y sound like “This Is Alphabeat,” but we have a slight naive approach to making the new songs: if we think a song is good and we “feel” it, that is what matters the most.
What makes this era of Alphabeat different?
Anders SG: It totally feels like a new era! We are back in our bellies and out of our brains, if that makes sense. At the same time, we are more conscious about when we are at our very best, because we all had time to think it over. We are a pop band, which is rare. Everyone contributes and feels proud of the results. Alphabeat is only Alphabeat because of the six people in it and the energy that happens between us on a stage. We are very focused on getting that vibe into all the new songs.
Did everyone in the group get to explore solo pursuits and come back refreshed, or will more solo music emerge at some point?
Anders SG: More solo stuff could easily happen at some point, but right now that feels pretty distant. Being a collective feels so good. We’ll make at least one album together, and probably more.
Pop music has changed a lot in the years since Alphabeat went on hiatus--will the new material sound like older albums, or like something completely different?
Anders SG: We have tried to do what feels natural to us and work as much as a band as possible. We have never worried too much about matching a current sound, we just try to write as good songs as possible and play good shows. We have definitely developed in terms of lyrics and we feel like we have new stuff to say, but sound-wise, it feels a bit like coming home.
The group played its first show in a long time in the U.S. at SXSW--any more plans for a tour?
Anders SG: We are working on setting up shows outside Denmark. We would love to go play tours in America and U.K. People need to stay close to keep updated!
What does the rest of 2019 bring for Alphabeat?
Anders SG: We are spending a lot of time in the studio trying to finish the album and rehearsing to get in shape for playing live.
Who are some other pop acts you guys are loving right now?
Anders SG: Jonas Brothers, Harry Styles, Kacey Musgraves, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Mark Ronson, Labyrinth.