Simian Ghost


Written by Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by Weronika Bela
19 Monday 19th March 2012

When Lovelorn, their first internationally distributed release, came out to generally rapturous praise from the likes of Pitchfork, Drowned In Sound and The Line of Best Fit, they seemed easy to pigeonhole as another great-sounding but hardly revolutionary chillwave act. None of us expected their second full-length record Youth (out now on Heist or Hit Records) to come out sounding as boldly instrumental and organic as it does, though. We catch up with Simian Ghost’s brainchild Sebastian to talk about the Swedish scene, transitioning from a solo to band project, and er, English mayonnaise.

Free agent by Simian Ghost

Let's go back in time first: when and how did you get the other two members involved with Simian Ghost?

They joined me in playing live right from the start. I've worked with Erik and Mathias for a long time in various small projects and we've been kind of searching for something "real" to do together, so the transition from me being a solo artist into us being a band came very naturally.

So you see Simian Ghost primarily as a three-piece, now that your sound has really expanded to account for a full band since the Lovelorn EP?

Yes, we are a band now. Youth was written in a very democratic fashion by all three of us and we plan to continue making music together as Simian Ghost.

Curtain Call by Simian Ghost

The EP and singles have done really well internationally so far. When did you first feel like you wanted to break out beyond the Swedish scene?

We're super happy that they've gotten so much attention, it's overwhelming really. I think we've always wanted to break out beyond the Swedish scene. I've never felt a very strong connection to it.

Which other bands or singers were you listening to when you put the album together (if any)?

We listen to so much music. But when we recorded this album we listened to a lot of M83, Avi Buffalo, The Flaming Lips, Panda Bear and as always; Beach Boys.


And who've you been playing recently?

I've listened a lot to Jamie XX recently. I love his music, it's near perfection. I've also been listening to a lot of Real Estate and Wild Nothing.

We can see that you're about to head over to the UK for your first shows, in April. What are you most looking forward to?

We've never been to the UK before, so it all feels exciting! There was this guy in Skellefteå who really hyped up your mayonnaise, so I'm psyched to try that [Ed - Fair cop, we do mix oil and egg yolk like nobody's business]. That and of course to hang out with all the nice people we work with!

Head to the band's website for more info on their upcoming April UK tour, and here to grab the new album on iTunes.

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