Swedish troupe Simian Ghost are the intelligent pop brainchild of gifted songwriter Sebastian Arnström. Simian Ghost reflect a change of musical direction and mood for the Swedish musician who also has a background in visual art and production. At first a solo project, Sebastian’s debut album under this moniker, Infinite Traffic Everywhere, was released on Playground Music in Sweden during the winter of 2010 to great enthusiasm and critical acclaim. It topped the critics chart in their home country and was voted record of the year by the readers at Dagensskiva.se. In 2011 Simian Ghost became a full time project, and shortly after the release of this debut, a live trio with Sebastian’s little brother Erik Klinga and his high school friend Mathias Zachrisson joining the band. This trio, tight musically and personally, spent the early part of the year touring Sweden and sharing stages with the likes of Mount Kimbie, SBTRKT and Niki and the Dove amongst others.
2011’s defining moment was to come with the announcement of their first UK release – the seven song EP, entitled Lovelorn – to be issued through the influential independent label Heist Or Hit Records. In the same vein as their debut, the record was written, recorded and produced by Sebastian Arnström: “The initial ambition was to make an EP, consisting exclusively of electronic material”, Sebastian explained, “a collection of songs all conceived in my messy living room, very DIY, even more so than the last record I guess. It’s the kind of stuff I do when I get home from work, or from rehearsal, personal stuff. The song Gently Submissive, for example, has a very soft quality to it, mainly because I recorded it in the middle of the night, and I didn’t want to wake up the neighbours. I really find that nice, when very tangible stuff like that creeps into the music. In the end, it all comes down to the fact that I need to keep myself occupied to avoid full on neurosis”.
This intimate and homespun seven song EP was tentatively sent to a wider audience of journalists and met with a positive response from credible media. The EP’s lead track, “Free Agent”, premiered with arguably the world’s biggest music site, Pitchfork Media, on the week of their key redesign, and then went on to also be deemed Track Of The Day with the likes of Clash, The Line Of Best Fit, Beat and Snipe. This and a subsequent sleuth of pieces with the likes of Artrocker, The Fly and Drowned In Sound left the band in high regard and demand at the turn of the year.
At the start of 2012, Simian Ghost’s momentum continues with them being featured as the year’s first New Band Of The Day with the UK’s biggest broadsheet, The Guardian, and the first new material from their forthcoming second record to be released on January 16th in the form of stylish new single, “Wolf Girl”. This album, titled “Youth”, will be released on March 5th and strengthens their ties further with Heist Or Hit. A combination of the electronic sounds of “Lovelorn” and the more band orientated sounds of the debut, it’s the most accurate reflection of their live sound and ambitions to date. With their first UK dates confirmed from the likes of Ja Ja Ja and White Heat on the horizon and this new album set that is undoubtedly their strongest work to date, Simian Ghost’s 2012 is looking like a breakthrough year for the band