Peter Bjorn & John

There's absolutely nothing complicated about Peter Bjorn & John. Comprised of three guys named — you guessed it — Peter, Bjorn and John, the Swedes wear this simplicity on their sleeves. That sort of unself-conscious, and very Nordic, unfussiness carries over to beautiful effect in their music. This simplicity does not equate to a dearth of sonic complexity, but simply means that nothing, not a piano line or a vocal harmony, is overthought; nothing feels extraneous, contrived or extravagant. Rather, PB&J employ an economy of sound that leaves all of their music with a lingering feeling of perfection, like it was lovingly and painstakingly handwrought with an old, well-used jigsaw. Disarmingly simple as it may be, the trio's music hop-scotches across a half-dozen styles with the ease and fluidity of a fog bank rolling across a fjord. Offerings range from the chamber-pop-tinted vocals and power-pop guitars of "Far Away, By My Side," to the shoe-gaze haze mixed with indie-kid booty beats of last year's smash hit "Young Folks," to the infectious electro-­melancholia of "Amsterdam." Covering such a wide range with such focused intent is a difficult task; Peter Bjorn & John make it look easy.


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