7 Important Tracks From Swedish Home Mafia’s ‘Paradise Once more’: Editor’s Picks


It exists. Twelve years after Swedish Home Mafia launched their debut single, 2010’s “One,” the archetypal EDM-era supertrio has dropped their long-awaited, hotly anticipated, much-debated debut album, Paradise Once more.

Out immediately (April 15) by way of Republic Information, the album is the cornerstone of the group’s prolonged comeback, which launched final July with the primary two new Swedish Home Mafia singles in 9 years. Billboard was with the group of their native Stockholm final summer time whereas the trio — Steve Angello, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso — have been making preparations for this return, which together with the album will ship a one-two-punch this Sunday when the group closes out Coachella’s mainstage throughout a co-headlining set with The Weeknd.



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Dropping Paradise Once more two days forward of their Coachella present — the group’s first U.S. set since 2018, after they launched a cease/begin comeback after a 5 12 months hiatus — is actually a comeback energy transfer. That stated, it’s one which additionally provides followers on the pageant little time to totally familiarize themselves with Paradise Once more’s 17 songs —  although that quantity additionally consists of the beforehand launched singles “Redlight,” “Lifetime,” “It Will get Higher” and “Moth To a Flame.” The latter, a glossy, sexed-up collaboration with The Weeknd, is at present clocking its twenty fourth week on Dance/Digital Songs, and is the glue that legitimizes a co-headlining present with the 2 acts.

Each, after all, additionally occur to be helmed by celebrity supervisor Sal Slaiby, who delivered two of his largest artists to the apex of the Coachella lineup after Ye dropped out out of the Sunday night time slot final minute. Whereas Swedish Home Mafia — who headlined the fest months earlier than saying their breakup in 2012 — had beforehand been floating on the backside of the lineup poster in massive font unattached to a day or hierarchical place, theoretically pageant organizers felt that pairing the group with one of many hottest pop stars in fashionable music as headliners would appease each SHM’s longtime followers, and youthful demographics who could at this level be extra conversant in The Weeknd.

This pairing additionally speaks to one of many important questions Paradise Once more exists to reply: Is Swedish Home Mafia a nostalgia act, interesting to a now-elder(ish) era current for the trio’s first ecstatic confetti-blasting go-round a decade in the past. Or can the group — who created the mildew for EDM, and served as one of many style’s most profitable acts regardless of breaking apart on the peak of their fame — evolve together with the dance scene whereas additionally persevering with to themselves evolve it?

“It was identical to, ‘What the f–ok will we do? How will we come again? Will we simply give them one other [version of] what we’ve performed earlier than?’” Ingrosso informed Billboard final summer time regarding the group evolving its sound. “I used to be like, ‘F–ok that; it’s miserable to return. It’s disgusting to return.’ ”

On Paradise Once more, they certainly sidestep returning to the sound that made them well-known, buying and selling their signature massive room, maximalist bangers for songs of a subtler, extra mature, however nonetheless extraordinarily danceable selection.

Many could discover it onerous to imagine that greater than a decade into their tenure, the group hasn’t really but launched an album. It’s true: Whereas 2012’s Till Now was marketed as an album, it functioned basically a mixtape constructed to deal with SHM’s massive singles, together with singles from different dance artists as padding. The dance scene in that period actually didn’t demand LPs, as there was no purpose (or realistically, time) to do one when you possibly can tour the world a number of instances over with six songs. However whereas Paradise Once more is a big gamble within the sense that it finds the group embracing a completely new sound, nicely after the dance scene has moved on from the sound Swedish Home Mafia pioneered, it successfully shores up and expands their inventive legacy in a manner {that a} very of-the-era traditional just like the 2012’s “Greyhound” could not. Whereas Swedish Home Mafia was additionally well-known for his or her reside reveals, Paradise Once more nimbly demonstrates that the group doesn’t require pyro and lasers to justify their rightful place as dance world leaders.

Within the massive image, Paradise Once more accomplishes two key feats: With its 17 tracks, it practically quadruples the variety of songs within the Swedish Home Mafia catalog, which beforehand held simply six tracks. The brand new LP additionally completely sloughs off the bombastic, hooky, drop-heavy EDM sound that these earlier six singles so powerfully embodied, buying and selling the partitions of synth and singalong energy choruses of hits like “Don’t You Fear Baby” for music delving deeper into and farther throughout each sounds and sub-genres like ambient, home, hip-hop and disco. The exploration parallels the album’s foray deeper into the inner realities of three guys who — like all of us — are older and wiser now than after they began.

After all, fundamental stage artists consciously evolving past EDM isn’t a brand new phenomenon. Calvin Harris did it successfully on Funk Wav Bounce Vol. 1. The posthumous Avicii album, 2019’s Tim, featured smaller, tighter productions than mega-hits like “Ranges” or “Wake Me Up.” Hardwell debuted his new sound, a form of supercharged mainstage techno, final month at Extremely Music Pageant in Miami. As home and techno have turn out to be the pre-eminent sounds in mainstream dance music over the past half-decade, going again not solely would have been certainly been “miserable” and “disgusting,” however out of sync with present traits.

To not say that Paradise Once more is especially fashionable: The album incorporates not one of the milquetoast home or paint-by-numbers techno at present prevalent within the scene. As an alternative, the album looks like Axwell, Ingrosso and Angello are absolutely flexing into their pursuits and influences — home (and particularly gospel home), hip-hop, ambient, techno, IDM — and getting as bizarre and experimental as they need to be, and maybe weirder and extra experimental than the constructions of EDM allowed throughout their preliminary foray. If there’s a unifying ethos on the album, it’s considered one of meticulousness. Swedish Home Mafia are famously perfectionistic, which Ingrosso famous “kills us additionally generally. However for us, it must be a sure manner. And that’s why it takes time.”

Greater than a decade after their takeover of the dance scene, the depth and subtlety of Paradise Once more displays that the time taken was value it. Listed here are our picks for seven of probably the most important tracks on Paradise Once more.

“Time” (feat. Mapei)

The primary voice heard on the album is that of Swedish vocalist Mapei, who — maybe in a nod to how lengthy this album took to make — declares in wealthy baritone that it “takes time to heal, takes time to know the place your coronary heart is at, takes time to be actual.” The manufacturing right here is alternatingly spare and plush IDM, not so removed from a number of the 4 Tet/Jamie xx oeuvre. And the drop right here really works in reverse, with the track shrinking in dimension in the identical place the place earlier SHM tracks exploded into complete frenzies.


The album’s most ominous monitor consists primarily of a buzzsaw synth and a horn performed at ominous pitch earlier than a kickdrum enters, and the monitor then pivots right into a hip-hop manufacturing — a nod to Angello’s longstanding love of the style — earlier than ending in doomy cacophony. “You all the time need individuals to love your music, in any other case you wouldn’t play it to them,” Ingrosso informed Billboard final summer time. “However the imaginative and prescient of the album, for me, it’s not likely essential if it sells 400 million [copies] or 10.” Actually Paradise Once more will transfer items nicely above this base quantity, however Ingrosso’s sentiment — talking to them simply doing no matter fits their imaginative and prescient and makes them joyful — is emphasised with “Mafia” and some of the opposite extra experimental album tracks prefer it.

“Frankenstein” (feat. A$AP Rocky)

It’s alive! This long-buzzed-about collaboration between SHM and A$AP Rocky — which was road-tested throughout SHM’s 2019 tour and is the topic of lengthy and speculative Reddit threads — comes into full existence by way of plodding bass, excessive hats, a persistent whistle and thunder clashes. An-out-of nowhere BPM spike launches an particularly animated second half, throughout which A$AP Rocky’s flows about being “within the mosh pit, becoming to f–ok up s–t” hit with significantly uncooked energy.

“Don’t Go Mad” Feat. Seinabo Sey

SHM’s tackle disco additionally delivers severe Daft Punk, by way of sinewy chrome synths and plush vocals from Swedish singer Seinabo Sey. Once more, this track shrinks within the spot the place the drop would formally be, making house for vocals after which a darkly pulsing synth, which will get progressively quicker because it motors the peak-time anthem to its hypnotic apex.

“Calling On”

This album’s deep embrace of gospel home reveals up once more with “Calling On” a darkly euphoric swirl constructed round a wealthy vocal pattern from late gospel nice Cassietta George’s 1967 recording of “Within the Backyard.” “I come to the backyard alone,” George sings whereas sirens rise dramatically round her in a peak that may doubtless turn out to be an ordinary singalong second as followers get extra acquainted with these songs.


Lastly, a Swedish Home Mafia monitor for the after hours. This pulsing downtempo “House” bumps together with one piano chord, low-key scintillating percussion and a wailing vocal pattern that aches with emotion. Like “Mafia,” this one isn’t the obvious or hooky track on the album, but it surely’s considered one of its most refined and complex, and total greatest.

“For You”

Whereas SHM beforehand orchestrated emotional oomph with massive fist-pump melodies about heaven’s plan for you, Paradise Once more‘s closing monitor tear-jerks with higher nuance, by way of spare piano chords paired with solo voices, an exultant gospel choir chanting “for you!” and more and more effervescent productions that altogether swell, so much just like the lump in your throat as this one hits that sentimental candy spot. The group says it wrote this one for the followers — and whereas the lyrics don’t say it outright, there’s a message in regards to the passage of time right here. Vivid, loud and sometimes relentlessly optimistic, there was a naïveté to EDM in its insistence on everybody placing their f–king fingers as much as have an excellent time, whereas not often acknowledging the usually extra painful realities of every day existence that the EDM scene served as an escape from. That angle is jettisoned on this one, with peak feelings right here additionally tinged with melancholy in a nod to the dichotomy of life, the maturity of the group, their sound, their followers and of the dance scene itself.


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