It’s funny how you sometimes start playing to death an album you haven’t been bothered to play for years. Sometimes it’s a whole day playing Miles Davis. Sometimes it’s adding a Swell album to your playlist, just because you’re in the mood for it.
I was putting together a mixtape for someone – even though it’s on CD – and in a flash of inspiration I found out my not-played-in-years ‘Isola‘ by Kent, and a couple of tracks from that album went into the mix.
A couple of days later I was helping The Saving Grace get some acoustic demo’s recorded in Rob’s front room(I have the spare mics, pre-amps, and I know how to fly Ableton Live. And I appreciate any free beer you’ve got going) and I bought the Kent CD along because I thought it might be the singer’s ‘Bag’. It was. We all decided it couldn’t be more his bag than if it was a bag with ‘This is Paul’s bag’ written on the side. When I got home, I played the CD all the way through for the first time in about 8 years.
2 weeks later, I have bought a new Kent album, an EP, and about a quarter of their collected B-sides album. Looking at the play counts in iTunes, I have played the album ‘Du Och Jag Döden‘ about 25 times. And this album is sung in Swedish, and I understand absolutely no Swedish at all. I don’t even know what the band look like and I don’t care.
I’m not sure how you’d describe their sound, but I know how I’d describe it: If you took a fair bit of Bends-era Radiohead, added a little Sigur Ros, and mixed in a load of how you think Muse might sound not having really heard them, then add a little ‘Achtung Baby’. Pour into ears in great volume. That is roughly how they sound.
Kent are probably the biggest band in Sweden – and they’re pretty large in the rest of Scandinavia, too. They tried to break the US market with Isola – they even re-recorded the vocals in English – but they weren’t interested. After the following album they stopped releasing English versions. This is a shame, because I think they’d be a lot bigger if UK or US started listening to them. But they’re not going to, are they? They don’t sing in English.