A Cocktail of Pop Contrasts
Day Felice crafts a memory of destruction and rebirth in “Ashes”, the band’s second album. Therapeutic confessions and politics coexist with a mix of Romanticism and alt-rock, in a concept that frontman David Lindström describes as “contrast pop”. The lyrics were partly inspired by his difficult experiences as an actor (HBO’s “Vikings”).
“Ashes” is the story of a “hedonistic hamster wheel”, as Lindström puts it: A desire that never ends through satisfaction, only through detachment. But the lyrics don’t tell a linear story with a clear narrator. Sometimes we meet collective social media anxiousness (“Are We Ever”), an ambiguous suicide note with Shakesperian tones (“Lights Out”), or a leftist’s identity crisis (“On Reality”).
A romantic view of endings as a beautiful form of comfort finds echoes throughout the album. There’s beauty in climate apocalypse if we have a liberating final dance (“Summer”). Closure can sometimes involve a hopeful resurrection (“Ozymandias”). “Letting go of things that make you feel safe, but that you can’t trust: Self-harm, destructive relationships, money, and prestige”, in Lindström’s words.
Day Felice has been earning local clout since 2020, building up to the release of “Ashes”. Their music was featured on Sveriges Radio and reviewed by Swedish blog Popmuzik as “The best to come from Gothenburg in a long time”.
While Lindström first became known through his screen roles (HBO’s “Vikings”, “Blå Ögon”), music has been his central means of expression. He launched his solo career under Gothenburg- based Rexius Records in 2019. Four rock musicians from the cultural scene of Gothenburg joined him in 2020 to form Day Felice in its current format.
The band released “Are We Ever” in the fall of 2020, their first single in their current line-up. “Ashes” will be available on May 14th.
A romantic theatricality permeates Day Felice’s chamber/art pop, a Swedish band founded by singer-songwriter and actor David Lindström. Their multi-layered lyrics can remind you of Rufus Wainwright; but their love for colorful, cinematic emotional contrasts reveals a wide range of influences stretching from last century’s iconic singer-songwriters to 2000s piano rock (Coldplay, Muse).
Lindström is one of those personalities where art precedes the medium. Born in Borås to a writer father, his exposure to the public eye has been established through acting. After kick-starting his career in Sweden through an appearance in “Blå Ögon” (2014), he got a role as Sigurd on HBO’s “Vikings” (2016).
The Gothenburg-based quintet was conceived in 2018, soon after Lindström got signed to Rexius Records. He had been training as a pianist since childhood and participating in various ensembles, but his initial releases with the label in 2019 presented him as a solo artist. His debut single “Autumn” earned him a feature on prominent Swedish blog Popmuzik and a warm reception among European audiences.
The band’s future pianist happened to be his roommate. Along came the other members of the ensemble, all of them based in one of Sweden’s most musically rich cities. They’ve been performing together since 2019, but their single “Are We Ever” (2020) was their first official release as a band.
The years of Lindström’s piano training are still very present in their songs, characterized by a great emphasis on theatrical arrangements and jazzy (at times almost classical) harmony. But however intricate this instrumental approach might sound, it’s balanced with simple, memorable melodies. A lyrical combination of youthful energy with adult cynicism sets Day Felice apart from similar pop acts.
Their second album “Ashes” was released on May 14th, 2021.