In their new album “Northern Lights”, Swedish folk-pop band Leading Edge transmutes the sound influences of 2010s indie folk into a sonic alchemy of pop vocal harmonies, rock-inspired guitar lines, and bluegrass violin elements. With the lyrical introspection of an eternal traveler, the selection produced by Alexander Asp presents a rich palette of instrumental sounds reminiscent of acts like First Aid Kit, The Polyphonic Spree, and Coldplay.
A hopeful tone permeates the album, complementing the author’s inner journeys with a sense of resilience and wonder. “Northern Lights” evokes the experience of witnessing the natural phenomenon that inspires the title: A union of light and untamed strength.
The diversity of instrumental arrangements reflects this sense of constant inner traveling. Tracks like “On Deep Water” venture into acoustic pop landscapes, bringing Coldplay’s early years to mind. On the other hand, the bluesy character of the violin in “A Place in Your Heart” and “In the Arms of Another” reminds of lively stomp & holler à la The Lumineers.
Formed in 2012 by Anna Johannisson (vocals and songwriting), Leading Edge originated as a group of university students in the southern city of Lund. The band’s overall aesthetics carry a subtle influence from the town’s intellectual and open-minded student life.
After recording some demos, Leading Edge participated in the 2015 edition of Emergenza, an international competition for upcoming bands. They made it to the regional finals and were featured on local radio on the occasion of their performance. Their debut EP “It’s Time” was released in 2016.
The band got signed to Rexius Records in 2019 and released the single “Radio Shadow” earlier this year. It has been featured by curators the likes of Slay Sonics and streamed widely in Scandinavia. The band performed their release concert with Malmö’s Indie Choir, an ensemble known for its arrangements of popular pop songs.
Leading Edge released their album “Northern Lights” on April 17th, including a music video for the title song. The album earned them a feature on outlets the likes of Ear To The Ground Music and Gavé2Vibes.