Synthpop is something of a cottage industry in Sweden, probably in part because of the country’s history as a center for disco production in the 70s and 80s. Think ABBA. Sally Shapiro, Juvelen, Pacific! and Robyn have kept the Swedes on the electro map in recent years with their well-crafted, vocal-oriented synth music. Newcomers Caotico, a trio out of Umeå, do this tradition proud with their ridiculously catchy debut album, Sunrise Confessions.
Caotico is imposingly good electropop, complete with infectious melodies, tight song structures, and crystalline production. The band has drawn comparisons to MGMT and Cut Copy, which are definitely pretty accurate, but if anything Caotico are even more direct and unabashed in referencing the sounds of the 80s. Their songs are built around simple funk guitar, exuberant FM synths, and playful drum machine noodling — tom rolls and double claps galore — that bring to mind bands like Katrina and The Waves, Toto, and The Human League. Listen to “Brains Out,” the lyrically NSFW lead single off Sunrise Confessions featuring former Swedish Idol contestant Tove Styrke, and you’ll see what I mean.
It’s hard to find out much about Caotico, as their internet presence at this point consists mainly of Swedish-language interviews and press photos showcasing their tendency to wear all black, rock man-jewelry, and be confidently androgynous, but this is definitely a band to watch in 2012 and beyond. Caotico’s Sunrise Confessions is out now via Baseline Music.
STREAM: Caotico – “Brains Out (Ft. Tove Styrke)”