Although Swedish pop group Peter, Björn and John took a five-year hiatus from making music, the band was still hard at work during the break, and returned with the new Breakin' Point.
In those five years, they also created a collective art space called INGRID, formerly home to a studio where one of Sweden's most famous bands recorded.
Yes, that famous Swedish band.
“Sweden is such a small country, and in Stockholm, almost all of the old studios have been used by [ABBA or ABBA teens],” notes Peter, Björn and John founder John Eriksson. “It was more a coincidence that we ended up in the old KMH studios. Some of Sweden’s most famous songs have been recorded here, and when a rumor hit the streets about the space being sold, Björn was 'fast on the ball,' as we say in Sweden. History is such an invaluable thing. And now we try to keep on adding what we can to the history of this space in between recordings of the latest PBJ, Miike Snow and Lykke Li albums."
Other Swedish artists such as Refused and Robyn and the Hives have made new music in the space, "and the ghost of [ABBA] still sings from time to time," Eriksson adds.
That intangible pop pedigree and rubbing shoulders with other notable artists both enriched and helped PBJ focus on their goals for the new record. The result is one of the group's most polished efforts to date.
Fort Collins's Sound of Ceres, PBJ's opening act at the Bluebird tonight, also drew inspiration from a pop group: Apples in Stereo. Apples members Robert Schneider, Ben Phelan and John Ferguson were featured in Sound of Ceres's 2016 album Nostalgia for Infinity.
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Apples in Stereo is also how PBJ and Sound of Ceres connected.
“Ben Phelan and John Ferguson, our Apples in Stereo members, are big fans of a Swedish indie pop band called Eggstone,” reveals Karen Hover of Sound of Ceres. “They introduced me to Per Sunding [of Eggstone] and his music last year. Since then, Per and I have done a duet in an Apples side project. Per produced the Gimme Some album by Peter, Björn and John, released in 2011, and connects with them musically. It's strange how small the music world seems to be once you’re inside."
Sound of Ceres will soon relocate to New York, but more on that later. Catch the band's tender dream pop along with Peter, Björn and John tonight.
Peter, Björn and John with Sound of Ceres, Wednesday June 29, 8 p.m., The Bluebird Theater, 303-377-1666, $25, 16+.