Band of the Week: The Charade

Music Features
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Above, left to right: Mikael Matsson, Ingela Matsson, and Magnus Karlsson

Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden
Members: Magnus Karlsson (guitar, backing vocals), Mikael Matsson (keyboards, bass, programming), Ingela Matsson (vocals)
Fun Fact: All three members played in different bands before the Charade - Magnus was a member of Swedish pop pioneer band Happydeadmen, and Mikael and Ingela were in the Shermans (where they met and married).
Why They're Worth Watching: The Charade has polished its sound with sophomore release A Real Life Drama. Influenced by ’60s pop, their music is unique while seeming vaguely familiar.
For Fans Of: Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura, The Cardigans

It seems like there’s a new shiny pop group coming out of Sweden every day, though few are as memorable as the Charade. "It's actually a golden age for music in Sweden and we're living right in it," says Magnus Karlsson, guitarist for the Stockholm trio. "Every musical niche is filled with loads of bands."

The Charade, formed through a shared love of indie pop and harmony-filled 60s music, differentiates itself from the Scandinavian masses with its second release A Real Life Drama. Filled with sunny, feel-good melodies, the record also boasts what one prominent Swedish journalist called the best Swedish World Cup song, "Dressed in Yellow and Blue."

There’s a prominent Beach Boys influence on songs like "My Song To You," which Karlsson says was intentional. "We wanted the sound to be more mature and the influences to be easily traced," he says. "We learned from our mistakes [on 2005's The Best Is Yet To Come], and we have found our musical perfection. That's why we named our first album The Best Is Yet To Come, because we knew the second album would be better."

The Charade has fine-tuned its lightly sweet pop sound, avoiding an over-the-top saccharine feel. "We try to sound like we are the sum of the best pop music from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, taking the best pieces and stirring it around," says Karlsson. "In the end, it's the Charade."

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