Capturing an honest feeling of nostalgia in one’s music is never a simple task. Not only does it take extensive knowledge and experience in the time period, but also an ability to make the style approachable for today’s modern scene. To do it successfully, the artist must seamlessly blend the defining characteristics of the older era with a more familiar and explosive energy that connects with this generation’s taste.
Lucky for us, newcomers Tundran have been able to just this with the release of two singles that beautifully capture the funky and emotional swagger of the ’70s and ’80s. Members Jakob and Felix hail from Gothenburg, Sweden, where their productions managed to quickly impress none other than Avicii and his team at At Night Management. They were signed onto his label and given the platform to have their work heard by a worldwide audience. Just four days ago, the two released “Still Afraid,” a vocal-centered swayer created almost entirely with live instruments that they bring along on the road to perform with.
In celebration of their introduction to the dance community and inclusion on Avicii’s label, we sat down with Jakob and Felix to discuss their history, the story behind their moniker and their influences. They even crafted an exclusive Spotify playlist for you, our readers, to play out and get to know the men behind the name. Read and listen below.
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Let’s start from the beginning. Tell us about yourselves, how you met, and the moment you decided to pursue music together.
Felix: We’re just two guys from Gothenburg who share a mutual love for lots of different music. We first met in junior high school through mutual friends and started writing songs in Jakob’s pool house. All we had then was a cheap acoustic guitar and an old cassette recorder. It’s not until relatively recently that we actually decided to give music a try properly.
How did you come up with your name? It definitely stands out!
Jakob: We had a hard time coming up with a name. Everything we tried sounded pretty lame. We decided to just go with something and let the music do the talking. Just realized when I answered this question that it still sounds pretty lame though… (laughs).
How did you first get noticed by Avicii and his team, any plans on a collaborative effort in the future?
Felix: A very good friend of ours worked at At Night Management and he showed them some of our tracks that they liked. It all kind of went from there. We are definitely open for any type of collaborations; it feels like a natural step for us and the team at PRMD are super behind what we want to achieve.
Your sound is very unique, how would you describe it? Do you draw inspiration from any “mainstream” dance music artists?
Jakob: It’s a mixture of everything we like. We try to blend both old and new influences. We’ve spent a lot of time emulating the sound of old tracks from the 70’s and 80’s that we love. There’s also something about some modern pop/dance arrangements that really inspire us!
What should we expect as far as live shows are concerned?
Felix: We both have a background in playing instruments and we´re super exited to get the show on the road. We’re working on some sort of live setup right now that could work for us. It’s really a question of stripping down the songs to the core and then to build them up again for it to work in a live environment. We’ve done a few shows here in Sweden just to test the temperature but hopefully we will be taking this international soon.
Tell us about “Still Afraid” and “Last Drive.” What brought about this double release and what do these songs mean to you?
Jakob: Still Afraid is the first song we wrote for the Tundran project, so that one will always be special to us. ‘Last Drive’ is us experimenting with different grooves and tempo all together, but still trying to make it our own.