In 2017, musicians Martin Nilsson and Felix Mårtensson from Swedish noir punk band RA entered a Stockholm recording studio along with Johan T Karlsson (Familjen) to have a go at recording a few tracks that explored a more electronic, groove-influenced sound than their previous music. Those tracks would later form the core of the duo's iconic 2019 debut album, Split Visions, released under their new musical moniker of Need For Speed. Matin and Felix returned to Malmö and worked with producer Joakim Lindberg in his studio Sickan to craft more tracks in a similar electronic style.
I was instantly captivated by the music of Need For Speed at my first listen to "c/o" (i.e., "in care of"), the duo's 2018 debut single which featured droning, echoing vocals immersed in a bold synth soundscape, reminiscent of late-80's Depeche Mode.
Fast forward to late-February 2022 and "Happy Thoughts," the first taste of new music from Need For Speed since their November 2019 debut album. We now see a duo that's shedding boundaries and rules, and putting themselves out in the open. Melodic, analog-sounding synthesizers, a pronounced bassline and steady, pulsing beats engage the listener right out of the gate. At its core, "Happy Thoughts" is dark, indie/electronic with a healthy dose of RnB, resulting in a delicately groovy soundscape elevated by chill, ultra-smooth vocals.
"Last summer we got stuck in some kind of boat psychosis," the duo comments. "Unable to share with each other but best friends as we are, we got one each. Some of the songs that will be released in the future were recorded on these boats. We have always had a desire to be able to write about something else than unhappy love, but it seems impossible."
Keep an ear out for more new music from Need For Speed and check out their brilliant debut album, Split Visions, if you haven't already. For more information about Need For Speed, follow them on social media (Facebook, Instagram), visit their label Adrian Recordings, and listen to their music on Bandcamp and Spotify.