Hailing from Sweden, pop duo Korallreven—Marcus Joons and The Radio Dept.‘s keyboardist Daniel Tjäder—first caught the attention of the indie music scene with their series of beautifully crafted mixtapes: A Dream by Korallreven, Another Dream, and A Dream Within A Dream. In addition to yoking together tracks by Swedish bands such as This is Head and onetime Mickey Mouse Club princess Britney Spears, the band recently released two singles, “Honey Mine” and “As Young as Yesterday,” which both feature a stunning collaboration with Victoria Bergsman (Taken by Trees, The Concretes). Filled with enchanting tropical beats and airy synthpop compositions, their debut LP, An Album by Korallreven, will be available Stateside on November 15 via Acéphale. We sat down with Joons to find out how they got their start.
BULLETT: What did you do before Korallreven?
MARCUS JOONS: I was floating around, trying to find myself and some meaning with this so-called life. I moved here and there in the world, and ended up where I think most people who search for something grander end: with even more confusion. But it’s a lovely confusion. We have to be confused because when you get out and see the world, like really see the world beyond Starbucks, you find out that it’s more endless and beautiful and harder to grasp than you knew.
Why did you and Daniel Tjäder decide to start the band?
Korallreven started in my mind when I was in Samoa in 2007. I got a vision that I told Daniel about one day when we were playing soccer at Långholmen in Stockholm. It was an extremely hot day, maybe 29°C, when I told him that I wanted to make pop songs that were spiritual like the local Samoan Catholic church choirs, hypnotic like the area’s breathtaking tropical nature.
What were your influences on this album?
We didn’t have any major music influences for the album. Nothing more than, Hey, why not combine a psalm with Mexican mariachi and trance?
How would you describe your role in the band?
Even though I can’t play any instruments, I cowrite the songs, come up with lyrics, and sing. I am also the one who comes up with the concepts for the sleeves and the forthcoming video. Daniel is a gifted producer who most often takes my ideas to higher levels that I hardly knew existed. I sing my ideas to him, and he then makes the dreams come true.
How have your extensive travels affected your music?
Hopefully our music doesn’t sound like something that’s been recorded in a studio in Stockholm. I absolutely hate music that doesn’t take you anywhere. I love hyper-realistic movies but not that kind of music.
Have you always wanted to be a musician?
No, and I’m not sure yet. I’ve never ever planned anything like that in my life. It has all just happened. Let’s see how it feels when we have released the album, and have played live.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
You mean something to be ashamed of? I’m sorry but I’m not. Well, okay, I hate that I sometimes hate, because I really hate people who are full of hate.
Can you tell us a secret?
On the Internet? No, I’m actually pretty scared of the Internet.