Ladies and Gentlemen, Korallreven

March 5th, 2012

Korallreven – The Bowery Ballroom – March 4, 2012

Korallreven made its U.S. debut last night at The Bowery Ballroom, bringing its electro-dream pop all the way from Sweden. Comprised of founding members Marcus Joons, on vocals, and Daniel Tjäder, manning the keyboards and various electronic components, the group performed as a trio last night, with Tjäder’s brother Niklas adding live guitars and drums to the lush mix.

The stage was a study in black and white, with video images of flying flocks of birds and beaches and palm trees overlaid with geometric shapes and patterns projected onto the members (who were also sharply dressed in simple blacks, whites and grays). Mirroring their subdued color palate, the members of Korallreven performed with modesty, nodding their heads slightly to the beat and occasionally letting loose with a bit—just a bit—of swaying along to the music. Despite the restrained personas, the band was evidently very pleased to be performing in the U.S. “It’s like…unreal,” commented Joons between songs.

Koralleven’s set showcased different facets of sound, from lounge-y, mellow songs like “The Truest Faith” and  “Shine On,” where the live vocals blended seamlessly with the samples and synth melodies played by Tjäder, to new song “This Time” with its aggressive, driving beat, a departure of sorts, hinting more toward the sound of fellow Swedish countrymen the Knife. Perhaps beneath the calm and polite demeanor and delicate, hazy pop, Korallreven really just want to go wild and ignite the dance floor. Judging by all the smiling, dancing people in the crowd, the band is welcome back anytime to do just that. —Alena Kastin