Everyone needs some good old dance music now and then. And yes, the music industry is teeming every day with artists attempting to tap into this insatiable desire in audiences. More often than not, most of this content seems factory-made, with each song blending into the next. While it may be good for a temporary romp on the dance floor, it ultimately has very little lasting value. Savvy fans of the genre, though, will look beyond the more obvious streams and discover a plethora of unique, fun, and eccentric dance music, including that of the Swedish group Diskopunk.
The five-piece band from Stockholm only debuted this year, but they already have a few of singles under their belt that suggest a bright future. The group is made up of Antonio America, Joakim Rydén, Harald Forsmark, William Collins, and Henrik Ulvenäs. Their three singles thus far reflect a band with a seemingly fully realized sound, and one that has already been remixed by multiple producers. One could easily guess that they have been performing together for several years.
The song “Antonio America” starts with a standard disco feel and a typical story of coming into one’s own. DIskopunk puts their stamp on the theme, though, with original lyrics and effective variations in energy throughout. They write, “Losing grip is such a human thing / I wear my fuck-ups like a diamond ring.” It’s a life lesson that is familiar to most of us, and they reinforce it with the repeating line, “I’m dirty and I’m free,” tapping into the punk spirit.
The song “Fire” offers another typical subject with a Diskopunk twist. This time, the narrator is thrown head over heels for a lover. The tempo here is almost identical to “Antonio America,” and Diskopunk will have to be careful that their songs don’t all sound too similar, but “Fire” definitely offers something new. The pulsing keys and drums build up gradually to the chorus where they sing, “When I saw you, a fire started in my heart / I looked at you again / yeah you burned from the start.” The band keeps things unpredictable with variations in the different verses so the track maintains our interest.
“Motivation” has a slightly slower tempo and has an 80s vibe, complete with a quote of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The song represents an apparent trend in Diskopunk’s writing of containing occasional lyrics with shock value. There was the “fuck-ups” line in “Antonio America” and here, in a song about the banalities of human nature, they write the line, “Poke at Jesus with a stick / if he doesn’t answer you’ll know that he’s a dick.” They quickly diffuse any offense, though, with the follow up: “Oh we’re having so much fun.” The song reaches its central point in the chorus when they write, “You can’t lose, you can’t win, ‘cause you’re not fighting / but you still think… you are winning.” It’s another original take on a classic theme as they suggest that we should all fight for what we believe.
Between the conscious, provocative lyrics, the pumping, glittery production, and the clever songwriting, Diskopunk has certainly hit the ground running in their debut year. The band will have to avoid falling into too rigid a formula with their music, but the character exhibited in the three singles so far suggest their sound will continue to evolve. In any case, Diskopunk is a band on the rise that should garner the interest from listeners far and wide.