The Swedish EDM DJ and producer Tim Bergling — aka Avicii — came out of nowhere to make international hits like “Levels,” “Hey Brother” and “Addicted to You” just in the last couple of years. Now another Swedish act is poised to break out worldwide, the pop power trio Dirty Loops. Since around 2010, Jonah Nilsson (vocals/keyboards), Henrik Linder (bass), and Aron Mellergardh (drums) have taken current pop tunes and used their own studio-seasoned virtuosity to ‘loopify’ them, devising their own unique sound in the process that’s broadly appealing.
They did this for Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance,” Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” Britney Spears’ “Circus,” Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack,” and more. Even if you might not care for these originals, you might dig Dirty Loops’ versions, because they bring both the jazz and the funk to these songs. That, and the genuine, honest-to-goodness musicianship largely missing from pop music today.
A lot of these loopified covers have been released via YouTube, and the latest one to hit the video circuit is their rendition of Avicii’s Aloe Blacc-sung “Wake Me Up.” Dirty Loops’ take on it is something that’s more organic, and in place of the strummed guitar of the original is Linder dexterously strumming his 7-string electric bass while Mellergardh brushes his drums like a train rolling through the countryside. Nilsson on piano is also a damned fine vocalist and comes within a whisker of matching Blacc’s performance.
It’s a pleasant rendering all right, but then with about thirty seconds left the boys go all-out Tribal Tech on us, dropping a tight, sinewy groove. Just when your ears are settling into this unexpected thrill, it’s over.
They might be teasing us, but not for long; on August 19, their debut long player Loopified will finally release, via Verve Records. Produced by Dirty Loops with David Foster on board as one of the executive producers, it promises to be the most fun foray of prodigious funk-jazz practitioners into the pop world since Level 42.