Emerald Park – ‘LiberTeens’ Single Review

Emerald Park – ‘LiberTeens’ Single Review

Emerald Park are a Swedish indie pop group, debuting LiberTeens as the first release from their EP entitled GO! GO! GO!, out June 23rd. Just in time for summer, this tune is filled with bright feel-good vibes.

The melody while basic, remains upbeat and perky throughout, and could be likened to an electronic version of Icelandic group Of Monsters and Men. The dual vocals featured on this track make LiberTeens that little bit more interesting. Initially formed in 2002 by singer and guitarist Tobias Borelius, the addition of Martina Johansson’s vocals in 2004 lifted the capabilities of the entire band. Their debut album, “Sadness Within” came out that same year, and since then, the band has had a revolving lineup of musicians, with Borelius and Johansson being the only constants. During 2010, the band cemented their current lineup of Tobias Borelius, Martina Johansson, guitarist Frans af Schmidt, bassist Conny Fridh, drummer Måns Katsler, keyboardist Daniel Gunneberg and singer/keyboardist Mattias Wilke.

Emerald Park self admittedly were inspired by Imogen Heap’s use of autotune, something they incorporated well into LiberTeens. While the female vocals are strong in the verses, with poignant lyrics, the sudden crossover to male vocals during the chorus features an oddly jarring minor chord, which just doesn’t seem to mesh with the rest of the track. Borelius’ vocal capabilities on whole are disappointingly weak in contrast to Johansson, however later in the song he is met with the help of well-placed layered backing vocals. Perhaps a dual vocal endeavour between the two would have proved more fluid.

The overall feel of the song is at once nostalgic and optimistic, featuring the lyrics “a true reflection of the 80s”. Retro pop drumbeats complement the synth and keyboard heavy melody, creating a track which wouldn’t be out of place at a sunny barbeque or picnic. For some background music or easy listening in the coming summer months, be sure to check out GO! GO! GO!, out June 23rd.