Pop music remains one of Sweden’s chief cultural exports. However, quite far from the Stockholm of Max Martin and Icona Pop—a little over ten hours to be exact—the tiny town of Pajala sits just miles from the border of Finland. The Magnettes fondly call this city of 2,000 home, and it’s the birthplace of their infectious and inimitable glitter (punk) pop sound. The group’s co-vocalists Rebecka Digervall and Sanna Kalla proudly refer to themselves as “non-normative and in control,” “Riot Grrls,” “goths,” “witches,” “Tornedalingar” [literal translation: natives of the Torne valley, a Swedish minority], or “Sisters Of The Ugly Youth.” However, that subversion makes their songs even more spellbinding.
“We’re reclaiming the word ‘Ugly,’” declares Sanna. “Why does beautiful have to be the standard? Why can’t anything that is not totally perfect be cool? We have no regrets. We’re saying exactly what we want to say.
“There’s some sort of Northern rebellion,” adds guitarist, keyboardist, and producer Tomas Bäcklund. “We don’t want to be your average singing self-obsessed diary entries. We aim to do something bigger. However, we want to do it without moving to Stock-holm, London, or L.A. and writing songs about beaches and being super fit. Because what’s interesting about that?
The seeds of that rebellion became planted when Rebecka and Sanna met at six-years-old. By the age of 14, Rebecka had written a plethora of song for them as a duo. In 2012, they released their first official tune “Paper Cut” and performed across Europe and Russia. By 2014, the group expanded to include to have more musicians on stage.
The group headed stateside spring 2015 to perform a string off head-turning shows at SXSW (where they had the official last gig at legendary Stubbs) and write songs in Nashville. “Something happened in Nashville,” says Rebecka. “We were just like, ‘Yeah, it’s time to be fearless and write whatever the fuck we want.’ So we went home and did that!”
Galvanized by the trip, the band began recording in Tomas’s kitchen, carving out a middle ground between their chief influences Talking Heads, Costello, Bikini Kill, and Katy Perry.
Back in Sweden in Sweden The Magnettes also appeard as the main subjects in Hans-Erik Therus’s documentary ”Pajala State Of Mind”, featured at the Gothenburg Film Festival, the Tempo Documentary Festival Stockholm and on Swedish national television..
They returned to USA in autumn of 2015. But before that they played a couple of festivals in Sweden and enede on the showcase festival Live at HeartLive at Heart. Then they went to Barcelona to play during Future Music Forum and head to London for a showcase. The autumn USA tour took them to Los Angeles, San Diego and San Fransisco. They also went on Key Largo Songfest in Key Largo, Florida and the tour ended in NYC and shows on the showcase festival CMJ.
During CMJ it went official that the band signed with the american record label Digsin and the first relese was ”Bones” on their new label.