Bittersweet: Those Without on debut album
Swedish band Those Without might be newcomers on the pop punk scene, but with their debut out today, they prove they’re not to be overlooked. Bittersweet is a multi-faceted album that, at times, bridges the gap between pop punk and post-hardcore, and at other times strips things back to become something a little bit more melancholy. There are hooks aplenty and a fizzy sensibility that makes you feel light and airy listening to it. It’s many things all at once; deep and beautiful, fun with plenty of singalong opportunities, but most of all, it’s a sparkling debut telling of bright future. To celebrate the release, we sat down with vocalist Oskar Westlin to chat about the album.
Words: Renette van der merwe
You release “Bittersweet”, your debut album this week. Congratulations! How does it feel being so close to the release date?
Honestly at this point it feels absolutely insane. We’ve been sitting on this album for almost a year, just waiting for the right opportunity to release it. We’re all so insanely in love with the music we’ve created for this album and we can’t wait to witness the response we’ll get as we release it. We’ve gotten so much love so far and we just hope that love stays when the entire thing is out!
The singles from this album have already gained you great support from various publications and so many of them are talking about a new generation of pop punk. Do you feel like you’re a part of that generation?
Most definitely! We don’t want to sound cocky or anything, but we definitely think we bring something new and exciting to the pop punk table. We mix our influences from all sorts of genres, in search of a sound that goes along with what a lot of people are looking for in their pop punk. If you take Bittersweet for example, we’ve tried establishing an album where you’ll find a little something for everyone, but still staying true to our own sound.
Bittersweet is a pretty emotional album. What is it you’d like fans to take away from it?
We want people listening to Bittersweet to know that they’re never alone. We all have bullshit situations in life we have to deal with, all exclusive to our own lives. Even in those situations where you feel like you’re the only one going through shit like that, we want people to know that there’s always someone out there who’ll lend you a shoulder to lean on. You are not shaped by your traumas, you are what overcomes them.
It was co-written and produced with Normandie’s Philip Strand, right? How did that come about?
It was, and we couldn’t be happier that it happened. We had a bunch of songs written for the album and one day our manager out of nowhere asked “how would you like to record these songs with Philip from Normandie?”. Seeing as we’re all big Normandie fans we barely had to give it an afterthought and said yes pretty much instantly. And thank god for that, Philip’s truly worked wonders with the album. He deserves all the recognition in the world and then some more.
I want to quickly talk about Neon Minds – last year’s EP – that got attention from New Found Glory. That had to be incredible? Do you remember your reaction?
Honestly I barely knew how to react, it was so surreal. Felix, our guitarist, is a MASSIVE New Found Glory fan, so I think he was more starstruck than anyone. New Found Glory has paved the way for so much of what makes pop punk the genre it is today, and we probably wouldn’t be writing the music we are today if it wasn’t for them. It felt amazing, now we’ll just pray that they find something they like on Bittersweet as well!
How will you be celebrating the release?
We’ve already decided on popping a bottle of champagne even though pretty much none of us are huge champagne fans, but it feels appropriate when a celebration is due! We’ll go out to eat dinner with our manager and just celebrate the fact that the album we’ve been working on for so long is finally out for the world to listen to!
What’s the first album you owned?
Probably Linkin Park’s “Meteora” (which to this day is still their best album).
What’s the last album you purchased/streamed?
I’ve been listening to Waterparks latest album “Greatest Hits” a lot recently, I think it’s amazing! The last vinyl I got my hands on however is Bring Me The Horizons “AMO”.
An album that reminds you of autumn?
Pretty much anything Trophy Eyes, but I’ll say “The American Dream”.
Is there a record that has extreme sentimental value to you?
Trash Boat’s “I Know That Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through” will always hold a very special place in my heart.
Something people wouldn’t expect you listening to?
I’m a really big fan of Dua Lipa and Lady Gaga, two pioneers in pop music.
Settle the argument
Vinyl or Spotify?
As a “supporter of the scene” I definitely want to say vinyl, but as a consumer of music I’ll have to say Spotify. Everything is just so extremely accessible with Spotify and you can almost always listen to exactly what you’re in the mood to listen to.
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