There’s a harsh light cast on love in Swedish four-piece LINES’ latest video “You,” available today (March 23) via 300 Entertainment.
With visuals that include self-flagellation, two relentlessly physical lovers, and a fair bit of knife play, the message of the song cannot be hidden under the rich production and pulsing beat as the darkly amorous love connection suggests a more crippling dependency on a relationship.
“If you ever been blessed with a glimpse of love you know how beautiful and empowering it can be, but we want our track to recognize when relationships become unhealthy, almost addictive,” singer and co-songwriter Erik Althoff tells Billboard. “There’s something appealing about super simple metaphors and I think it’s an effective way to describe something.”
“You” follows the edgy broodiness of its predecessor “Lockdown” thanks to direction by Althoff and Giannina Panfichi on both, and while the latest works as a companion piece, Althoff notes that “You” is the “theater play” version that’s “more personal and relationship-based.” The two videos feature a demanding performance by lead actress and friend Nora Fazel who endured hours of mentally and physically taxing setups to convey each song’s nuanced side of heartache.
Althoff expands on the lyrical craft of “You” by saying, “If you write a song saying ‘you’re always on my mind,’ it sounds like you’re in love, or like you’re in love in a good way…but once you say ‘all the fucking time,’ it’s a plot twist basically.”
The surprises slipped into LINES’ songwriting along with their blending of dark, gloomy hedonism and bright, modern electro-pop establishes the Stockholm-based group as one of 2018’s most unique rising talents. It’s a delicate balance that is now presenting the band with its greatest challenge as they find a way to translate their elaborate electro pop sound to the live atmosphere.
“I used to trash electric guitars when I was playing live and now I turn knobs on synthesizers,” Althoff admits. “I don’t want it to feel lazy because it is quite easy for me to bounce three stems of our songs and play some drums over it and some synth and then sing…but it has to feel dirtier than the recording.”
Although the unveiling of his latest successful directorial piece should grant Althoff at least some minor relief, he appears more preoccupied with a growing touring schedule and concert rehearsals that have opened up new musical directions as the band makes the necessary performance adjustments to create the ideal experience at shows.
“The next step I know is evolving the live show and pushing that further,” he says. “We want to keep exploring sounds, and I don’t know exactly where it’s going to go from here but I look forward to two albums down the line when we start playing guitars again just to come full circle.”
Although the possibilities for LINES’ next move appear to be endless, Althoff and the band share one certainty with the rest of us: “We’re all just really looking forward to the Spring.”
Check out the video for “You,” exclusively on Billboard below.