Mixtapes and Cellmates self-titled release goes along with the recent theme of pleasant Swedish indie pop. For as many electronic beats and noises this album contains, it is by no means a dance album. This style of electro-melancholy is pretty much a Scandinavian Postal Service, no doubt about that.
Singer Robert Svensson has a gentle, soothing voice. On "Quiet" and "C: & D: The Road Home" his voice turns shaky, and sounds like Conor Oberst crying over a drum machine. Mixtapes and Cellmates is laden with meticulous beats and guitar riffs. There's even a soothing girl voice in the band, to further that whole Postal Service comparison. She harmonizes with Svensson so preciously in "Like Something Worth Remembering," which is a full sounding, orchestral number, and in "Moments" where she is featured in a dancey, snare beat driven tune. The album progressively gets more emotional and deep as it goes along, with its My Bloody Valentine-esque droning guitars. There's even a little Aloha mixed in.
Not all songs are electronically driven. "Your are/Just Like Me" is a genuine Swedish indie-pop tune. It's as if Mixtapes and Cellmates are saying, "Hey, we don't JUST do this Postal Service thing," with the song's strings and violin harmonies accompanying ear-pleasing vocals. It's almost Death Cab sounding. It would seem as if this band is a fan of Ben Gibbard. There's even a haunting number, "Statement" is an eerie song that sounds nearly instrumental due to the singer's voice fading in with the music. The rest of the album is glitchy, beat-laden, and relaxing.
Mixtapes and Cellmates do have their own sound, which is pretty much a mix of the aforementioned bands. Throw this in the ever-growing pile of wonderful new Swedish indie bands. All in all, they've produced pretty music teetering between heartstring tugging and depressing...in an uplifting sort of way. Does that make any sense? Mixtapes and Cellmates somehow answers that.