Following the Swedish don’t-call-them-synth-pop duo Karl X Johan is proving to be strangely reassuring. I interviewed them one full year ago, and they were toting the then-laughably far-off date of April 29, 2014 for the release of their debut album. “It’s a serious date,” Johan Tuvesson said. “We just didn’t want to say, Oh, it’ll come out this fall, because it won’t. We just wanted to be up front and honest, so it’s not a scam.” Of course, the only thing funnier than announcing an album a full year off is, as Karl X Johan inevitably did, just blowing past it and releasing nothing. But there’s something incredibly hopeful and sustaining about making long-term goals, I think both for an artist and for their fans, however many or few, who’ll have as I have had a little sticky note tucked somewhere in their brain to reassure them that, someday, something good will happen. I don’t even fault Karl X Johan for not putting out that album, because I’m sure sometime in October, or March, I thought, “Oh yeah, and there’ll be that,” and felt better.
Today, with hardly a tail between their legs, they continued the streak they’ve been on quite some time, sharing a song that is arguably better than every song they’ve made before. “A Better Tomorrow”—the name suits the hope. Sometimes it’s realized, and sometimes it’s not, but how could we live without a little bit believing. Emotion will release the single on June 24th. The album is for now an albatross, but a beautiful one, isn’t it.
Stream: Karl X Johan, “A Better Tomorrow”