Dirty Loops uses old and new influences

By Chase Myers

Sometimes radio play can wear out a song, so when a band comes along, takes an already popular song and re-works it, it can be refreshing.

Since 2008, Swedish jazz-fusion trio Dirty Loops have been enlightening the music world with its unorthodox arrangements and precise musicianship.

The band is made up of keyboard/vocalist Jonah Nilsson, bassist Henrik Linder and drummer Aaron Mellergardh, all of whom studied classical and jazz music in Stockholm.

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Known prior to its debut release primarily for covering popular songs, the trio takes a stab at some original material with the Aug. 19 release of “Loopified.”

The album was co-produced by Andreas Carlsson (Backstreet Boys, Katy Perry) and David Foster.

The album starts with the first original song the band released through YouTube called “Hit Me,” which shows the upbeat side of the band and gauges the bands’ skill level. It features intricate drum and bass fills, as well as Nilsson belting some insane vocal runs.

Songs that follow, such as “Sexy Girls” and “Sayonara Love” place an emphasis on oddly specific synthesizers that fit the songs very well.  The synth patch used in “Sayonara Love” resembles something you would hear in a Japanese electronica song, which is fitting for the lyrics.

One thing you can expect from this band is a lot of key changes. The first pop-fusion song they cover, a smooth-jazz rendition of Avicii’s hit record “Wake Me Up,” reflects a shift in key. The re-interpretation includes a symphonic sound, which replaces the original’s bass drops and dance beats.  The outro contains a key-changed version of the chorus, which catches the listener off guard.

The band likes to switch up its sound at different times to incorporate a new feel to an already electronic-heavy sound. In songs like “Accidentally in Love,” you can hear a harmonica part that sounds oddly appropriate for the club jam.

One of the aspects of a good album is the ability for a band to go from an upbeat jam to the complete opposite, keeping the listener on their toes.

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Dirty Loops shifts its sound and mood in the song “Crash and Burn Delight,” which sounds like a slow R&B love song from a ‘90s boy band, in the best possible way.

If this song was made into a music video, you could expect lots of dramatic lighting, fog and cheesy hand movements.

At the end of the deluxe version of the album, the band includes some of the covers it is recognized for, such as Justin Bieber’s “Roller Coaster” and “Baby,” Britney Spear’s “Circus” and Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” all of which are a refreshing break from its repetitive originals.

Overall, the album is impressive both musically and lyrically.  Other than some over embellished vocal runs here and there, it was hard to find something to dislike on this album.  Even if a listener isn’t familiar with the style of jazz-fusion, it is easy to appreciate the musicianship and production of the record.

“Loopified” is available on Spotify, iTunes and Amazon.

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