Peter Bjorn & John


SXSW Records

Peter Bjorn & John

Living Thing (Almost Gold/Star Time)

Living Thing, this Swedish trio's fifth studio album, marks a departure in sound from the skinny-jeaned Euro-pop of Writer's Block (2006). Where the latter put narrative and straight-ahead indie pop front and center, the new disc, like last year's instrumental Seaside Rock, finds PB&J playing with sounds and textures. "The Feeling" warps perception with electronic fussiness and a gloomy perspective, while the fuzzed-out "Nothing to Worry About" fiddles with bendy guitar, stuttery syncopation, and youthful backup singers. There are still stories here, with the naked aggression of "Lay It Down" ("Hey, shut the fuck up, boy. You're starting to piss me off") and the clever conceit of "Blue Period Picasso," in which a lovelorn suitor likens himself to an isolated, lonely painting in the wake of a broken love affair. But where's the joie de vivre? Sunk like a 401(k), it seems. (Wed., Vice, 10:45; Thu., Emo's Main, 1am; Fri., Cedar Street Courtyard, 10:45pm.)


Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

Thursday Interview
Thursday Interview

Nina Hernandez, March 20, 2015

Thursday Picks & Sleepers
Thursday Picks & Sleepers
SXSW Thursday handicapping by the blurb

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
William Harries Graham
Jakes (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, April 12, 2019

Texas Platters
Rebecca Loebe
Give Up Your Ghosts (Record Review)

Christina Garcia, April 12, 2019

More by Melanie Haupt
Exploring Diverse Foodways at the Austin Food & Wine Festival
Exploring Diverse Foodways at the Austin Food & Wine Festival
Plant pioneers, wines, and more to satisfy your culinary cravings

April 26, 2019

South Austin Irish Pub Features Practically Perfect Fish and Chips
South Austin Irish Pub Features Practically Perfect Fish and Chips
Darcy’s Donkey is a welcoming addition to Barton Springs Road's Restaurant Row

April 5, 2019


Peter Bjorn & John

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle