Friday, September 18, 2009

The Spell

Song: The Spell
Artist: Alphabeat
Album: The Spell

So I have this half-thought-out theory that dance music here in the United States is most popular when Democrats are in the White House. We saw disco take off in the late 70's just as Jimmy Carter was becoming president. And then we saw the onset of Grunge and mope-rock as George H.W. Bush took office in the late 80's early 90's. Then, dance music came back when Clinton got got into office in the mid-to-late 90's with club music (and culture) seeing it's popularity at the highest. That all ended with the onset of teen-pop (N*SYNC, Britney) in the early 2000's just as W took over only to have music... well, I don't know what I'd call music during that time. Everything just sort of sucked.

Well, not that Obama is in the (White) house I really feel that dance music is on the verge of a re-awakening. It's still been huge and popular everywhere else in the world but since a Dem is back we suddenly have Lady GaGa climbing the charts and a possible return to the heady days of club kids, outlandish outfits, and you know... having fun.

Nobody has taken this return to dance more straight forward than Denmark's Alphabeat whom on their sophomore album have decided to kick it like it's the 90's again and make dance pop in the vein of Snap! and Black Box. Curious for sure, but taking one listen to their first single off the new record "The Spell" and lo-and-behold it SOUNDS like it's from the late 90's.

Alphabeat is a Danish pop band from Silkeborg, signed to Polydor label. Their single, "Fascination", was a major hit in Denmark during the summer of 2007 and a significant hit in the UK in 2008. The next single, "10.000 Nights of Thunder" (or just "10,000 Nights" in the UK) saw equal success, and their eponymous debut album went platinum in Denmark, and in the UK, the album has gone gold. It has sold over 100,000 copies, and their 3 top 20 singles have sold in the region of 400,000 all together.


2006-2008: This Is Alphabeat

The band is made up of six members, Anders SG, Stine Bramsen, Anders B, Rasmus Nagel, Anders Reinholdt and Troels Hansen. Its sound is mainly retro 80s melodic pop, taking inspiration, amongst others, from British bands Deacon Blue andPrefab Sprout, with distinctive overlay of male and female harmonies.

The band was previously named Sodastar but this was changed to avoid confusion with a German band.

The band's native success attracted the attention of several major labels from larger markets abroad, and Alphabeat was eventually signed to EMI's Charisma Records label in the United Kingdom. Its British debut single, "Fantastic 6", was released on 26 November 2007.

Alphabeat received several positive reviews in major British publications such as NME, The Observer Music Monthly ,Digital Spy and Popjustice.

On 20 December 2008, it was announced via press release that the band had been dropped by its UK label Charisma Records, despite a Top 10 album and 3 Top 20 singles. In a statement from the band on 19 January 2009, it was confirmed that it had chosen to leave the label after being given the opportunity, and was signing with a new label in the UK for the release of its as yet unrecorded second album. It also stated that it was hoping to release said album in 2009.

2009-Present: The Spell

It was announced on 6 March 2009 that Alphabeat had signed a new record deal with the label Polydor. The band's manager said "We are thrilled to be signing to one of the UK's most successful record companies and looking forward to achieving even more success with the band and Polydor in the coming years."

In August 2009, Pop Justice premiered their new single "The Spell" which is set for a release of October and their second album This Is Still Alphabeat to be released shortly after. The title of the second album was subsequently changed to The Spell, set for release on 19 October 2009 in the UK.


Studio albums

YearAlbum detailsChart positionsCertifications
(sales thresholds)

2007This Is Alphabeat10254
2009The SpellTBATBATBA
  • UK: -


YearSingleChart positionsAlbum
2008"Fascination"4642233848This Is Alphabeat
"10,000 Nights"161624
"What Is Happening"110


The band was offered to play as a warm-up for the Spice Girls during their reunion world tour 2007-8, but declined the offer, feeling that it would be "too weird" to suddenly play in front of a very large audience unfamiliar with the band's music.

It has often been associated with the Wonky Pop movement - having played the Wonky Pop Tour and DJ'd various Wonky Pop events. It is currently penned to play the Wonky Pop Xmas party in London.

Alphabeat performed at T in the Park 2008 on "Camper's Friday" and were announced in the line-up for the 2008 Roskilde Festival. It also performed at T4 on the beach, and at the "Summerfestival" in Klaksvik, Faroe Islands, in early August 2008, and also in October 2008, along with many other bands at the NEC in Birmingham for hundreds of young girlguides.

During late 2008, Alphabeat began a 22 gig tour of the UK and Holland, with many shows sold out.

In 2008, the band was planning to play select shows with American singer Katy Perry on her 2008 world tour. However, in March 2009, Alphabeat cancelled its appearances in support of her US tour. Its management has stated that it is instead working on its second album and will be touring the USA later in the year.


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