Every week, we tell you about an album we think you need to spend time with. This week’s album is Duo Limbo/”Mellan himmel å helvete, the fourth album from unpredictable, unmatched punk band ShitKid, due on January 24th.
I find late-January to be the most delightfully depraved time of the year. Cabin fever’s at its height, summer’s a distant thought you won’t even let yourself have, the New Year New Me™ parade has proved itself a thinly-veiled farce yet again, and you start to realize your stuck withb your same bullshit as always. The cold, double-edged silver lining is that, with any luck, you begin to give less fucks and crave some healthy chaos. Enter ShitKid — preferably at full volume.
From a place most commonly thought of as a factory for squeakily polished mainstream pop producers, Swedish Åsa Söderqvist entered the scene in 2015 with a moniker as sticky and playful as her mouth-off garage punk. After a few years of playing in feminist post-punk outlets, she uploaded a few solo home recordings, and ShitKid was born. Since then, Söderqvist has run the gamut of genres, often in a single album, landing in 2019 on the epitome of a playful angst ShitKid has come to represent: a cheeky highschool-themed pop punk album featuring her new bandmate Lina Molarin Eriksson [DETENTION], and ShitKid’s most overall cohesive effort to date.
In yet another new venture, 2020 finds the band singing in their native swedish for the first time. “We realised that we’d never sung in Swedish before. Back in the sixties, a lot of Swedish artists would cover British and American songs and translate the lyrics, to leave their own mark on the song. We thought we could maybe do that ourselves,” Söderqvist explains in a press release via PNKSLM. The front half of the album consists of 5 songs in English (and a “U.S. cover” with Söderqvist and in American flag bikinis and Nordic corpse paint), while the back half are the same songs, in Sweedish (and accompanies by a cover featuring them in traditional Scandinavian dress and juggalo makeup). “This is probably the only time we’ll release songs in Swedish,” Söderqvist added.
Produced by Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers and Toshi Kasai, the tracks are even heavier and slimier than we’ve ever heard from them before, and hit like walking in from the freezing cold into a muggy venue of sweaty bodies inhabited by moody personalities, especially in contrast to their most recent pop-leaning effort. “Anger,” in particular (and it’s Swedish counterpart “Vredesterapi”), oozes a pouty fog (“I need to keep in mind not to roll my eyes. I have to be a little less rude, a little less loud, but I don’t know how”) until the chorus erupts: “I need some fucking anger managment.” Duo Limbo often hits a adolescent-goth-level 10 on the indulgence scale, but sometimes that’s exactly what a person needs, especially in the godforsaken month.
Amileah Sutliff is a New York-based writer, editor and creative producer and an editor of the book The Best Record Stores in the United States.