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The Swedish shoegaze/noise pop band Westkust build their songs out of wall-of-sound guitars, mix in strong, swirling melodies, and top it off with yearning vocals straight from the indie pop playbook. They initially shared members with the like-minded band Makthaverskan and released their debut album, Last Forever, in 2015 with that lineup. By the time of their next album, 2019's Westkust, they had shuffled almost the entire band and adopted a more aggressive sound.
Westkust hail from Gothenburg and informally began in 2010, but crystallized the following year when vocalist Julia Bjernelind, drummer Philip Söderlind, and bassist Rikard Hjort were joined by Makthaverskan's Gustav Andersson (guitar/vocals) and Hugo Randulv (bass/guitar). The band signed to Makthaverskan's home label Luxury and released their debut 12" EP, Junk, in 2012, followed by the "Summer 3D" 7" single the following year. Westkust's full-length debut, Last Forever, arrived in 2015, and was released in the United States by Run for Cover. The next few years saw the band's lineup evolve as first Hjort departed, then Andersson and Randulv followed. The remaining duo rebuilt by adding guitarist Brian Cukrowski and bassist Pär Karlsson; Bjernelind took on guitar duties as well as becoming the sole vocalist. This new version of the band stripped off some of the dreaminess of the debut for their second record, the much more immediate-sounding Westkust. It was released by Run for Cover in early 2019. ~ Paul Simpson
- Gothenburg, Sweden
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