ALBUM: The Magnettes – ‘Ugly Youth’

Growing up above in a small Swedish town above the Arctic Circle, the sun never rising in winter, and speaking a minority language there is plenty about glitter-punk trio The Magnettes which says outsider. Yet the three piece – Rebecka Digervall, Sanna Kalla and Tomas Backlund – ooze self-assurance in their identity and take a twisted spin on their influences on debut Ugly Youth.

Themes of coming of age, identity, accepting yourself rather than conforming, and rising against the patriarchy all come through as strongly as the electro-and garage-pop melodies, evoking everything from Icona Pop and Taylor Swift, to The Slits and Tacocat across the eleven tracks.

Opening with Killers in a Ghost Town the albums soft beats and gently layered vocals interspersed with whoops and blunt sentiments are delivered with a sneer and a wink. The expectations of girls and womens behaviour and looks are challenged on So Bad, Sad Girls Club and Ugly, where playground rhythms are used to underscore the sentiment. But there are more vulnerable moments too – with the folk and closer harmonies of Pajala State Of Mind, and atmospheric album closer Parking Lot.

Punk in attitude and garage-pop in sound, the debut from The Magnettes brilliantly sets out their playful approach in music and attitude, capturing that bittersweet innocence and arrogance of coming of age in raw but raving melody.

Ugly Youth is available on all streaming platforms via DigSin now. Follow The Magnettes on Facebook for more updates.

Sarah Lay