Swedish dance duo makes Cleveland debut tonight at House of Blues


When the Swedish dance duo Icona Pop played at Lollapalooza over the summer, it had the difficult task of performing in the middle of the afternoon; the slot wasn’t reallly well-suited to the band’s club friendly dance music. And yet by set’s end, the group had fans dancing and singing along to the music. Singer Aino Jawo says the band’s current tour — its first extensive through the States — has been a huge success so far; the group makes its Cleveland debut tonight at House of Blues.

The duo — Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt — has a smash hit with the single “I Love It featuring Charli XCX.” The song has sold more than 2 million copies in the United States alone; in the UK, it recently displaced Robin Thicke at the top of the charts. The manic dance song has a catchy chorus — “I don’t care/I love it”— that Jawo says has struck a chord with audiences.

“First of all, it’s so simple,” she says when asked to describe the track’s appeal. “Almost everyone can relate to it. It’s about coming out of a heartbreak. It’s a very empowering song. People can sing-a-long. It doesn’t have to be about love. It can be about different situations and it’s also about anger. It’s a bit different from the other songs on the radio. Everyone immediately felt the hook. You either hate it or you love it. People were craving something different.”

Jawo also says the group’s full-length debut, This is Icona Pop, will show off the band’s diversity.

“We’ve been writing it since Caroline and I met,” she says of the disc that’s due out next week. “It’s been recorded all over the world. Some things we did in Australia and Germany and everywhere. It’s not going to be 16 tracks that sound like ‘I Love It.’ People will know what we really sound like.”

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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