Electro-pop duo Djustin, borne out of a correspondence and affinity between Sweden's Johan Angergård (Acid House Kings, Club 8, The Legends) and USA's Rose Suau (Shoestrings and Invisible Twin), released their debut album Voyagers last month to critical acclaim. The duo take us through the album's nine tracks where Suau's vocals and lyricism and Angergård's synth-heavy production lend themselves to a compilation of melancholy techno bops that tackle love and intimacy in its various forms.
Johan: This is my favorite track off the album. It’s sort of hard and artificial while still being a rather emotional pop song about the most natural things in life, like sex or whatever. That makes a lovely combination in my book.
Rose: At the surface, this seems like a perfectly innocent, fun, feel-good song - which I think it was meant to be at the core. If you dig and read into it just a little bit deeper, you'll realize it's a cleverly veiled discussion about sex. It's more than a song about mindlessly hooking up with someone though. I think it's meant to be a sort of lover's anthem for consenting adults. It's totally ok to feel empowered about your body and who you share it with, and you can also be fearless when asking for what you want.
Rose: I think this track is a lot about what happens when you stop focusing on the things and people outside of yourself in order to find love. Sometimes it seems counter-productive and unrealistic to be looking for that elusive, ideal relationship. It seems like it magically happens when you're not thinking so hard, and you're working on yourself to find out who you are and what you deserve. There's no reason you can't have a little bit of fun with someone in the process.
I’ve been very much into electro funk for some time and most of those influences surfaced on The Legends “Nightshift” that was released two weeks before our album. But “Waiting” does have a touch of the transition from 70’s underground disco to early 80’s electro going on. It’s one of out only two songs on the album I wrote the lyrics for and I’ve no idea what I’m talking about here or why there is someone talking German on the radio in the intro. But it all makes sense. Somehow.
Rose: Everything in this song happens on an internal level. At some point we are all alone and stuck in a vicious cycle of thinking and re-thinking about someone in your life that probably doesn't give a shit about you. I think it hits some very universal pain points - desire, despair, bitterness, hope. Actually, I think the end is really just hopeful resignation. Falling in love is over-rated.
Rose: This is a conversation that any lovers or two close friends could have. One person is stuck between choosing what is comfortable and ultimately empty vs. choosing the unknown which carries potential for greatness. The other person is pushing for the other to "Shift". It's a movement or evolution into something better, letting go and making space for a better way of thinking, being, understanding, loving, etc...
Rose: I wrote the lyrics for this around the time of our birthdays (Johan is older than me by 13 days). I often go through cycles of existential crisis and happened to be deep into one then. I was questioning everything - not only for Johan and I, but really for anyone that's alive and experiencing similar things or situations. I think it's nearly impossible to not regret stuff that happens over the course of a lifetime, but then you have to wonder about the value of regret in itself. It's the worst feeling, and there's nothing you can do about it by the time you feel it. You have to wonder, what is the point then?
Johan: I remember exactly when I wrote the lyrics for this one. I had been waiting for Rose to finish lyrics for this song and got restless. I have the worst patience in the world - I’m very happy Rose usually keeps up with me. Anyway, I laid in bed texting her and said “I’ll write this now” and 15 minutes or so I sent over the finished lyrics. It could have become total crap, but somehow I got really inspired and I love how the lyrics turned out. Unrestrained, unbridled, uninhibited, totally free and very human – living on a thin line between reality and sedated dreams. It’s “ Millions”.
I still can’t believe how much I sound like Phil Collins in the chorus. I certainly didn’t intend to.
Johan: The perfect ending. One part of me imagined it being a 10 minute techno track and another part of my human existence wanted it to be a melancholic pop song. In the end we agreed on five epic minutes where everything that matters is at stake.
Special thanks to Ivory Music & Video for setting up the interview!