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Finding a Cure? 'Leave It' to Shout Out Louds

Shout Out Louds' new album finds the ace Swedish band recalling the music of The Cure.
Shout Out Louds' new album finds the ace Swedish band recalling the music of The Cure.

Hey, Shout Out Louds: The Cure's Robert Smith called, and he wants his song back. He's not mad because the Swedish band is biting his style on "Tonight I Have to Leave It," but because his own group hasn't written a tune this simple, direct and catchy in many a mascara-ed moon.

The first single from Shout Out Louds' forthcoming Our Ill Wills, the love-is-lost song opens like an homage to The Cure's "In Between Days," with rolling toms and acoustic-guitar strums alternating between two chords. It then adds keyboard melodies using presets that seem lifted from The Head on the Door, but it's not until singer-songwriter Adam Olenius opens his mouth that the Cure connection becomes electric.

Robert Smith owns one of the most distinctive voices in popular music, and few singers come close to his careening wail. Olenius' style doesn't feel quite so loose or wild, but they share an eerily similar timbre. The association wasn't as overt on Shout Out Louds' first CD, the rambunctious indie-popper Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, but Olenius now seems a more demonstrative and confident singer. That he happens to sound like one of rock's most iconic artists is no slam against Shout Out Louds' own, unfussy brilliance.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

This column originally ran on Aug. 17, 2007.

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Christopher Porter
Christopher Porter is a freelance writer, editor and photographer based in Silver Spring, Md. He has a bad back and great hair. His work has appeared in Alternative Press, Entertainment Weekly, ESPN the Magazine, Inside Entertainment, Global Rhythm, Harp, JazzTimes, National Geographic World Music, Time Out Chicago, The Stranger, Vibe, Washington City Paper and The Washington Post. He blogs and repurposes junk at