Not quite heavy metal: Aluminum Babe calls Sweden and New York home

The element aluminum is in almost everything we use: cookware, cosmetics and even in some of the food we eat. And, noted Anna Liedberg of the Sweden/New York-based band Aluminum Babe, “it can make people go senile.”

Perhaps this is the reason why so many music fans are going crazy over Aluminum Babe, which fuses a unique sound of catchy dance pop with aggressive guitars, synthesizers and psychedelic sounds on their latest EP Vit.Ri.Fied (Velocity Recordings).

Aluminum Babe is fronted by the ultra-chill Liedberg, who sings, plays guitar and co-writes most of the songs with bass player George Musa. The band also features Jeff Botta on guitar and Darren Fried on drums. At nearly three and a half years old, the band has been able to capture a sound that has excited some music critics in Europe, such as Huw Stephens of the BBC, to call Aluminum Babe’s Vit.Ri.Fied EP the best new album in years.

However, Musa said, that their live show really captures the true spirit of the band.

“Our live sound is a lot different from our recorded stuff,” Musa said in a telephone interview with The Hatchet. “It’s very aggressive, more house beats, more psychedelic sounds. Anna uses digital effects through her microphone to alter her voice. All in all, it’s trippier, harder and more fun to dance to. It makes for a real party vibe.”

When house beats, rock guitar, synthesizers, effects and whatever other ingredients of Aluminum Babe’s instrumentals mix with Liedberg’s lyrical voice, the result is something powerful (think LCD Sound System with Blondie). Liedberg’s singing voice has a hint of a Swedish accent, which makes lyrics such as the ones found in “Everything 2 Me” (“I want you to be everything to me / I want you to be deep inside of me”) sound especially sexy.

Although she now lives in New York, Liedberg and Aluminum Babe often return to Europe to play shows for ecstatic fans. “I love playing shows in Great Britain, the crowds are just so much fun, so energetic,” she said in a telephone interview. “Like, fists up in the air and shouting. It’s lots of fun. And we just feed off of their energy.”

Oddly enough, Liedberg didn’t grow up listening to dance-y rock or anything else that sounds like Aluminum Babe. “I used to listen to Alice Cooper a lot, but we don’t sound anything like him,” she said. When asked what she prefers to listen to nowadays, she replied, “I like to listen to a lot of classical music, actually.” For a band that spreads itself over so many genres, it only makes sense that the lead singer appreciates a wide array of music.

Always writing new material, the band plans on showcasing some of their new songs that aren’t on the EP during its U.S. tour, which will stop in D.C. at the club DC 9 (1940 9th St. N.W., 21 and over) on Jan. 21.

“We don’t try to write for one specific type of music,” Liedberg said. “We just write whatever comes to us and sounds good.”

Aluminum Babe will play at DC 9 (1940 9th St. N.W.) on Jan. 21 with Cedars and Breaking Laces. Tickets are $10. Listen to Aluminum Babe on their Myspace page at www.myspace.com/aluminumbabe or visit www.aluminumbabe.com.

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