Swedish dark-pop act Principe Valiente recently announced their return with ‘Porcelain’, a broodingly intense gothic ballad available now as a single and video. The song is taken from their forthcoming new album, ‘Barricades’, which is set for release on 18th March via Metropolis Records and is the follow-up to their acclaimed ‘Oceans’ set from 2017.
‘Barricades’ is the band’s first album for Metropolis and fourth overall. It displays the full musical breadth of a band that took its initial inspiration from early ’80s minimalist post-punk and the lusher shoegaze approach of acts from the end of that decade, but also added a glam-tinged veneer akin to The National and Suede to create a dramatic sound built around the warm croon of singer Fernando Honorato.
The quartet’s most intimate album to date, its songs have grown out of melodies and chords rather than guitar riffs, while lyrically Honorato has also sought new paths, with elements of hope in words that may previously have appeared hopeless and bleak. “I haven’t felt the same need to express desperation and frustration this time around, but wanted to try and sing more sensitively,” he states.
As with new records by many other acts, ‘Barricades’ is an album deeply affected by the Covid pandemic, with most of its songs recorded from home and the group members providing their individual contributions in isolation. However, this has in turn given the album its own uniquely special atmosphere. “I’ve had more time to reflect freely both in terms of lyrics and recording and have been able to try different things. In the end, I knew exactly what I wanted to do,” adds Honorato.
Although Principe Valiente has previously been seen as something of a solo project for the singer, this time around all four group members – Honorato, guitarist Jimmy Ottosson, keyboardist Rebecka Johansson and drummer Joakim Janthe – have made contributions. “There are more ideas coming together now. Everyone has added their own perspective to the songs and it is much more of a collaborative effort, including with Jimmy on the songwriting itself. Our records never turn out the way we imagine when we start working on them, but I’m very happy with ‘Barricades’. It feels like it’s the best album we’ve made so far,” he concludes.
As the world slowly begins to reopen after almost two years, Principe Valiente is fully ready to embrace the new opportunities this offers.
Fernando Honorato – vocals, bass
Jimmy Ottosson – guitar
Rebecka Johansson – keyboards
Joakim Janthe – drums