Le Kid make the kind of music that Sweden has become justly famous for producing – lushly melodic, naggingly infectious and underpinned with just a hint of melancholy. Which is not to say they’re content to slavishly follow the ABBA blueprint, they’re very much their own band and this song sounds more like a great lost Girls Aloud single than a Benny & Björn composition.
A great chorus is often enough for a pop tune to do its job, but what makes America my favourite song of 2011 is the way the song is structured so that every section really matters. It does have a classic pop chorus, building up to a euphoric climax, but the verses are also beautifully wistful, built around a looped gasp surprisingly reminiscent of Laurie Anderson’s 80s art-rock hit O Superman. Then there’s that majestic middle-eight, where the heavily layered vocals are pulled back, then brought in again over the space of just two lines. It’s a subtle, but perfect pop trick.
The groups debut album Oh Alright! is crammed with beautifully constructed songs of this ilk, and it’s a huge shame that thus far they haven’t gained much recognition outside the Europop blogs. In a chart scene dominated by David Guetta’s thumpingly repetitive beats and Jessie J’s caterwauling, music like Le Kid’s doesn’t really have an obvious entry-point. But hopefully they’ll stick around long enough for that to change.