3 AM – Legends & Reece Le Roux

Multi-instrumentalist Johan Angergard (b. 22 March 1974, Ängelholm, Scania, Sweden) was a founding member of the twee Swedish indie quartet Acid House Kings in 1991, but his quest for perfect pop continued in January 2003 when he put together a nine-piece band called the Legends. After only a matter of weeks they had supported fellow Swedes the Radio Dept.

in Stockholm, crystallizing the raw, fun and direct approach to music making that Angergard had longed to put into practice. Over the next three years as many as 25 people would come and go as members of the Legends’ live set up, but in the studio the band remained a one-man project. Early reviewers displayed frustration at the lack of biographical information available, serving to consolidate the air of mystery around the project. 2003’s Up Against The Legends was an impressive debut that took influence from UK mavericks Television Personalities, placing Dan Treacy’s skewed pop sensibility onto a template of Motown Records grooves and C86 vulnerability. Tracks such as ‘There And Back Again’, ‘Make It All Right’ and ‘The Kids Just Wanna Have Fun’ featured irresistible and immediate choruses, while every one of the 12 tracks contained nuances that rewarded with repeated listening.

The 2005 follow-up, Public Radio, was seemingly an attempt to sabotage this winning formula. Only a handful of the songs that comprised this album contained a passage that resembled a chorus, while the lead vocals were buried in masking effects and pushed deeper into the mix. ‘Hide Away’ recalled stone-faced Danes the Raveonettes, while ‘He Knows The Sun’ sounded like an unlikely collaboration between Air and the Cure.

The resigned vocal style was still present on 2006’s Facts And Figures, but the brash and fizzing guitars of previous releases were rejected in favour of the precision of New Order and Pet Shop Boys -influenced electronic music. In an attempt to keep his spirit of creativity alive, Angergard had to be commended for throwing himself into a genre of which he knew little.

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