Lisa Milberg and Jon Bergström started their band Miljon over a pitcher of margarita in Mexico City and have since kept busy writing gorgeous little pop-songs in makeshift studios in and around their hometown of Stockholm, Sweden – mostly in their bedrooms and various cabins in various woods surrounding the city, never staying too far from the pine trees.
Having assembled a collection of 13 pieces of proper flaskpost-disko, these demos were passed on to Studio Barnhus’ in-house mixmaster Matt Karmil, who worked his studio magic on the recordings, turning them into a seductively warm and spacious debut album. “Until then, our only expenditures for the album were wine bottles and taxis”, says the band.
This isn’t the first time Miljon has teamed up with Studio Barnhus, the ever-explorative Stockholm dance label. The band collaborated with Barnhus co-founder Axel Boman on the wistful piano-house ballad “Forgot About You” in 2018 (“a summer anthem … a marvel of simplicity” - Pitchfork) and the label’s core personnel are all regulars at Arranging Things, the design store (“Stockholm’s coolest” - Vogue) that Lisa runs with another friend.
Going further back, Miljon isn’t the first musical project of neither Lisa’s nor Jon’s – the former enjoyed her fair share of 00's indie rock success as drummer and eventually lead singer of The Concretes, while Jon has earned a reputation as the hardest working man in several Swedish music scenes, bringing energy and expertise to punk stages around the country as well as Stockholm’s electronic underground.
With Miljon, the two friends make sure to keep it short and sweet, happily celebrating imperfections. “We believe in ‘first thought, best thought’ and try to work on the songs as little as possible, instead trusting a good melody and a nice vibe, not overthinking it. We dare you to find a bridge on this album!”
With “Don’t They Know”, the duo presents not only 13 beautiful songs (perfect for shower-humming, living roomshuffling and warm summer night boombox-blasting alike) but also an album that turns into something grander than the sum of its parts.
“We made it because it’s the kind of album we’ve been wanting to hear ourselves. It’s all quite song-centric these days and it feels rare to find a whole album to step into and stay inside, you know? We hear great songs all the time, but we wanted an album that was its own little universe, with its own mayor, own happy hour, its own yard sales and extramarital affairs.”
“Don’t They Know” is released through Studio Barnhus as a vinyl LP June 18.