The caps lock name might not yet be familiar, but if you’ve happened to stumble across a certain mobile phone commercial, it’s unlikely that you’ve managed to get NONONO’s insanely catchy breakthrough single out of your head.
Featuring the kind of impossibly cheery whistling hook that you’d expect to hear from the Seven Dwarfs on their way to work, the stratospheric synth-pop of “Pumpin’ Blood” has already been a massive hit in the trio’s native Sweden. And now thanks to their advertising tie-in with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, the track looks set to repeat its success across the globe in 2014.
Formed in 2012, NONONO are Stina Wappling (a qualified psychiatric nurse who somehow intends to keep juggling her challenging day job with the challenges of being a pop star), Tobias ‘Astma’ Jimson and Michel Rocwell, two Stockholm producers who have previously worked with the likes of retro soul chanteuse Beatrice Eli, rave-pop diva Bebe Black and “I Love It” hedonists Icona Pop.
Inspired by artists as eclectic as Martha Wainwright, Depeche Mode and Wu Tang Clan, the three-piece – whose name is intended as a two-fingered salute to the uninspired songwriters they had previously worked with – have since performed at New York City’s CMJ Music Marathon, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and been championed by everyone from influential Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe to Vogue magazine.
Understandably, “Pumpin’ Blood” has received most of the attention, but the handful of other tracks they’ve unveiled so far suggest they have the material to avoid becoming a slightly novelty one-hit wonder. The banshee wails, creeping bass-lines and galloping beats of “Like The Wind” and the dramatic electro of “Human Being” both recall fellow Scandinavian duo The Knife at their most melodic, while “Down Under” is a gorgeously melancholic blend of finger-clicking R&B and The xx-esque alt-pop.
Pencilled in for this summer, their debut album is therefore more likely to draw cries of YESYESYES than NONONO.