It’s the night of the last presidential debate, yet we tore ourselves away from the TV screen, tucked inside a cozy, Cheers-like bar on the south side of Williamsburg (just minutes after the initial onslaught of “Joe the Plumber” mentions), to see a band. But it wasn’t just any band. After all, Love Is All came all the way from Sweden to play songs from their latest, perfectly-titled album, A Hundred Things That Keep Me Up At Night, and it’s not their fault their secret show at the Secret Project Robot space on River St. was slated to be happening soon, on the same night as the debates.


We arrived at least an hour too early and the party had barely begun, but their wired set was worth the wait. In fact, it was worth missing half the debates to see these Gothenburgers unleash their new songs to fans in this raw space on the river’s edge. As my co-writer aptly put it, the performance was presidential in its stately, wild energy. There was nothing twee in their delivery, and rather, the tightly-wound songs flew out to the audience’s ears like sparks, bringing to mind bands like revered dance punks, the X-Ray Specs.


It was one hell of a show, filled to the brim with nearly all the songs from the latest album, (“New Beginnings,” “Rumours” and “Sea Sick” were standouts) and dotted with hits from the first album, Nine Times That Same Song, like “Talk Talk Talk Talk” and the cacophonous crowd favorite, “Ageing Had Never Been His Friend,” with the singable line, “I keep the one I love in the freezer…”

At one point, the band got so frenzied that a few dainty drops of blood fell from the forehead of petite singer Josephine Olausson, which was shocking even to her. “How rock and roll!” she laughed, as a fan sweetly reached out with a tissue to blot the blood from her brow.–Madeline Virbasius-Walsh/photos by Tim Nestor