Just A Smile (Big Stir Digital Single No. 52)
The Tor Guides
Hot on the heels of our FUTUREMAN RECORDS partners' release of the much-anticipated new album from Sweden's THE TOR GUIDES, Big Stir Records is thrilled to feature the band in our ongoing Singles Series at www.bigstirrecords.com/big-stir-digital-singles with the lead single from their Backwards In Reverse album! “Just A Smile” (a cover of a Pilot tune, no less!) is backed with an exclusive non-album B-side “Make You Mine” and bedecked with exclusive artwork from Ridley Broome. It's out Friday, November 15 and up for pre-order now!
THE TOR GUIDES is the nom de guerre of Torbjorn Pettersson – now what kind of name is that? Tobbe (as he's also known) released his first single in 1982, heavily influenced by the new wave of the time. Many years later in 2007, never having ceased writing or home recording, he would release his first full length album, Honeybees and Tangerines. The record was attributed to the fictitious “group” The Tor Guides, a name to which Pettersson has returned ever since. The song “You (And Everything You Do)” eventually found its way to Justin Fielding´s excellent indie movie Inventory, where it kicked off the end credits. The second Tor Guides album Strawberries and Chocolates appeared in 2012 to critical acclaim, with International Pop Overthrow impresario David Bash deeming it the year´s fourth best album. The last album under the Tor Guides 2013's Lots of the Pops, was released was similarly lauded.
Since then Torbjorn´s been busy participating in different collaborations, working in the Theme Music community and with Keith Klingensmith (The Legal Matters), John Borack (Popdudes, The Test Pressings) and Herb Eimerman as The Slapbacks, amongst other one-off covers and originals which have surfaced on such compilations as the excellent This is Rock´n Roll Radio Volume 4 from 2018 (curated by Carl Cafarelli and Dana Bonn and released on Kool Kat Musik).
The new album (and the first release on Futureman to use The Tor Guides moniker) is Backwards in Reverse. It was initially a “write and record album in a month” project that blossomed into a full-blown work of its own. Co-produced and mixed by Joel Boyea, it is in a way a return to Pettersson's roots: for the first time, it includes cover versions, in the spirit of the Theme Music collaborations: Pilot´s “Just a Smile” and Wizzard´s “See My Baby Jive”, both a bit twisted around, in homage to the '70s that in many ways formed Tobbe's musical taste. They're joined by nine original in the pure pop style for which Pettersson by any name has become justly renowned. As the man himself proclaims. “From now on, backwards in reverse is the only way to proceed!”
Our B-side “Make You Mine” is a brand new tune completed after the new LP went to press and appears nowhere else, making this single an essential purchase (and a bargain) for completists. The full Backwards in Reverse LP was released November 8 on Futureman and is available everywhere now!