The story of how Peking Duk and Icona Pop met won’t let you down. Call it coincidence, destiny, fate —in one moment, lives can collide and change forever.
We are travelling across a bridge over the Thames on a double-decker bus. The Australian and Swedish pop stars have invited us on a tour of London with The Original Tour. As we take in the sights, Peking Duk and Icona Pop recall the time they met, on an airplane from Miami to Los Angeles – and it was by complete coincidence.
Reuben explains, “I spilled some orange juice on the bag of the person next to me. And I started freaking out, I was like ‘oh my God, I’m so sorry. I’m so hungover’. And I’m like, trying to wipe the orange juice off the bag, and then the person next to me says, ‘don’t worry, it’s fine – we’re pretty hungover too, we saw these Aussie DJs playing at the W last night.’ Then we were like, ‘oh shit, that was us!’ And as soon as I realised we were chatting to Icona Pop, I got really nervous, like, ‘oh shit, I spilled orange juice on Icona Pop!'”
We’re not surprised that Peking Duk felt nervous, Icona Pop are pop royalty. Since the release of their debut album ‘This Is… Icona Pop’, featuring hit single ‘I Love It (feat. Charli XCX)’, the girls have toured the world supporting Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and One Direction.
Sat to my right, an effortlessly cool Caroline Hjelt describes their chance meet with Peking Duk as “a good ice breaker.” How did the relationship between these guys grow from spilling orange juice on a bag, to releasing a huge pop hit together?
Reuben recalls, “I guess we stayed vaguely in touch, on Twitter. Then we bumped into each other at a studio in Stockholm. From then, we had the girls fresh in our minds. We had a rough idea for ‘Let You Down’, and we thought there’s no one better to send it to than Icona Pop.”
Looking around, as the London Eye comes in to view, Adam adds, “The song actually came together right here, in London, on Pete Townsend’s studio boat on the Thames.”
Caroline and Aino both agree that they fell in love with the song from the moment they heard it. And we don’t blame them. ‘Let You Down’ is the perfect break-up song for our generation.
About the song, Reuben explains, “The melodies were made first, and they were very happy, and it was kind of fucked up. So we thought, you know what, this is a time we can take the lyrics dark and it will work.”
With razor-like synths and thundering drum beats, the electrifying rhythm in ‘Let You Down’ beautifully contrasts with both artist’s emotive vocals and sad lyrics. The single is the first to feature vocals from one-half of Peking Duk, Adam Hyde, who “after looking for someone else to sing it,” decided, “this is taking way too fucking long.”
Adam reveals that his vocals will also feature on the duo’s next single, set for release in January. Talking more about their highly-anticipated debut album, Reuben lets out that there will definitely be a song with Australian band Cloud Control.
Watch the official music video for ‘Let You Down’ here.
Thanks to Blondies London for providing the fun drinks; and Peter from The Original Tour for being our brilliant London tour guide.
Words by Hayley Thompson // @xhayleyt