Break out the face paint and flower crowns, ingest your substance of choice, and get to your nearest big tent — Swedish House Mafia is back. The progressive-house giants have released their first new song in eight years, “It Gets Better,” which incorporates some techno influences and features an instantly infectious, clangy drop. It’s the first offering from an upcoming album, Paradise Again, set for the end of 2021, according to a new Billboard cover story. And it comes after a whirlwind few years for the group. A 2012 breakup announcement at the height of the EDM boom begat the smash single “Don’t You Worry Child,” a popular farewell tour, and rumors of infighting. (A former member of the management team told Billboard that group member Sebastian Ingrosso once complained about sitting in a brown leather airplane seat while fellow member Steve Angello got black leather; neither remembered the incident, but Angello said, “If it’s true, it’s fucking rock star.”) Two members soon formed the side project Axwell Λ Ingrosso in 2014, with the group fully reuniting for the closing set at Ultra Miami 2018 and a 2019 reunion tour.
The group members told Billboard the reunion plans began in December 2017 but initially included only Ultra Miami until the emotion of the performance led them to plot a full reunion. (Not to say the Ultra reunion was without conflict — Angello reportedly fired the entire production crew over mistakes.) The three have been working on new music since 2019, when, according to Billboard, they struggled to get a multimillion-dollar recording contract without new material from labels concerned about a post-EDM music landscape. They eventually signed to Columbia in 2019, left in 2020, switched management, and signed to Republic Records, with the final version of “It Gets Better” not coming out until early 2021. But now, the group said it has enough new music for not just Paradise Again but multiple albums afterward, plus touring plans for 2022. Just in time for the return of crowds, EDM is back too.