One of the finest acts updating synth pop for the 21st century, Lust for Youth began as the raw, icy D.I.Y. project of Swedish electronic musician Hannes Norrvide before adding more members and polishing their music. On early albums such as 2011's Solar Flare, Norrvide combined tormented darkwave, minimal electronics, and gothic beats that bordered on harsh noise, but more melody and structure crept into the project's sound by the time of 2013's Perfect View. Lust for Youth's transformation continued on 2014's breakthrough International and 2019's self-titled album, both of which delivered heartbroken yet danceable songs in the vein of Depeche Mode and New Order.
Lust for Youth began in 2009 in Gothenburg, Sweden at a collective venue/practice space where Norrvide's friends were starting a punk band. He was inspired to join in, but since he only had access to a toy keyboard, he opted instead to make music alone. Norrvide issued several cassette albums and miscellaneous 7" singles before the release of 2011's proper full-length, Solar Flare, on the Italian label Avant! Records. Around that time, Norrvide relocated from Sweden to Copenhagen, Denmark to live with his girlfriend, who also performed with Lust for Youth in concert. When they broke up, Norrvide brought in his friend Loke Rahbek, known for his work with bands including Vår, projects such as Sexdrome and Croatian Armor, and as co-founder of the record shop/label Posh Isolation. Lust for Youth's first release as a duo was 2012's dissonant Growing Seeds, which also marked their debut on the U.S. label Sacred Bones. The following year, Lust for Youth released a pair of albums that reflected the project's increasing breadth: On Pomegranate (which was billed as a collaboration with Croatian Armor), Norrvide and Rahbek took an atmospheric approach that bordered on new age, while Perfect View brought their latent synth pop influence to the fore.
Lust for Youth's music became even more streamlined with the help of producer Malthe Fischer, whom Norrvide and Rahbek met when he bought a Vår album at the Posh Isolation store. Fischer's offer to record the duo at his studio turned into sessions for Lust for Youth's fourth album, International. Inspired by the romantic breakups all three men experienced while recording the album, it arrived in 2014 to critical acclaim. The trio returned in 2016 with Compassion, a set of songs that took their music in an even more epic direction. Lust for Youth pared down to the duo of Norrvide and Fischer for 2019's self-titled album, which found them recommitting themselves to the brighter side of their music.