Archive for March, 2005

Bubblegum twee pop from Hello Saferide

Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

Singing like a twee version of Holly Hunter and with simple musical backdrop, Hello Saferide is basically the female singer Annika Norlin. Her website has one song from her upcoming release My Best Friend (due spring 05) and it’s catchy and clever and an all-around scrumptious treat called “High School Stalker”.
With lyrics like “I’ve been on Altavista and twice on the Yahoo and everywhere I go there is always a clue…” and “I hacked into the school computer and changed your D’s to A’s…” this is brilliantly simple, bubblegum pop, complete with bolero trumpets and plenty of ohs and ahs. I’m going to beg for more mp3′s or a copy of the new record so hopefully we’ll hear more from Hello Saferide in the near future.

High School Stalker

The Largesse of Tiny

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

Minimalist cabaret music, pump organs, and cello…you get the idea. Floating above are beautiful vocals the likes of Kate Bush and at times even Bjork. Ellekari Larsson is the woman behind the voice; the band is a trio that formed in Stockholm in 2002. Tiny’s debut record Close Enough landed stateside this month on Eyeball Records. This is truly the sound of silence with just enough space in between for some translucent music.
This is music that could fit on Songs:Illinois but now it is reserved for SwedesPlease where I hope it’ll gain a larger more respectfull audience. Here’s two songs from Close Enough including “No Money” which speaks of the dual horrors of rampant materialism and being broke. Only one left at Amazon who’s gonna snag it first?


No Money

The Amazingly Subtle Sounds Of Jose Gonzalez

Monday, March 28th, 2005

I hope Jose Gonzalez is Swedish. He records for a Swedish label, his booking company is in Sweden and he is photographed near fijords. However he doesn’t fit any of the stereotypes you may have of this country. His gentle music with it’s fingerpicked and strummed acoustic guitar and softly sung vocals doesn’t fit in with the bombastic garage band sound coming out of Sweden today.
Thankfully after further research I can confirm that Jose Gonzalez was born of Argentine parents in Gothanburg, Sweden. Perhaps it’s this international upbringing that has helped him create such an interesting melting pot of music. Lots of great songs available from his releases available at his website. Please explore there as well. Many of these songs are from his debut LP Veneer.

Stay In The Shade


Sensing Owls

Racing Paper Planes Update

Sunday, March 27th, 2005

Just after my Racing Paper Planes post the band and it’s label released a cd single. This 2005 release is available now on the Swedish label Realese Music. Here’s a couple songs from the single:

City Lights

Out Of Mind

Preview The Perishers new release Let There Be Morning (April 2005)

Sunday, March 27th, 2005

Not specializing in indie rock makes it hard for me to write intelligently about a band like The Perishers. I know I Like Coldplay, The Doves and some of what Keane does. I guess it’s an update on the music I loved as a younger man (The Chameleons UK, The Smiths, the Cure, Echo And The Bunneymen etc).
Anyway I would describe The Perishers as kind of low-key epic. Their songs build and swirl until reaching either an exciting finale or just as often fading away. Their new record Let There Be Morning is going to see the light of day on Nettwerk Records in the US in April 2005. It seems like the single will be a song called “Sway”, while the two best songs seem to be “Weekends” and a duet called “Pills”.


Right click and save as the song title and .mp3

Racing Paper Planes

Sunday, March 27th, 2005

Here’s one called Racing Paper Planes, their album Self Sleep Service came out in the fall of 2004. For all I know they were blogged about ad nauseum 6 months ago, if so I didn’t see it. This is indistinguishable from much of the fine country-tinged, indie folk-rock of the great old usa. It’s interesting to hear the American influences on a Swedish band, you can hear early REM as well as Gram Parsons.
They’ve got a bunch of songs available on their website as well as some on Tract Records site. Here’s two off of Self Sleep Service:

Melt To One

Last A Lifetime

Here’s two from their out of print 2002 debut Morning Scars

Stingray Hearts

Evening Stars

Silver Saddle

Sunday, March 27th, 2005

More Americana music from other parts of the world. This time Sweden. I read the other day that musicians in Sweden until recently were able to apply to the government for a grant to make their music. Some think this is why the Swedish scene is so diverse and successful. With privatization and a global economy (re. American economy) that prcatice is now halted. Ironic then that musicians from Sweden have embraced this pecualiarly American music form.
Released in 2004 Silver Saddle‘s Four Miles From Here was a worldwide debut of sorts for the band as they at last had international distribution. In the US you can pick up Silver Saddle at Miles Of Music. It’s truly amazing that this band makes such beautiful American music. Here’s three songs from Four Miles From Here:

Dusty Line

Radio Song

Reason To Believe

Boy Omega – Superhero?

Sunday, March 27th, 2005

Not sure what to say about Boy Omega, he turned up on last years Will Oldham tribute so that’s a good thing. He’s a singer from Sweden as far as I can tell. I quess this is lo-fi singer songwriter pop if you had to categorize. I like the sound of his voice and the simple arrangements which highlight his pleading vocals (maybe it’s emo-acoustic – is that a genre?!)
From his 2004 debut I Name You Isolation

The Best Time Of The Year


From The Will Oldham Tribute

A Sucker’s Evening

From the EP Puma Mountain

Hold On Til Spring

Swedish music rocks!

Sunday, March 27th, 2005

My regular blog Songs:Illinois is not big enough to cover all the great music that exists. In Sweden alone there are thousands of bands creating compelling music, frankly more compelling than anything getting radio/mtv/press coverage in the United States. I have no personal ties to Sweden but am just flabbergasted by the amount of great music coming out of this small European country.
f3v1 titel
As I am no expert please help me begin this musical tour of Sweden. The first group for no particular reason is Strayfolk. Their acoustic leanings certainly appeal to my folk rootsy side and their diy ethic appeal to the entrepreneur in me. They have plans to start their own label and put out their first release soon. For now they have a lot of great music up on their site. Here’s a link to a couple:

I’m Coming Back

Tumbling Rock

Travelin Song