Archive for April, 2005

Swedish Jazz (don’t chuckle!?)

Saturday, April 30th, 2005

Sweden has a long history in jazz. In recent years Sweden has been one of the leaders in improvised or free jazz. Sweden is also home to some of the most renowned composers and bandleaders/musicians. These include Mats Gustafsson, the band EST, The Stockholm Jazz Orchestra and many more.
Here’s the bad news. Jazz artists and labels as a whole don’t believe in the mp3 phenomena. So while there is a tremendous amount of great Swedish jazz I can only bring you so much. One artist that does have mp3′s up on his website for sampling is Oskar Schonning and while there is no information about him on any of the major music websites (allmusic, amazon etc) the music (which is beautifully performed) speakes for itself. Here’s on studio track (“Film”) and tweo live tracks from early 2005.




Jose Gonzalez’s Band Junip

Friday, April 29th, 2005

Jose Gonzalez is just about to hit these shores when the release of his new record Veneer comes out stateside on Hidden Agenda Records. Apparently not one to rest on his laurels Jose has created a full band to explore a more rich sound. The name of the band is Junip and they too plan on having a new release out soon.
There are two songs for the taking on the Junip website: “The Ghost of Tom Joad” (Springsteen cover?) and “Official”. Except for these two songs and the image of a skull there is no other information available on Junip. Decide for yourself what to think of Jose Gonzalez’ Junip.

Ghost of Tom Joad


Another case of a Swede playing Americana flavored music better than the Americans – Christian Kjellvander

Thursday, April 28th, 2005

Christian Kjellvander’s 2002 record is Songs From A Two Room Chapel and while it’s his first solo release he has had 5 other releases out under the moniker Loosegoats. Now that he’s standing out front and center he has taken a step forward by creating personal music which is a mix of country, folk and Americana.
He has added strings, horns and mellotron to the mix creating a unique soundscape for his deep vocals to slide over and around.

Here’s one song off of Songs From A Two Room Chapel available now at Chalksounds.

Word In The Wire

The Tough Alliance – Preview 1st Single from upcoming record The New School

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

The song “Koka Kola Veins” is an electro-pop creation. Punkish and beat worthy at the same time. The band’s website says “The Clash for the new millenium”. Overhyped of course, catchy song by Swedish duo yes!
The Tough Alliance are really two guys, Eric and Henning whose new record is coming out April 27. Check it out on their label’s website – Public Service (also Jens Lekman).

Koka Kola Veins

Vega (featuring the lead singer from The Tiny)

Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

The Tiny were one of the first bands I wrote about on swedesplease (here), I liked vocalist Ellekari Larsson’s range and delivery (a cross between Bjork and Holly Cole) and the music created by the band was aperfect match lending a slightly somber loungy feel to The Tiny’s songs. Vega mines the same vein and in fact on their 2004 release featured Ellekari prominently on a number of songs.
Vega was formed in 1998 with the coming together of singer songwriter Nils-Erik Sandberg and Johan Berthling. Their 2001 debut for retarded lovers was well received but I think the sound finally meshed in 2004 with the Ellekari and the release of Sole Love. Here’s a couple from each.

From Sole Love:

Shake Up Your Soul

The Love Song Of Harold and Marion

From for retarded lovers:


If You Ever Been In Love


Monday, April 25th, 2005

Here’s a catchy song from Novak. Released in late 2004 the bands music is just starting to spread, recently they were featured on national tv in Austrailia. The bands music is a combination of power pop and 60′s influenced psychadelia. The hit single off that 2004 release Perpetual Motion is “It All Works Out In The End”.
As a bonus there are two songs from their 2003 debut which is now sold out.

It All Works Out In The End


Went To A Dance

I Know…I Know…Where’s The Bear Quartet songs?!

Sunday, April 24th, 2005

I don’t have any, you? What I do have is a song off The Bear Quartets singer’s Mattias Alkberg BD‘s solo record Tunaskolan. One of the few songs that have been posted to Swedesplease that is not sung in English. For this dumb American it’s no hindrance at all. What do you think?



Gris i maskineriet

Ta Helq

Herman Dune (Courtesy of Fluxblog)

Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

I’m going to cheat this morning and send you to a different blog. Fluxblog of course is practically the founder of this whole mp3 blog thing. He’s been doing this for years and has exquisite taste. He’s got one song off the new Herman Dune cd that I wrote about last week (here). It’s a song dealing with the trials and tribulations of growing up and getting old (in this case the singer’s only 27 so I’m not sure what he’s actually griping about).
Here’s the link to the whole post:

Herman Dune

Here’s the link to download (or play) the song:

Not On Top

To Buy:

From Track and Field

White Soul

Thursday, April 21st, 2005

Name pretty much says it all. A band from Gothenberg that is heavily influenced by American soul music (and the 60′s) with soaring music, delightfull choruses and fills of piano, guitar and synth. White Soul has just released some new songs that I’ll link to below.

Not Under My Sun


The Girl With The Scar

Burnin Matches

Moneybrother is all the rage but it’s the side project, Existensminimum, that I really like.

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

Existensminimum is the side project from the drummer of Moneybrother. The EP On And On is an orchestrated pop record from this band. Using recorded choral voices, sampled sounds, and a beat the drummer from Moneybrother has created something all his own. This track is from the EP The On And On, the song “From Me To You”.

From Me To You

Pelle Carlberg Update and new demo of Riverbank

Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

I’ve had some new visitors the past day or so thanks to the invaluable website It’s A Trap (ThankYou!). I hate to be too much of a leach but I can’t resist spreading the news of a new song by Pelle Carlberg (posted previousely here). While it’s supposedly an unmastered track it sounds more like a completely finished and carefully polished gem of a song.
Starting out with upbeat doo-woop this song delivers a subtle anti-commeercialism message while keeping an incredibly poppy facade. A simple song with a minimum of wordplay it really works especially when Pelle sings “I regret the stupid things that I have bought”.


As a bonus and if you missed it the first time here’s the title track off his new EP available at LabradorGo To Hell, Miss Rydell

Go To Hell Miss Rydell

Paddington DC

Monday, April 18th, 2005

Paddington DC were recommended to me through an email. Paddington Dc (DC stands for distortion combo) is an organic sounding electronic band. They’ve got the warmth of analog guitar band matched with the beats of techno. New Order meets The Cure.
The band is signed to Planekonomi and expects to release a full length cd soon. They also have several cd-r’s available and an ep. Booking thru Luger.

Something To Say

Right click on the files below and replace what pops up with the song title and .mp3
Put Things
Oh Noo Hyes

The Fine Arts Showcase

Sunday, April 17th, 2005

Is Gustaf Kjellvander (brother of C. Kjellvander) they both record for Startracks and are wildly different in style. Unlike those twin sudies where the brothers are seperated at birth and grow up having very similar personality traits, the Kjellvanders had a similar childhood (living in Sweden and Seattle) but approach music from different angles.
The Fine Arts Showcase is Gustaf’s solo project. The music that comes out of the showcase is loud and fuzzy. Some songs on the website are experimental sound collages. Here’s three unreleased songs from The Fine Arts Showcase. Available on Startracks.

Instant Distance

When I Was Lead Singer Of The Beatles I Invented LSD

Chemical Girl

Anna Leong – Fever

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

Anna Leong formed in 2003 to create perfect indie pop songs. They may well have succeeded with their first release, the 7″ on Chalksounds called Fever. Be the first on your block to get a “Fever” by Anna Leong.



I Should Know You By Now

Apparently the American label Minty Fresh (Chicago) has taken an interest in the band so it seems we’ll be hearing more from them soon on this side of the Atlantic as well.

Mattias Hellberg (Hellacopter and Soundtrack Of Our Lives) New Solo Disc

Friday, April 15th, 2005

This is the second time I’ve written of Mattias Hellberg. The first was a review of his duo covers record with M. Hederos (link here) and now he’s got a new self-titled solo record out. Hellberg is best knbown for his associations with the Swedish bands Soundtrack Of Our Lives and The Hellacopters. Now he may gain the recognition he deserves for his own music.

There’s probably a ton of places to get this new record but I’m linking to an mp3 hosted by the great French label – Fargo so let’s support their store and pick it up here.

Walking Restless

Cirera – Motherfucker-Fake Vegetarian Ex-Girlfriend and others

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

Another recomendation I received recently was for the band Cirera. Cirera is essentially Daniel Cirera and friends. Daniel (like Jose Gonzales) is a Swede of Spanish descent. This has probably influenced his songwriting, I’m thinking Jack Johnson meets Jao Gilberto.
Cirera have an album currently out called Honestly I Love You *cough*; it looks like he’s got a one stop tour in the US starting and ending at Planos-NYC on April 26th. Here’s a couple from Honestly….

Road Trippin’


Motherfucker-Fake Vegetarian Ex-Girlfriend

Sagor & Swing – Avant Garde Organ Duo?!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

I’m still a newbie when it comes to Swedish music but one thing is the same the world over and that is the cream always rises to the top. One band I have continually bumped into in my virtual travels is Sagor & Swing. This duo of Eric Malmberg and Ulf Moller are the premier organ duo in the country, I’m actually not sure if that’s saying much but I’m sure you could stretch things a bit and just say they’re one of the best experimental groups around.
Sadly I came upon them too late and their 2004 release Orgelplaneten is their last. I found much of their latest recordings on the Hapna site. So if you’re interested explore there a bit and the bands webpage. Here’s two from that latest record:

Aventyr i alpener


Sagor &Swing also recorded for Smashing Time Records. Check out two songs from that release as well:



David Fridlund (David And The Citizens) debut solo record

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

Parasol Records sent me David Friedland’s debut solo record yesterday (thankyou). With Swedesplease being such a new venture I’m guessing that receiving this was just pure luck. This release is the first from the leader of Sweden’s revered band David & the Citizens. It features Sara Culler on vocals who I wrote about on Swedesplease last week.
Don’t expect a stripped down solo record from David though. This is a lush and full soundscape of piano, strings and harmonizing vocals. Unlike recent David And The Citizen records this release was recorded at home and at a rehearsel space. The lack of gizmos and studio witchcraft haven’t effected the sound or the quality of this release.

While not released until May 3rd you can pre-order amaterasu through Parasol/Hidden Agenda for $10 (compare at 16.98 at Amazon).
Right click and save as song title and .mp3 for first two songs
Then I Will Miss You
White Van **Standout Track**

April And May

Herman Dune

Monday, April 11th, 2005

All thanks for this post (and some future posts) go out to Ulrika. Herman Dune are based in Paris but consist of a Swede and a Swiss. They are just about to release a new disc on the UK label Track and Field. The new disc features everybody’s favorite Canadian lo-fi folk superstar Julie Doiron on bass and vocals.
On the Herman Dune website they have released their mp3 cover songs and live tracks which makes some sense for a band since then you still give folks a sample of what you sound. But to hear the studio tracks you’ve still got to buy the album. And what an incrdible selection of covers it is with songs from Jonathan Richman, Carole King, and The Silver Jews.

True Love Is Not Nice

Iko Iko

Black and Brown Blues

Live Track

Take Me To Your Country House

Happy Go Lucky (not really)

Sunday, April 10th, 2005

Happy Go Lucky – the band is anything but. Their music may at times feel upbeat and cheerfull but as far as I can tell the lyrics are downbeat and dreary. Coming from a big Smiths fan that is my highest praise. HGL have a number of eps out on Springtime. You can buy them here.


Here’s some songs from various eps, click here to purchase.

Trip and Fall

I need Someone To Die For

I Hope I’ll Never See You Again
**Standout Track**