Archive for August, 2005

Trucker Cleavage (that should get some hits through google)

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

How does a band in Sweden, on an island off of Sweden no less, put out such great Southern (U.S.) pop? Trucker Cleavage must have absorbed lots of Mitch Easter produced records in the 80′s (just like me). They’ve got a new three song ep up on their website. Here’s two of the three songs on the EP.

Jangly pop with just the right mix of strumming guiters, a few lead guitar lines and deep baritone vocals. Think Swimming Pool Q’s, The db’s, Agitpop, Reckless Sleepers and basically anything on REM’s first label – IRS Records.

Making Faces
Santa Marie

Black Light Co from Music Is My Girlfriend

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005


Black Light Co released their debut ep, Madeline EP, on July 23 on upstart Swedish label Music Is My Girlfriend. The band only has a 100 copies so get em while you can from MIMG by emailing Niklas her – niklas@popkompis.se. The cds are limited edition from the label, numbered and handsewn/handprinted sleeves.

“Too Late Madeline” is a jangly, emo power ballad. The lyrics and how they’re delivered on both tracks remind one of the classic alternative era of British groups like The Echo and The Bunnymen, The Chameleons and even U2.

Too Late Madeline
Just A Dream

New song titled "I Have An Itch" from The Bear Quartet

Tuesday, August 30th, 2005


Everyone’s been clamoring for a Bear Quartet post so here’s a quick pointer to the new song from Sweden’s beloved grandfathers of independent rock. Link is courtesy of It’s A Trap and Hello Surprise…I’m not sure who got there first so visit them both for your Scandanavian music fix. This is off the upcoming three track single ep called I Have An Itch which itself is a precursor to the upcoming album called Saturday Night.

I Have An Itch

I don’t have a long history with the band so I’ll take this at face value and just say I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. But one song does not an album make so I’ll just have to wait and see.

erik k

Tuesday, August 30th, 2005

Eric K is my second successful emailer of the week. He used literally the same email as Peace In Our Time to break through my defences. He resides in Jonkoping, Sweden.

It’s funny but I don’t generally like MySpace.com. I think to some extent it’s leveled out the playing field too much. Now anyone with a guitar and a song can have a legitimate platform for their music. Like baseball with its too many teams, it seems that so many bands may have watered down the quality of the music.

But then there’s the flipside. Eric K was able to put up his songs and email me the link and now we’re off. These are gloomy songs Eric recorded at night. They were mixed by Oskar Ekeberg. A song like “Dark Trigger” languishes in a Roy Orbison/Spagetti Western kind of stew. While “Aching Memories” has an alcoholic, drug induced haze that coats the song until a ray of hope and a yearning vocal refrain breaks it free. For more info and another song or two visit Erik K My Space page.

Dark Trigger
For Elsie When The Sea Pt. 1
Aching Memories

Elodie

Monday, August 29th, 2005


It’s rare for me to come across Swedish music that is actually well produced. Partly this is because I usually have little interest in it and partly because well produced music is usually on larger labels and the larger labels don’t share (mp3′s). I’m convinced that a lot of what we now call lo-fi music is a result of not lo fidelity but low liquidity ($$$).

However I did just stumble upon the band Elodie at the Swedish fanzine Bedroom Love. Elodie have a polished jazz meets pop sound (and some electronica thrown in for good measure). The band, sound and singer remind me of that other beautifully produced Swedish band – The Tiny. Elodie’s sound revolves around the lead singer Evelina Hagglund, the musicians supporting her are tastefull but it’s Ms. Hagglund who makes the music come alive. Their newest record is called It’s Too Bad You’re Leaving. Buy it here.

Jannowitzbrucke
1641
Maps And Squares

Blood Machine (Remix by Teejay)

Peace In Our Time

Sunday, August 28th, 2005

Sometimes the language barrier is a good thing. I love these Swedish bands that write me in simple English saying “I wrote these songs this summer. Maybe you’ll like them.” The humbleness is appealing and the sentiment refreshing in these brash times. Johan from Peace In Or Time sent me such an email and a link to his site (which is under construction).

I like all the songs he’s got up there. They all inevitably start with the same little bit of dead air and a few errant microphone setup sounds. Then Johan kicks in with his acoustic guitar and sweet, smooth voice. If you’re a label this singer/songwriter might be someone you’d be interested in. Here’s a couple of songs from Peace In Our Time.

Everyone or Anyone
A Way To Pass The Time

The Mare – I Don’t Want To Die

Saturday, August 27th, 2005

Labrador Records (the premier Swedish indie label) is playing catchup as far as I can tell. While we wait for their next release (The Legends) bands like The Mare and The Flu and labels like Bedroom Rec and Smashing Time have been putting out some great stuff. The Mare have this amazing little song called “I Don’t Want To Die” that pretty much sums up life, the universe and everything in about 3 minutes.

I Don’t Want To Die

Nicolas Makelberge’s electronic pop record – South America

Friday, August 26th, 2005


Bedroom Records is back in the news and back in the mix here at Swedesplease. Their newest release is an ep by Nicolas Makelberge (and Johan Tuvesson) entitled South America. These two craft pciture perfect late night funk. I don’t dance too much (at all) but with enough alcohol I could almost dance to this. Here’s the title track and “She’s Like Gravity”.

Now that The Postal Service and others have brought this music back I hope some of these other bands working the retro Depeche Mode thing can get dealt in on some of the action. Buy this now and just about anything else from Song I Wish I Had Written.

South America
She’s Like Gravity

As a nice bonus Bedroom Rec is offering the latest track from Friday Bridge (to hold us over until they release her disc). It’s called “It Girl” and was released as a split single with Le Sport for Volupte just last week.

It Girl

Vit Pals’ I like To Dance – If only they could go back in time and add this to The Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack

Thursday, August 25th, 2005


A man and his computer. That age old combination. Mozart through REM. Muddy Waters and right on up to Nirvana. All the great bands have used `em but it’s only been in the past 10 years or so that a single artist can create all his own music on a computer and this is revolutionizing the music industry (and film and newsprint, etc. etc.).

Vit Pals is one such tall, geeky guy. He is really Carl Johan Lundgren from the outskirts of Malmo. He’s got an ep out that you can order through his site (although you’ll have to do it the old luddite way, with an envelope and a stamp). He describes his music as pop. I like to dance should have realy been on the Napoleon Dynamite Soundtrack maybe it’ll make it onto vol. 2!?!

Havsbavning
I Like To Dance

The Flu’s new ep and their cover of The Hives’ Hate To Say I Told You So

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005


The Flu (originally written about here, here and here) from Sweden (surprise!?) have released their debut ep lovin’ is alright. In what has become the first great mp3 blogger war of 2005 Indie Girl over at Indie Don’t Dance has beaten me to the punch and scooped the entire known world by posting the song “Breakout” a couple of days ago. So here’s my feeble cannon shot across her bow (so to speak).

While the whole 5 song ep is a work of beauty and originality it’s the song “Passing Time” that speaks to me. The song features muted trumpets, brushed drums, a 60′s era (Rosemary and Sage) vibe and a chorus that is achingly sweet and painful.

Passing Time

Here’s the bonus track and a real beaut (originally posted by Said The Gramaphone – that bastard!). Here’s The Flu’s cover of The Hives’ hit “Hate To Say I told You So” .

Hate To Say I Told You So

Buy lovin’ is alright here.

Tie a red ribbon around all those SUV’s – Blood Music’s "There Is A War In Almost Every Country"

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

I think that all those people “supporting the troops” with those yellow ribbon stickers on their SUV’s should instead put one red ribbon for every man, woman and child killed in Iraq. I’d like to see them navigate the road with thousands of those on their windshields. Whatever the real cause was for the war it’s clearly gone on long enough. Every Marine that is killed is either someone’s child or someone’s parent. It’s hard to even comprehend the damage to that country’s psyche with all of the innocent iraqi civilians killed, detained or maimed by this war.

The peace song “There Is A War In Almost Every Corner” is the first song released as an mp3 off of Blood Music’s upcoming debut full-length Sing A Song, Fighter (October, Make It Happen Records). The song is more of a metaphor for not harming one another, than a full fledged anti-war protest song but I’m going to read a litle deeper into it and assume Karl Jonas of Blood Music is as fed up as I am with the war in Iraq. I’ll have links to buy the new record up as soon as the label/band put them online but for now just listen and enjoy.

There Is A War In almost Every Corner

Blood Music is encouraging people to freely download and spread this song. It’s a positive way to take a stance for peace.

Naimi – Miss You

Monday, August 22nd, 2005


At some point in the near future I may have to change the name of this blog to swedeswithcheapcasio(oryamaha)keyboardsmakingpopmusic. It seems every third day that’s what I’ve got for you. But as of yet no one has complained.

Naimi is Kristin Eklund and it seems as though she plays all the instruments (guitar, synth, sings) on the two songs posted on her site. Her new ep is available at Music Is My Girlfriend. Here’s her songs “Miss You” and “Hej Solen”. The nearest Swedish comparison I can make is the band Hello Saferide, especially with her painfully direct and to the point, personal lyrics and frantic guitar strumming.

Miss You
Hej Solen

Indie Don’t Dance has The Flu!

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

Indie Don’t Dance has come down with a bad case of The Flu. She’s in denial at the moment but will come around soon. It’s an exclusive by the way, so don’t be shy and visit her site you can’t get it.

Site maintenance – Now It’s easier than ever to subscribe to Swedesplease (plus a chill track from Bauri)

Sunday, August 21st, 2005

I did something I should have done years ago (no, not learn Swedish, although that’s next). I added a number of easy ways for you to add Swedesplease to your favorite news reader. Whether you use Kinja, Bloglines or Feedburner I’ve got a way for you to easily add my feed to your list. So just click any of the relevant buttons half way down the right side panel and you’re off.

Baby DuckBauri

Back to Swedish pop with Samma Kaliber, Happy Couples and Broken Yamahearts

Sunday, August 21st, 2005

Ok so Lasse Marhaug is not from Sweden but Norway. And I can’t find the name of the performer for today’s post. His website is the umbrella under which all his musical projects live. It’s pink lagoon.

There are several bands represented here and they are usually collaborations by this anonymous artist (maybe named Moe 5, Moe Lodin) and one other person. Samma Kaliber is with Helsman Henry. Happy Couples is with Daniel Lindeberg. Broken Yamahearts is his yamaha synth project with occasional guest artists. Let’s do a song by each.

Samma Kaliber is the most 60′s inspired band of the bunch with it’s psychedelic album cover and spaced out music/lyrics. Here’s “Vanila Hotel”.

Vanila Hotel

Happy Couples is a little more contemporary. Especially the song “Art School Trauma” with it’s crooned, Morriseyesque vocals.

Art School Trauma

Broken Yamaheart is toy-like electronic music performed on a cheap yamaha keyboard. Some of it performed and written by Bobby Baby (whom I wrote about last week).

I Killed Our Love

Bonus flash animation video and song called Mr. Dull

Mr Dull video

Lass Marhaug – Swedish electronic noise

Saturday, August 20th, 2005


I mentioned noise as a musical style the other day. Of course being a fan of sweet, perfect pop I simply don’t get it. Who listens to this? What’s the point? Any comments are welcome. I do appreciate the artistic and technical aspects of this music but I’m just curious who listens?

Lasse Marhaug
is one of the leading Swedish purveyors of noise. He’s widely known and critically acclaimed within this community. There’s plenty of music to sample on his homepage or varying styles. Here’s “All In Good Spirits” and “Nihilist Ace Blues For Time Travel”. After repeated listens I see some of the appeal of this particular electronic genre…

All In Good Spirits
Nihilist Ace Blues for Time Travel

New music from Bjorn Norestig of The Flu (recorded last night!!)

Friday, August 19th, 2005

The internet is a truly wonderful thing and as we move on it will continue to change everything. The most recent example of the speed and power of the internet can be seen in an email I received this morning from Bjorn Norestig from Sweden.

In the email Bjorn gives his take on his new song, which he recorded last night, about his small hometown. Titled “Little Oak” and with lines like “I’m glad that I got out, glad that I got out, glad that I got on with my life” delivered over melancholy guitar strumming and his signature vocal style I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

I wrote about his debut ep here. The links are still working to two songs off of his 2004 ep Come Take A Shine. I’ve been promised a new ep from Bjorn’s band The Flu as well as a cover of The Hives’ “Hate To Say I told You So”. So keep a lookout for more from Bjorn Norestig.

Little Oak

Conduo Orchestra’s electronic landscapes

Thursday, August 18th, 2005


One area that I haven’t explored fully and a genre that is incredibly vibrant in Sweden is electronic music. There is a wealth of it out there ranging from minimalist sounds to dense forests of sound and noise. A safe place to start this exploration will be Conduo Orchestra. While their music is indeed electronic it encompasses some of the warmer analog sounds of folk, classical and jazz.

Conduo have a website that is only a graphic of two men so I assume from the drawing and from the word Duo in the bands name that this group is indeed composed of two musicians. Conduo is in fact Kristopher of Ljudbilden & Piloten and Johan from Tsukimono. The one song I have from Conduo is from a new comp available from Nosordo Records called Rojo. Tachan. Nosordo.

Referencia

As a bonus here’s another song from the same comp this time by Ljudbilden & Piloten

Martin, Gracias por la guitarra

And what the hell one from Tsukimono as well

Small Is Beautiful

New Songs from Junip (Jose Gonzalez) (courtesy Catbird Seat)

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

junip2
Catbird Seat put up the new songs from Junip, Jose Gonzalez’ band project. It’s obviously louder than his solo work but underneath the noise you can hear some of the unique melodies and sounds Jose is already well known for.

The only thing Catbird Seat neglected to link to was the video for the song “Black Refuge”. So here you go my small contribution.

Black Refuge (.Mov)

Handsome Train’s soft music

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005


I must be out of it because I’ve never heard of Handsome Train and they make some of the best twee music I’ve heard; rivaling Tullycraft and others from this unusual genre. The band has a nice bio online in English but the most important piece of information I saw was the quote from one of the bandmembers…”we all love soft music that is both simple and emotional in a humble way.”

Soft music… I like that someone should create a blog called that.

I Want You To Know

Hey (unreleased)