Archive for November, 2005

Sweden’s answer to Neil Young – Grass Dancer

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005


Any band that has played with Ron Sexsmith and Mark Olson, and then lists their favorite bands as Neil Young, Wilco, Steve Earl and Luna will get a first and then a second listen from me. The band Grass Dancer records for the small Swedish label Anna Records. Their bio is long and complicated but what really matters is that these six musicians have found each other and have created this, at times, stunning music.

Here’s an electric Neil Young inspired track from their 2005 release Down By The Water.

Down By The Water

Cold Coffee

Swedish Covers Pt 2 – The Logical Song and Holiday Song

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005


This might get confusing so hold on. Hell on Wheels is a swedish band that has been around in one form or another since 1994. Recently they had one of their releases put out in Italy on a label called Kristen’s Postcards. The ep is available as a download on the KP site.

More Swedish covers this time Supertramps “The Logical Song” and The Pixies “Holiday Song”. Combine these with yesterday’s covers and maybe Pascals Bruce Springsteen cover and you’ve got yourself a nice little Swedish covers ep. Get the full ep here plus something new from the Hartmans.

The Logical Song

The Holiday Song

From Their forthcoming full length The Odd Church

Heard You On The Radio

"Everybody wants To Rule The World" by Monorail

Monday, November 28th, 2005

The swedes know their pop culture. And they know good covers. Here’s “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Monorail.

Everybody wants To Rule The World

Plus by thie cover of Howard Jones’

Why Look For The Key

A question/favor and a new song from Musika 77

Sunday, November 27th, 2005


Musika 77 is real epic rock, the band is a 5 piece + and the music that I’ve heard moves along at a fast clip, reaches a peak and then pushes on even more. Check out the song below from a 2005 release. You can buy their stuff here.

Llanvair Llew

P.S. I changed the banner at the top of the page but I’m not good at changing the size/shape of pictures. Is anyone willing to help me make this banner look better? I’d be very grateful and would name you in my will. Email me at cbonnell@gmail.com.

A really great post for Saturday (The Budgies)

Saturday, November 26th, 2005


The Budgies were a band I tried to write about on a number of occasions but was always thwarted. The band said they would email me some tunes and then didn’t. The mp3′s on their site were just clips and then of course I almost forgot all about them. But it’s been a while (like almost two weeks) since we’ve had some seriousely fun twee so I’m glad I rediscovered them.

The song “Think Small” is a twee anthem of sorts declaring that the band doesn’t use any distortion or guitar toys, doesn’t want to get famous, and just wants to play togther for ever; in essence just “think small”. They even quote Let’s Be Honeys when they sing “a friend of ours once said it best, pop love will save the world”.

Here’s “Think Small” from the Budgies. Buy their ep’s here.

Think Small

Plus

My Heart Is Broken

Lucky Sunday

Last Days Of April (plus one of my favorite songs from `05)

Friday, November 25th, 2005

One of my favorite songs from `05 is “Off The Cliff” by Karl Larsson (wrote about him and linked to the song here). He’s from the band Last Days Of April. So let’s go back in time and hear a couple from his group LDOA.

I’d say this is Weezer-like alternative music. There’s a lot more info about this Stockholm based band on the Bad Taste Records (Denison Witmer?) website.

Angel Youth

Piano

Alright if you’re too damn lazy to visit the Swedeplease archive above here’s the direct link to the song “Off the Cliff” from 2005′s Pale As Milk. I dare you not to like it!

Off The Cliff

Bonus song from Karl’s solo debut Pale As Milk

The Devil’s Strings

Loose ends on Thanksgiving (songs from Firefox AK and Unarmed Armies)

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

A few loose ends to tie up. The strangely beautiful site Sudd.org has the Firefox AK What’s That Sound ep for free download. I’ve written about Firefox Ak (alias Andrea Killerman) before and she fits nicely with Unarmed Armies below. She’s had a busy year what with the debut of her debut ep and a tour (at times supporting Maria Taylor). She’s just now recording tracks for a followup cd. Here’s “What’s That Sound” from the ep, you can go to Sudd.org here and get a free zip of the entire record.

What’s That Sound

Secondly the emerging and increasingly prolific new Swedish label Songs I Wish has a new title out now. They’re sticking with the sound that got them where they are today, specifically a dance pop with ancestors like Depeche Mode, Duran Duran and any other Flock of Seagulls you can think of. The new release by Unarmed Armies came out yesterday and is available from the Songs I Wish site now. The song “Missing Out” is from this new ep.

Missing Out

Other unreleased stuff

Goig Blind
(Go-Betweens cover)
Los Conervativos

The Fine Arts Showcase new single off of 2006′s Radiola

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005


November 21st was the release date for the first single off of the upcoming album from The Fine Arts Showcase which is really the solo project from Gustaf Kjellvanders (wrote about him first here). As Fine Arts Showcase Gustaf explores the elecrtonic rock side of things.

The single below is from the 2006 release called Radiola. Gustaf says this new record is more varied than anything he’s yet done. “Chemical Girl” is a great start! Buy the single here.

Chemical Girl

Memoplay a Swedish supergroup?!

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005


Can a supergroup have just two members? Memoplay may be the first as it consists of Bjorn Kleinheinz and Adam Svanell (together and apart they have been involved with Laurel Music, 50 Hertz, Boy Omega). The band seems to have just come into existence.

Apparently the band works by Bjorn writing little acoustic pop songs and then sending them to Adam who messes them up with his computer. This is about as apt a description of the kind of music that I like as you’re going to find. This is an amazing mixture which comes to a head in the acoustic/electronic song “Lights”!

Lights

Song For No Ears

More from Don Agbai (Vapen & Godis, soon)

Monday, November 21st, 2005


Vapen and Godis have scored with Don Agbai (I wrote about him here first). His toss-off songs are better than other bands well produced, hands-wrought, attempted masterpieces. “Barcelona” is apparently the perfect city name for songs or as a name of band (I’m From Barcelona). We’re all looking forward to the split 7″ from Don Agbai.

Check his website for more muisc or Vapen and Godis’ for more info about their stable of artists.

Barcelona 2002 (All I Wanted Was A Postcard)

The Wonder Boys – "The Car Ran Out Of Gas And I Guess We Ran Out Of Magic"

Sunday, November 20th, 2005


Sometimes it might seem that Swedesplease is on the cutting edge discovering all the new young hip Swedish bands. But this is not the case with Wonder Boys, not to say they’re not relatively young and kinda hip, it’s just that they’re not new. The band (a duo really) formed in 1997 and has released a couple of tapes and one or two cd’s. Sounding more like English rock (think Jazz Butcher) than Swedish pop, the Wonder Boys take their lack of fame with tongue firmly planted in cheek (the title of their 2002 cd is 0,000,oo1 Million Wonder Boys Fans Can’t Be Wrong).

Here’s a sampling of their most recent songs. Check their website for many more downloads in the mp3 section.

The Night When The Losers Won

If We Can Get Through This We Can Get Through Anything

The Car Ran Out Of Gas And I Guess We Ran Out Of Magic

SpeedMarket Avenue

Saturday, November 19th, 2005

live7
While Speedmarket Avenue continue to work on their new record let’s listen to something from their 2004 release on Fickle Fame. These songs are from the cd release I’m Going To Let My New Swiss Army Knife To Answer To That. This upbeat pop has certain Swedish twee elements but the trumpets, keys and two guitar attack seperate this from the crowd; reminds me of that other great (misnamed) Swedish band I’m From Barcelona.

Buy it now from Fickle Flame here.

He’s a Rebel

Solitude and Company (Music Is My Girlfriend, Nov. 2005)

Friday, November 18th, 2005

Solitude and Company is a jazzy pop group formed in Umea in 2001. The band has been through a number of personel changes but what remains constant is the presence of singer/songwriters Evilina Johansson and Kicki Fanderlund. Their new ep is out now on Music Is My Girlfriend.

I imagine the song “Isolation” is the sound of the long dark Swedish winter. You can buy the ep at Popkonst.

Isolation

Montt Mardie’s new song/album out today (Hybrism, Nov.16)

Thursday, November 17th, 2005

Montt Mardie has a new record coming out on Hybrism on Nov. 16. The new song below, “Huckleberry Friend”, may or may not be on the record but the lead single, “High School Drama”, surely is. I wrote about him here first.

This is the best discovery in the Swedish pop world of late and one of the best new releases in the mode of Acid House Kings, Pelle Carlberg and SKWBN. Buy it now in the Hybrism store.

Huckleberry Friend

High School Drama

Dreams End ep on Smashing Time

Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

Smashing Time has released their first mp3 ep, it’s by an electronic band called Dreams End. The band is really Olof Larsson. Two songs are available to download. I’ll give you the first and then you’ll have to visit Smashing Time for the second (scroll a little more than half way down the Catalog page).

Baby

New Release on Hapna by the band Tape

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005


I almost missed a new release on Swedish label Hapna. The band is called Tape and they are an experimental trio working the borderland between electronic music and instrumental compositions.

The new release (the bands third) goes in a little different direction as it was recorded in Cologne with the production help of German musician Marcus Schmickler. The songs on the new record, Rideau, are said to have more structure and a more rhythmic element. Here’s one of the new compositors take note of the blending of electronic noise with acoustic and electric elements. Order Rideau here.

Sandunes

Bonus tracks from previous Tape releases

Sponge Chorus

Bell Mountain

We Are Soldiers We Have Guns’ song "Damn Those TV Shows, Damn Them To Hell" (playing tonight in London!)

Monday, November 14th, 2005


We Are Soldiers We Have Guns are releasing their new ep on Stereo Test Kit Records on Nov 14. The band has a strong female vocalist in Malin Dahlberg (Laurel Music).

Here’s their new song.

Damn Those TV Shows, Damn Them To Hell

Bonus track from Records Make Great Pets – Vol 1

Tourists In Our Hometown

Buy both releases from the fine English label Stereo Test Kit here.

——————————

The band will be playing tonight in London as part of the Tack Tack Tack Swedish night at The Hevenly Social.


The Sorayas- Hours To Days (But Is It At?, Oct 29)

Monday, November 14th, 2005


I’ve been waiting for The Sorayas album Hours To Days for a couple of weeks now. Something about the band interested me (see photo above – that should explain it). But really, the band seems to have a high profile (cool new label, high profile shows, famous friends) and a nice website. But what about the music?

I expected something else for some reason, something not so heavy (maybe it was the frilly Seinfeld pirate shirts). But what I got is more The Donna’s meet Sleater Kinney. I suppose the Sahara Hotnights are the closest Swedish comaprison. Buy it now on But Is It Art?

Easy Tune

New song from Stars In Coma

Sunday, November 13th, 2005

New song posted on the Stars In Coma site. This guy is prolific and good.

Life Without the Community

New (NSFW) songs from Strip Squad (Unreliable Narrator, Pervert/Expert and Hairless Youth of Bosnia)

Saturday, November 12th, 2005


When I first heard Strip Squad months ago I wasn’t really open to their dance-pop sound. But the more I hear, the more I like. They have two mp3′s available from their upcoming ep on their website. The song “Unreliable Narrator” is catchy and so extremely odd with it’s references to masturbation and penises that you’ve really got to check it out. It’s like Belle and Sebastian if they really let loose and were truly indie.

I don’t know about Swedish radio but this doesn’t have a chance in hell of being played on US commercial radio (and I’m not even sure if even college radio would take a shot with the FCC on this). So it’s got to be the internet to the rescue and the hip, clever song “Unreliable Narrator”. Thanks to Steph for the reminder and other Swedish band suggestions.

Unreliable Narrator

Pervert/Expert

Hairless Youth of Bosnia