Songs I Wish I Had Written has another duo project in the works. It’s retro 80′s, maybe early 90′s electronic music. This time the band is Gentle Touch and the release is a 4 song self titled ep. Release date is Feb 26 but one song is up now and what sets it apart from the other Swedish and Findlandian duos on “Songs I Wish” label is it’s dreary and dreamy sound. Perfect for a rainy day in Chicago.
Archive for January, 2006
It’s almost embarrasing that I have spent such little time writing about David & The Citizens (and The Bear Quartet for that matter). But until now and I mean right this instant David & The Citizens had none of their releases available domestically. All that’s changed as the small (but fiery) label Friendly Fire Recordings has just released a 6 song primer disc of previousely released music (in Sweden and Europe). This is in anticipation of the full length American debut due out later this year.
To kill two birds with one stone I’m going to put up the song “Let’s Not Fall Apart” (it features Sara Culler, an expat living in Sweden). There’s more about this ep release as well as two more songs to download at the Friendly fire site here.
I’ve only written about a rap/hip hop from Sweden a couple of times and the only band that’s stayed with me is Timbuktu. That may change now that I’ve found the hip hop/alternative group Amok which features the beatmaker producer Spunk and the rapper Joakim Kalcidis. Mixing dub, hip hop and alternative psychadelia into some strange Swedish brew. This seems to have as much in common with Sun Ra and his Arkestra as it does with a crew like RJD2.
Lane are five impossibly attractive Swedish women. That many beautiful women in one room and I immediately think of the false pop invention The Spice Girls. But this group has no such intentions, they are on a small independent label and their music isn’t destined to cross over like The Killers, The Ceasars or The Hellacopters.
But for Swedesplease that makes them perfect. Thee Power of Twee does a much better job of describing their music than I ever could. But nonetheless here’s a couple from Lane. More info from their label here.
Ironville is a tough Swedish band to pin down stylistically. One of the prominent instruments in some of their songs is the accordian. The group switches easlily between male and female vocals. And while I suspect they are being lumped in with an indie rock crowd I hear as much folk, caberet, goth and jazz in their eclectic sonic brew.
Take the song “Raven”as a good example. Again the accordian type sound starts things off and then lyrics of “angels in cages of sin, trying to spread their wings” conjures up Nic Cave and Wim Wenders. However by the end when all the instruments fade away and we’re left with just piano and vox it sounds like we’ve stepped into a speakeasy in the 20′s (think Rufus Wainwright in the movie Aviator). It’s a glorious song. You can hear more at their site here.
A Canadian podcasting web company, Radio Libre, has done a feature on Swedish music. They have used Swedesplease as a resource and have covered some of the bands featured here in the past (Hello Saferide, Let’s Be Honeys, David Fridlund). I can’t hear it cause I’m on a Mac (blah!) but why don’t you check it out and report back in the comments.
Here’s the link it, was supposed to go live at 2pm so it should be up and running.
I love Swedish bands covering American music. They always seem to get it just right (Jose Valdez, Pascal etc) and once again an unusual cover choice played in the wrong key/tempo is a success. This time the band is EP’s Trailer Park and the song is Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer”. These two songs are from a forthcoming record. The band has played with Beth Orton, Ron Sexsmith and Grant Lee Phillips and this one man band describes his music as “slow/dirty/rusty/naked/lofi/folk/roots”.
The band is currently unsigned and is looking for a good home so contact them through their MySpace page above.
Plus one of his own new songs
I know I sometimes rank on Labrador Records. It’s just because they are the biggest and the best Swedish label that I can poke fun though. They seem to have a sense of humor, as well, posting a new song from the Suburban Kids With Biblical Names cd #3. The Song is called “Noodles” and it’s complete nonsense (unless you can explain it to me). Buy #3 here.
Kuryakin have put up a new song on their homepage, it’s a cover of a song from 1967 by Electric Prunes called “Onie”. apparently one ofthe band members is obsessed with sunshine pop and Saint Etienne. This song fits in stylistically with the three song demo ep the band recorded earlier. I linked to two of those songs below.
These songs especially the two of the first demo are not too far off from Jose Gonzalez, which of course is high praise these days!
Simon Ryman doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as your typical, everyday singer-songwriter and I guess the same is true with the whole new breed of folky singers altering and modifying the music to fit their needs. Here Simon has added a bed of distrtion to the song “Sitting On My Porch”, while it sounds like he tweaked “Farsta Creek” with a little synth and banjo (?).
I’ll take the simpler of the two songs (“Farsta Creek”), how about you?
More music from Gothenberg based band Citylights, God damn what do they put in the water. There has to be more good music coming out of this small Swedish city than any other place in the world per capita. It’s Sunday so this short post is all you get. Explore the Citylights website to find out more from the band.
They’ve got four new songs coming soon but check this older tune out now to get a taste.
Boy Omega’s new record The Black Tango will be out in March on Stereo Test kit and in the US on Slight Records. The record is coming out simultaneously in Europe and the U.S. It appears that there is one new track that’s been posted on the American labels site and it’s called “Explode”.
Here’s that new track plus a couple of others from pending release.
Pascal is a trio that is newly formed and newly signed to the Swedish lable Novoton. I wrote about the band here first, captivated by their bizarre yet great choice of covers (esp. since they sing in Swedish). I got their debut long player a couple days ago and will share one of their originals with you.
The first 1000 copies have gold leaf so by my count there are 999 left. Get yours today here.
I sometimes get questioned on why I started Swedesplease. The short answer is because I could. The longer answer is that there seemed to be such a great variety of music coming from Sweden that was being overlooked at least in this country. One other part of the answer of “why” is that Swedish music by and large just connects with me and my personal tastes.
The band Lampshade stradles a couple different borders both by way of nationality and by style of music. Band members come from Denmark and Sweden, there’s men and women, there’s a mix of pop and arty rock. It’s got some of the nordic sound we’ve come to expect from artists like Bjork or Sigur Ros and some of the pop of Sweden. It’s a grand combination. Add to that the fact that the new record, Let’s Away (Glitterhouse, Feb 27), also features Damian Jurado and you’ve got a potential homerun. Here’s one song from Let’s Away. Buy it here now.
Bonus from 2003
Kning Disc (along with Hapna and Ideal) is one of Sweden’s most interesting labels, primarily releasing electronic music but also experimental free jazz and electronic rock. The label is home to Mats Gustafsson, Skull Defekts and Tom Bugs. Their newest release is the minimalist recording Sail, Sail, Sail Away by Sheriff (not Sharif btw). Here’s a sample track. Buy it here.
My Darling You has a new four song ep out now on Tomt Recordings. My Darling You is part of the growing Gothenburg scene. The band is a duo probably inspired by all the regular European pop (Depeche Mode, Flock of Seagulls etc). While I’ve been aware of their stuff for awhile somehow it seems I haven’t posted about them. This song is pretty representative of their lightweight, minimalistic electronic pop.
Buy their new ep, The Winter Will Take Us All, here.
November 9, 2005 seems like so long ago in this hyper modern world of mp3 blogs. If you’re not writing about March 2006 releases than you’ve got some kind of problem. Anyway the Swedish electro-clash sound sytem band Harlem had an ep released on that date by Service. The song “Test Drive” is the free mp3 download.
I could almost see myself dancing to this in some techno-urban dance club in Stockholm. At least I wish I could.
Not surprisingly the band Quit You Day Job is on the Swedish label Bad Taste Records. Their new record and first single is called Sweden We Got A Problem and it lacks any humility or subtelty, it’s The Sex Pistols basically. “God Save The Queen” for Swedish punkers.
It’s apparently a college radio hit in Sweden. Buy it here.
Here’s the title track.