Archive for April, 2006

A Perfect Friend – Thomas Denver Johnson and CJ Larsgarden (ambient folktronica)

Friday, April 28th, 2006

I’m not sure what Thomas Denver Johnson would have to do for me not to write about his music. Heavy black death metal I guess. He’s changed directions completely with his new duo project (w/ CJ Larsgarden) called A Perfect Friend.

They describe it aptly as “Ambient Folktronica” and while that may seem narrow there are bands working this field. I’m linking to the 13 minute opus “When The Temperature Is Rising”. Within the song time melts away as electonic bips and whirls are embedded on a lush background track. Thomas’ vocals occassionally float in and out of the mix. It’s warm and fuzzy. Analog and digital bleneded together in some odd new combination. They’ve finished this record and are looking for a home for it. Expect it sometime this summer?!

When The Temperature Is Rising


New songs from Big Strong Union and Vit Pals (Canarie Records)

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

Egad sue me, I’ve been slacking. I missed these two release on Canarie Records by Vit Pals (here and here) and Big Strong Union (wrote about `em here). If you saw the movie Lost in America with Albert Brooks and it’s pivotal scene of gambling away the nest egg than you’ll be able to relate to this song by Big Strong Union.

Internet Poker Ruined My Life

I’ll just repeat what I have said previously about Vit Pals and that is that he may be one of the geekiest sounding singers around. And his keyboard playing is atrocious. But it’s endearing, no? And the songs are great! Here’s a song off his new ep, also on Canarie. Buy them both here.

Love In Danger


Dusty Fingers – Cowboys In Scandinavia:The New Folk Songs of Northern Europe (Fargo)

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Dusty Fingers come from Karlstad, Sweden. But they also come from combing though stacks and stacks of old vinyl in the local record store/yard sale/thrift shop. That’s how I envision these two spending their free moments. Their new record may end up on here but for now you can hear one of their songs on the Fargo comp Cowboys in Scandinavia: The New Folk Sounds from Northern Europe. Buy it here.


Northern Soul

Quite Alright

A Swedish G.o.o.f.

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

The bands called G.o.o.f. The bands site is and the sound is not surprisingly rather goofy. G.o.o.f. is an obscure lofi wunderkin from Lund, Sweden. Here’s the recipe that created this music. Picked up a guitar in 2004, recorded first song in January 2005, released 2 cds over the next year with 20 songs between them and then wrote and posted 8 more songs for good measure by April of 2006.

Here’s two of the newest songs.

Until I Go To Bed

Life, Death or Immortality

P.S. The picture above has nothing to do with G.o.o.f. I just liked it. It’s by Liz Adams. Find more here .

The Lancaster Orchestra

Monday, April 24th, 2006

The Lancaster Orchestra released a tiny little record, With Help From Absent Friends, on a tiny little imprint of a label (nonofan) exactly one year ago in Sweden. I’ve only just come across their music and am now heartily awaiting the followup. Think the Band meets Jayhwaks meets Gram Parsons. This one song (while recorded for shit) is an amazing pick me up despite the at times dour lyrics. Good blues will do that for you I guess and this is rooted in the blues of course.

If the song didn’t tellyou all you needed to know than that picture above surely will. And if that’s not enough there’s also a cover of The Smiths’ “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”.

New Found Friend

Pete thompson’s "Down The road"

Monday, April 24th, 2006

Pete Thompson (aka Peter Thisell) wrote and performed one of my favorite songs I’ve discovered during the time I’ve been doing Swedesplease. It’s titled “White Shoes” and appeared on the label Johnny Bratton. Pete has also recorded and toured with Bjorn Kleinholz (another favorite of mine). Pete admits to being influenced by the first Gram Parsons he ever heard and is emulating him and the country sounds of the states.

He’s working on a new full length cd which would be his first titled From Pete To You. It may or may not have this new song (dated 2006) on it, I’m voting for it!

Down the Road

Awh alright here’s “White Shoes”

White Shoes

I’m From Barcelona new song and video from "Let Me Introduce My Friends (Dolores Recordings, April 26)

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Alright is everybody pumped for the new I’m From Barcelona on Dolores Recordings called Let Me Introduce My Friends. I certainly am and I’ve been itching to write about it and share a track. Here’s the artwork and tracklisting as well as the coolest video I’ve seen in a long time (although I admit to not getting out too much).

The band would like you to buy it from the online shop Bengans. Come on, you know you want it.

1. Oversleeping
2. Collection Of Stamps
3. We´re From Barcelona
4. Treehouse
5. Jenny
6. Ola Kala
7. Chicken Pox
8. Rec & Play
9. This Boy (feat. Loney, Dear)
10. Barcelona Loves You
11. The Saddest Lullaby (feat. Mathias Alriksson)

This track was on last years ep and it has resurfaced on the debut cd. The song is just what we’ve come to expect from I’m From Barcelona with the tinkling of keys, plenty of background singers and a soaring, poppy sound.


We’re From Barcelona (.mov)

Reverend Savage and His Holy Rollers

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Reverend Savage and his Holy Rollers are an enigma and a conundrum. How did this music come to be? And why Sweden? Is there any irony in song after rockin’ song about God? Is this a known genre – “garage gospel”. I’ve never heard anything like it although it reminds me of The Legendary Shack Shakers and Rev. Horton Heat.

Here’s the latest bit of news from the good reverend:

“Feb 2006 The Reverend has braught his Rollers down to his most holy studio room, putting some final screeches down on tape. Be in good faith that you will have a sacred piece of 10″ wax in your hands real soon.”

Here’s a selection of songs from the previous three Savage eps:

All About God

All Hail Jesus Now

You Got to Believe

New music from James Ausfahrt (of Hemstad) plus something similar from Agent Simple

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

When the acclaimed Swedish band Hemstad emails and tells you you’ve got to check out a band that’s what you do. The performer in question is Goteberg’s resident weirdo (meant only in the most respectfull way) James Ausfahrt (who’s also part of the Hemstad collective). “Keep Left At Jordfallsmotet” and “Just Like Heather” are tales of a disgruntled outsider at once a part of his hometown and at the same time alienated from it.

These two songs are from his 2006 cdr release Alternative Ulcer. You can buy it from James at his website here.

Keep Left At Jordfallsmotet

Just Like Heather

“Keep Left At Jordfallsmotet” seems to be a reply to the Agent Simple song “Make A Right At Jordfallsmotet” that Said The Gramaphone was championing late last year. That ep is sold out (partly as a result of StG) but you can now download it all here for free.

Make A Right at Jordfallsmotet

Ane Brun’s "A Temporary Dive" (V2, May 15)

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

I think I’ve broken my all Swedish rule a couple of times now so there is a precedent to today’s post. By accident of birth Ane Brun came to be in Norway. She moved to Stockholm 4 years a go and is now entrenched in the Swedish music scene. Along with the lead singer of The Tiny she has started her own label- DeTerMine Records.

Her new record, A Temporary Dive, has been licensed to V2 for release in the UK and the US on May 15. On it are duets with Ron Sexsmith and Syd Matters (who I’ve written about a bunch and who it’s nice to see is getting the respect he deserves) as well as tracks from her debut record (this is an extended release compared with the 2005 Swedish release). I could link to the duets and that would be the obvious choice but the first song on A Temporary Dive is a slow burn called “To Let Myself Go” and it reminds me so much of Emiliani Torrini that I couldn’t not not post it. You can pre-order this one through Amazon now.

To Let Myself Go

Unreleased b-side from Boy Omega (Stereo Test Kit, April 18)

Monday, April 17th, 2006

There’s a newish Boy Omega record called Black Tango that’s been released in the states and in Sweden but is only now coming out in the UK. The UK distributer/label of Boy Omega Stereo Test Kit Records has a couple songs from the album for download but more interestingly they’ve got an unreleased b-side. The song is called “From Us To Eternity” and falls under the any-song-from-Boy Omega-is-a-friend-of-mine category.

Depending on your country buy the new record from Riptide Records (Germany), Slight Records (US), or Villa (Swe).

From Us To Eternity

Video game music from the 80′s – 047

Friday, April 14th, 2006

Remember the video game “music” of the 80′s. The band 047 does and they emulate it and add to it on their new record 2005′s Ping Pong ep..

Ping Pong

Dragster 5k

Damn The Lion

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

This is a week of looking back and forward apparently with new music from The Tiny and older stuff from Irene, Hello Saferide and Britta Persson. Shade Tree is a band I wrote about last year. They had an amazing little song called “The Stupidest Thing” that was impossible to resist. Now a member of Shade Tree has formed his own group called Damn The Lion which has just released a new ep. Loungy guitar and cool relaxed vocals dominate this ep. Blues for a dark Swedish winter I expect.

I like the line “have I told you that I’m sorry before for all the pain I caused you in 1994″. You can buy the new ep right here.

It Takes A Man


Bonus song:

The Stupidest Thing

The Tidy Ups – Dizzy Heights EP (Music Is My Girlfriend, April 25)

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

What do you have to do, pass a test on how to craft perfect pop music to be a band these days in Sweden. The latest band to ace the exam is The Tidy Ups and their song “Dizzy Heights”. I was on Last Fm and there are 20 songs by the Tidy Ups but no website and little label info from their limited edition (300 copies) 2003 ep I’ve Been Waiting For The Bus for a Million Years. It seems the band is based in Stockholm and features Jenny Westerlund, a member of the band Funday Mornings.

I wish I could hear more of their early stuff but it’s all sold out, I’d esp. like to hear the song “I Hate Being In Love With Elijah Wood”. The new ep is called Dizzy Heights and will be out on April 25th on Music Is My Girlfriend so enjoy this one song of twee perfection until you can buy the whole thing.

Dizzy Heights

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Update: Well that was quick; a reader sent in “I Hate Being…” (thanks Anis).

I Hate Being In Love With Elijah Wood

Defrag My Heart – geek anthem by Britta Persson

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

I never do this and it’s totally against my blogging ethics but you can stream three songs from Britta Persson’s new record on her homepage. On top of that she’s gone all Web 2.0 on us and you can participate by selecting which song you think should be her first single off her upcoming album Quality Bones and a Little Terrorist (I’m voting for “Winter Tour but don’t let that swat you).

I do have an mp3 download for you and it’s a beauty esp. if you’re a techno geek. The song is “Defrag My Heart” off of Britta’s 2005 demo’s on Startrack called Found At Home. None of Britta’s demo recordings are still for sale but just do us all a favor and get the new record when it comes out in August of 2006.


Defrag My Heart


The Youth

Video of “Defrag My Heart”

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Sounds of Sweden show, Glasgow, May 12 (Irene and Elias Akesson) plus Hello Saferide video (sort of)

Monday, April 10th, 2006

The fabulous sounds of Sweden have reached the furthest corners of the globe; specifically Glasgow, Scotland. On May 12 the Sounds Of Sweden will be bringing the band Irene and Elias Akesson (of Elias and the Wizzkids) to a club called Rafa.

If I have readers in this part of the world (besides Stacey the sponser and head Glasgow swedeophile) you must get in your little British car and drive, drive, drive!

Here’s one from Elias and the Wizzkids:

Do You Love Me Baby

and one from Irene:

Baby I Love Your Way


Found this sort-of video for the Hello Saferide song “Get Sick Soon”, kind of a You Tube moment don’t you think?

Get Sick Soon (Mov.)

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Scotland’s The Martial Arts on Swedesplease!? What the…!?

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

The Martial Arts might as well get dual citizenship. This Glascow three piece spends more time in Sweden than they do at home. They record for Groover Recordings (Swe) and will play their record release party at Landet’s in Stockholm on April 13 (also Lasse Lindh).

These guys emulate the British invasion style of pop at the same time adding a little punk energy to the mix. Below is the mp3 for “Toothpaste” and the video for the single “Murry & Audree”. Buy the new ep Do It Riot Grrl from Groover here.


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Hey Bonnie

Saturday, April 8th, 2006

More folky stuff from Sweden, this time from Hey Bonnie, featuring lovely duets and mostly acoustic instruments. These may just be demos so check back occasionally on this duo’s music at their site.

Hurt Me

Cold Tonight

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Site update: I added a way for Swedesplease (and Songs:Illinois) readers to get the daily music posts in their email inbox. If you visit every day this may save you a little time and effort. Just enter your email address in the box to the right.

Exclusive song from The Tiny (V2, May 8)

Thursday, April 6th, 2006

The Tiny (here) are one of the bands that sticks with me after more than 1500 posts (Songs:Illinois and Swedesplease combined). What is it abot their seemingly simple style that is unforgettable? It probably starts with the voclas of Ellekari Larsson. At once familiar (Bjork?) and at the same time quite alien, Ellekari is resposible for the signature sound of The Tiny. The other half of the sound comes from Leo Svensson on cello and string arrangements. The new record Starring:Someone Like You is their second and is being released in Europe on May 8 in conjunction with V2.

“My Mother” borrows from “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles both in some of the cello work and in the lyrics “look at all those lonely people”. It’s a simple, non-verbose song that still holds a bit of mystery even after repeated listening. You can buy this release now here.

My Mother

Wild Geese Music

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006

Michael Bach is part of the Wild Geese Music. The collective describes their function thusly: “Wild Geese Music Is a mental and musical collective consisting of a number of souls in various constellations with a common desire to write, produce andf play music. Wild Geese Music was built as a roof under which these songs could gather…”

I’m astounded by how good these songs are. There is not a hint of an accent from this native of Sweden and nor are there any wrong notes struck in either song. But the standout track is the newest, “I Took A Picture…”, about a man who alteres a photograph to get a magical day back (and possible get the girl back as well).

You can explore their site for music from Erik Mattsson, Mekong, Birds of Passage and The John Walker Project or you can just keep checking in on Swedesplease as I’ll probably be tackling them all in due time.

I Took A Picture From The Wall

Bonus songs:


What Times Become