It’s a little embarrassing to be writing only now about Marching Band, as many other blogs have already added to the growing buzz. But with a song like this it’s hard to resist. The song “Home Alone IV” poses the eternal question: “could it be that I’m in love or just too much coffee?”.
Archive for May, 2006
The Charade was one of my best musical discoveries from 2005 and apparently the US based label Skipping Stones agrees with my high regard for the band. They released the bands debut record (which is now sold out) in July of 2005. Now a year later The Charade is set to release their followup titled A Real Life Drama on June 20.
The trio that makes up The Charade are shooting for perfect indie pop in the likeness of The Cardigans, The Housemartins (the music not the politically charge lyrics), The Beautiful South and The Cranberries. If the band wasn’t from Sweden I might even say they are emulating some of the 90′s power pop from the south like The Reivers, The db’s and even Swimming Pool Q’s.
Musically the band relies on keyboards and chiming guitar for the foundation of many of it’s songs and lead vocals by the husband and wife team are traded off song by song (as well within certain songs). The pre-order page for A Real Life Drama just went live here.
Bonus song from 2004′s The Best Is Yet To Come:
If you didn’t like that with it’s demonic chorus of “Fuck You Glesbygd” then maybe you’ll like this gorgeous, minimalist piano pop from current Stockholm resident and adopted swede Richard Reagh. Richard is keeping me (and the world with his blog) up to date on the progress of his new record. He sent me this song yesterday.
Detektivbyran is an unusual folk group from Gothenburg. Their instrumentation is odd with vibes, drums, trumpet, electric guitar and accordian. But their carnival-like, old world sound is wonderfully catchy (in a Nick Cave meets Wim Wenders kind of way). Like the U.S. group Madagascar, Detektivbyran is content to let the music convey the mood as they skimp on vocals altogether.
Here’s a song that is on a 2006 Motor and Lugar: compilation
Here’s an untitled track from their 2005 demo:
Old Lost John is from the woods. He’s now living in Malmo but they haven’t been able to take the woods out of old John. I wish I could find more of this type of Swedish music but it seems that electronic duos, hard rock and dj driven music predominate.
Luckily Thomas from Old long Lost John suggested two other bands in his area and I checked `em out and think you should too. One is Expressmusic and the other is Sweet Mary Music. The songs below from Old Lost John sound like Leonard Cohen in the rain, an even more somber and lonely Leonard Cohen than we’re used to.
Minxy Soul Models released Transparent Yeah on West Side Fabrication on April 25. The band describes their sound as shoegaze meets soul and even as organic electronic. West Side Fabrication is historically one of the more prominent indie labels in Sweden. I’m liking all three of these songs from Transparent Yeah. Contact/booking for the band is at firstname.lastname@example.org or through their My Space page.
Ok, so say you too have this Swedish-only mp3 blog. And then let’s say a new record comes out by The Ark. Should you write about it, even though it’s drek? The thing is some people really like it and I imagine the band/label/promoter thinks they’ve done something truly fantastic. And really is it drek just `cause I think so (remember I love the music of Let’s Be Honey’s, G.O.O.F. and a ton of other Swedish lo-fi nonsense)? On the other hand, this so-called drek from The Ark is at least fun while it lasts, unlike the incessant tedium that was the The Sounds new record.
So against my better judgement here are two songs from the new record by The Ark. Now you know that when there’s an Abba reunion disc you’ll be able to hear it here first and I won’t be condescending and elitist. But still there’ll be no Kent on Swedesplease, I’ve got to draw the line somewhere! Buy State of the Ark now in the U.S. here.
We-Are-Fontan combine loungy jazz with hip hop beats. Electronic noises are added as well as the stray nonsensical vocal. This is what the hep cats in Stockholm will no doubt be listening to mid-summer. These two songs are from the upcoming 2006 release, Aktionskammam, that will be out on Best Before End Records.
Artwork by Brendan Moore.
I may have missed out on The Grand Opening even though they haven’t even released their debut) but not on their guitarist’s side project. Leif Elverstig when not busy with TGO has his own solo thing happening. On some of the songs posted the various instrumental and vocal mixes don’t mesh but these are early demos and taken as such they’re pretty revealing of a talent.
“Oh Mutineer” is the standout track of the songs posted to his website. Sounds a little like some of the piano based rock of David Fridlund.
Oh yeah and btw here’s the debut single from The Grand Opening:
Bare Knees have that perfect twee band name. The image of bare knees conjures up an innocent sexuality, as well as a blissful naivity common in twee music. Bare Knees have a new record just out on Dig Your Own Grave. I don’t really have to know Swedish to know that “na-na-na-na-na-na” is a catchy chorus and that the rest of the song will only be slightly more deep. On “sex and communism” the recording is so bad that even I can’t deciper much of anything and it’s in English, I think!
You’d think that since this is so rough that it is probably the bands’ first recording but you’d be wrong. These experienced popsters released their debut last year (wrote about it here). Not surprisingly Pump Up The Lump was recorded in the bands’ basement. You can buy it through the label site or through the band here.
So I’m crazy about Swedish indie pop. And my # 1 all time favrite band is Hello Saferide. When there’s new music from her all things on Songs:illinois and Swedesplease must come to a complete and utter stop. Any special posts, interviews or features are delayed and waylaid.
This has just happened. Hello Saferide has recorded a new 5 song ep called Would You Let Me Play This EP Ten Times A Day? due out June 10 on Razzia Records. The songs were recorded quickly and released just as fast but with music like this speed is your friend, lo-fi rules and the song is what matters anyway. The first song released to the Razzia Records’ My Space page is the questioning love song “The Quiz”. Before the singer can get into a relationship she has to ask her lover a couple of questions among them: do you mind when I grind my teeth at night, will you talk all through Seinfeld and most importantly will you pick me up if I fall?”
I’m thrilled to be able to share with you a song by Gothenburg based artist Erik Ramsey in collaboration with French artist Milkymee (she lives in Sweden though). “The Spider Monkey Song” is one of the wonderfull lullabyes compiled by the French blog – Blog Up. It’s part of a compilation called Have A Good Night that is meant to sooth children and send them off to a good night’s slumber but like some other recent children’s albums I think it’s meant more for the music nerd adult in the family. Other artists on this compilation include Dawn Landes, Ramona Cordova, Au Revoire Simone, Salim Nourallah and The Metasciences.
The song itself has a certain never-ending-story kind of feel, lyrics are mostly nonsense and seem to create an infinity loop (with the lyrics like “on and on and on”) as the song lurches along. If you enjoy this song, the entire record is available as a free download (artwork and all) here.
Some other blogs are featuring Swedish music this morning:
What was Pet Politics (My Space) missing last time around? How about some synthy sounds, a blast ofhorns and a joyous, uplifting message. It sounds like Magnus is in love, big time. Either that or the long Swedish winter has broken and spring is finally taking root.
Now that’s what I’m talking about!! Theoretically I’d say buy Pet Politics’ ep In My Head from Catbird Records here but it’s sold out. So this’ll have to tide you over…
If you came here for my ramblings, sorry. I’m low on time so this will be brief. The band Elope is Swedish, they have a new cd out now, I should write about it. The new album came out on March 23 on Gravitation and is now available through Parasol. The title track “3wd” starts out as a Rubber Soul era Beatles rocker but later in the song turns into a spacrock jam of tremendous proportions.
You can buy 3wd now through Parasol.
If I had to rank music posted on Swedesplease over the last year or so it’d be difficult to pick favorites but at this very moment, at this very instant, Audrey would come out on top. This Swedish quartet (all women) plays a moody, atmospheric cabaret-rock. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again about female Swedish singers and that is they tend to all have a hint of Bjork. Audrey is no different. And that hint is appealing (partly why Bjork is one of the most popular singers ever to come out of Scandinavia). You can hear that hint in the first song off the record, “Mecklenburg”, particularly the hitch in the singer’s voice
Audrey’s new record, Visible Forms, hits the stores today. “Mecklenburg” is the first single and while I don’t see how it relates to this much fought over and tumultuous country, the song does seem to conjure up some of the feelings of homelessness and displacement that the residents of the actual Mecklenburg region must have felt over the generations. And the recurring image of a child with branches stuck in his hair from living in a stable is certainly gripping stuff. Visible Forms can be bought through all the usual suspects or directly through Tendervision here.
Bonus: An older song, “Box and Fights” from Audrey.
Melodrama has annnounced a new release, that label’s third, from the band Diktendo which is basically Magnus Wahlstrom of Citylights. This has been labeled experimental but the first song below is fairly catchy electonic rock. “Falling Adventures” on the other hand is more of a soundscape with a thudding drum part, fuzzy guitar and ghostly electronic noises.
There’s a new song from the electronic pop group The Embassy. I guess it’s another single off the 2005 release Tacking. The song is called “Stage Persona” and the mp3 and video (even an ipod version) are free courtesy of their label Service.
This is a great little pop song a la Depeche Mode, Split Endz, or really anything of that sort coming out of England in the 90′s. Just perfect for a sunny summer day.
So I’m going to refrain from lumping them in with a dozen other bands and just say that their blend of hypnotic electro-acoustic music is beguiling.