Archive for May, 2006

Is it love or too much coffee? The Marching Band

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006


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?”.

Home Alone IV
Feel Good About It

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The Charade – A Real Life Drama (Skipping Stone, June 20)

Tuesday, May 30th, 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.

My Song To You
Tough Decision

Bonus song from 2004′s The Best Is Yet To Come:

Monday Morning

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Haxor and Porr means witches and pornography (plus a new song from Richard Reagh)

Monday, May 29th, 2006


The Swedish band Haxor and Porr (My Space) is messed up, really messed up. Their new album is out now and is called Fuck You Glesbygd. Here’s the title track which of course contains the line:

Fuck You Glesbygd

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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.

Me Too

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Detektivbyran (Nick Cave meets Wim Wenders)

Friday, May 26th, 2006

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

Hemvagen 16a

Here’s an untitled track from their 2005 demo:

01

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Old Lost John

Thursday, May 25th, 2006


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.

As We Do In Dreams
Sick Mary

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Minxy Soul Models (West Side Fabrication, April 25)

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006


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 soul.screen@spray.se or through their My Space page.

Kuchibiru
Meat District
Freeze Me

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State of the Ark

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006


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.

This Piece of Poetry Is Meant To Do Harm
Rock City Wankers

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We-Are-Fontan

Monday, May 22nd, 2006


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.

Beautiful Bastards

Alla Kan Se Dig

Artwork by Brendan Moore.

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The Grand Opening and side projects by Leif Elverstig

Thursday, May 18th, 2006


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 Mutineer
Every Warm Degree

Oh yeah and btw here’s the debut single from The Grand Opening:

Don’t Drop Off

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Hospitalle

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

Little Hill Recordings have released their debut cd by the Swedish band Hospitalle. It’s got that sort of full choral sound of Arcade Fire (does it not?).

Day Before May is a 4 song ep and that’s about all the information that is available online. Order it here.

Black Heart

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Indie pop from Bare Knees

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006


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.

Always On Your Side
Sex And Communism

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Something special from Hello Saferide

Monday, May 15th, 2006

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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?”

So take “the quiz” now, should you pass you’ll want to come back in June for the EP. Buy her debut cd Introducing…Hello Saferide here through It’s A Trap.

The Quiz

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Swedish music from Blog Up’s new compilation "Have a Good Night"

Monday, May 15th, 2006


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.

The Spider Monkey Song

Some other blogs are featuring Swedish music this morning:

Jeniferever on Getecho
Lo-fi-fnk on Superette

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Pet Politics’ new song – "The Spring"

Friday, May 12th, 2006


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…

The Spring

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Elope – 3wd (Gravitation, March 23)

Friday, May 12th, 2006


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.

3wd

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Audrey

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

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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.

sdnmt_cover

Mecklenburg

Bonus: An older song, “Box and Fights” from Audrey.

Box and Fights

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Diktendo’s "Falling Adventures"

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006


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.

The Tune I Call Novemeber
Falling Adventures

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The Embassy’s "Stage Persona" (mp3 and iPod compatible video)

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

embassy_foto_02
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.

Stage Persona

Video

Lion Love

Monday, May 8th, 2006

I’ve been putting off this post about Lion Love on Sing Your Life not because I have any doubt of the quality of the music but becasue I’m not sure what easily- defineable-category to put them in.

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.

We Have Dancing Shoes
Long Awaited Love

Help me write this post about The Mustonens!

Saturday, May 6th, 2006


I don’t know what this music is? Will someone write today’s post for me….please.?! Leave it in the comments, English or Swedish either’s fine. Do your research here. Oh and listen to these two songs.

A Festival Is Here
Fly Fly Fly

Artwork by Kris D.