Archive for July, 2006

New Music From David and the Citizens (Bad Taste Records, August/September)

Monday, July 31st, 2006


I’ve been writing about so much underground and undiscovered Swedish music of late that I almost forgot to follow up with the bands that got me here in the first place. I love David Eklund’s solo work, stangely the music he puts out with the band David & the Citizens hasn’t yet found a place in my heart. I guess it’d be like being a fan of Sting and not the Police or Ryan Adams and not Whiskeytown so it does seem strange even to me.

Nonetheless if David Eklund is involved in a musical project I’m probably on board. David & The Citizens have a new mini lp out now on Bad Taste Records. And then in September their new lp is due titled Stop The Tape! Stop The Tape! “Are You In My Blood is on both the mini lp and the forthcoming full length. There’s a You Tube Video. You can pre-order it here.

Are You In My Blood

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Swedish music blog roundup

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

The Yellow Stereo did a pretty excellent post on the twin pillars of female Swedish pop – Maia Hirasawa and Hello Saferide.

My Old Kentucky Blog picked up on my post about Kitty and the K and expanded on it.

Milk Milk Lemonade
did almost a whole week of Swedish music with profiles of Sharif, Torpedo and The Fine Arts Showcase.

Snow-Globe Universe
says fans of Swedesplease will like this young group from Gothenberg – The Electric Pop Group.

My Voice Is Rising comes on board in the slowly building buzz for the band Detektivbryn.

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Don Agbai’s new remixed "I Am A Machine" (riyl Postal Service)

Friday, July 28th, 2006


I’m a big fan of Don Agbai (in fact if you Google his name I’m the second entry)(here, here) Usually his music is a variatioon on dance pop. But when you start remixing songs the tendancy is to move on over to the pure dance realm. This happened with Postal Service and others. In fact this song, a remix of “I AM A Machine” by Patrick Fridh, sounds quite similar to Postal Service.

I Am A Machine

Bonus tracks:

Barcelona 2002 (All I Ever Wanted Was A Postcard)
Last Night, When I Was Jimmy White

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"Fascination Street" cover by Flow Flux Can

Thursday, July 27th, 2006


It’s getting late and again I might be stretching things a bit but here’s an electro disco version of The Cure’s “Fascination Street” by Flow Flux Can. Simple beats lead to female vocals half whispered half sung.

Fascination Street

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Sweden’s Blood Music gets reissued by Britain’s Static Caravan label

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006


It’s half year top 10 list time again (urgh!) and as you can imagine all the same old bands are represented on everyone’s “indiecorrect” lists. If I had to compile such a list for 2005 Blood Music’s Sing A Song Fighter! would have been near the top. And the beautiful thing about great-hard-to-find imports is that they eventually get reissued abroad. So to start my list off for 2006 I’d add Sing A Song Fighter! again, as it’s been picked up for wider release by Static Caravan (Darren Hayman, Tunng).

It’s funny but at the time I declared this a “great” record (here and here) I’d only heard a handful of songs (even I have a hard time getting a hold of a small self-released Swedish pop disc). Also at the time I knew little of the history of the man behind Blood Music. I have since learned that Karl-Jonas was a founding member (along with Jenny Wilson) of the band First Floor Power. On top of that for much of the time before and during the recording of this record Karl-Jonas was either having brain surgery or recovering from brain surgeries. All of this only enhances the already stunning music on Sing A Song Fighter!

There’s not much more I can say about the music of this band. Read my earlier posts if you’re really interested in prose but if not just check out the songs below. The new song I’ve linked to is called “It’s A Party” and it may seem a little Jens Lekmanish to you and you’d be right. In fact here’s what the man himself said about Blood Music: “Karl-Jonas has made the song, I’ve been trying to write for ten years now”. It seems like you can pre-order this disc now or even download the entire thing here.

It’s A Party

previously linked to songs (don’t miss `em)
There Is A War In Every Country
Hair

P.S. Boy do we need “There Is A War In Every Country” now more than ever.

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The Housecats – "like Noel Gallagher playing in The Band"

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006


Alright this may be pushing the outer limits of completely undiscovered Swedish music but it’s hard to resist a band that describes itself as “Noel Gallagher playing in The Band”. In the U.S. you’d call this a jam band and while I abhor Phish and that whole entire scene (that thankfully has faded) I do find this Swedish group of kids and their music making very refreshing.

Here’s a couple rough unmastered demos from The Housecats. Take `em for what they are and if you’re by any chance in Stockholm on August 3 check them out at Stampen in Old Town.

Holy Mo
Smoke

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New single from The Legends (Labrador)

Monday, July 24th, 2006


The Legends have released a new single and I suspect it’s a song that’s going to be on their forthcoming Labrador release facts and figures due out Sept. 06. The song Lucky Day is emblematic of the new Swedsih duo sound. Referencing Depeche Mode and nearly every brit-pop dance band to come out of the 80′s “Lucky Star” is a 2 minute perfect pop creation.

I was just watching the pilot episode of the original Miami Vice last night and this song could have fit into that soundtrack or Pretty In Pink or any of those classic high school prom dance scenes.

Lucky Star

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How’d I miss Emil Jensen?

Friday, July 21st, 2006


Somehow by some vast oversight I have not written about Emil Jensen. Surprising too since he records for Adrian Recordings home of David Fridlund among others. Emil Jensen sings entirely in Swedish and it’s not easy to fit him in any convenient genre peg.

His 2005 release Kom Hem Son Nan Annan is available here from Adrian Recordings and features the song below.

Naken Nar Ka Ten

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More new songs from Bobby Baby

Thursday, July 20th, 2006


More new Bobby Baby, this time a split 7″ with Daniel Smith to be exact on the new Swedish label Going Places (started by the Swedish singer-songwriter Thomas Denver Jonsson). This is the inaugaral release by Going Places so show em some love by purchasing this here.

Bobby Baby
Lads Are Fun

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Six Degrees of Swedish Twee (Let’s Be Honeys, G.O.O.F., Bare Knees, Sweden Japan Foundation)

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006


I love that it just so happens that all of my favorite Swedish artists (especially the twee ones) are very prolific and generous with their music. Let’s Be Honey’s has two newish songs you can check out below. One is a duet with the man known as G.O.O.F. who strangely enough I wrote about here and more six degrees of seperation this is a tribute to the band Bare Knees (wrote about `em here). Nils, the manchild behind Let’s Be Honey’s, had one of his songs covered by Sweden Japan Foundation (yes I wrote about them too here!) and it may even be better than the original. That song is “Lionheart” and if there is any justice in the world somehow/someway this song will be a hit.

There’s an ep out on Asaurus or you can try to get back catalog by contacting Nils at nils.lindblom@gmail.com.

Skimming Stones (w/G.O.O.F.)
Nils Folke Valdemar Sings A Song You Could Dance To

Lionheart (cover by Sweden Japan Foundation)

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Sugar coated glam pop from Sweden (ya gotta clik to see these photos and to at least hear the song "I Am A MF")

Tuesday, July 18th, 2006

There is a lot of candy coated pop coming out of Sweden (and you can read about most of it here). Much of it makes it into the top ten in Sweden and then onto MTV Europe. I usually don’t write about this scene as it’s already extremely popular in Sweden and part of pop mainstream culture. But there are bands that play this type of glam pop that don’t have the same level of stardom that I would like to write about. Here’s a couple highlights (the photos alone are worth the price of admission):

La Concorde - Here Comes The Knight

Soak the SinI Said No

Kitty and the KI Am A MF

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Some good news and a new video from I’m From Barcelona

Friday, July 14th, 2006


So I very rarely get to crow but I heard some good news about two bands I’ve been championing here since day 1. One piece of news is still up in the air and involves an unnamed artist (HS!!) and the other was released today in Sweden and is about the band I’m From Barcelona!

Specifically it’s been announced that their Swedish debut lp will be rereleased in Europe by Mute Records (more here). While I can’t take any credit I’ve gotta hope I didn’t bloody well hurt their chances. So the band has a virtual You Tube hit on it’s hands with it’s video for the song “We’re From Barcelona” which has been viewed 150,000 times. And they recently added another of their videos to YT and here it is. The song is “Collection of Stamps”.

Hello SaferideValentine’s Day

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Thursday, July 13th, 2006


I did a little bit of the swedish british invasion last week with my post on the Mellowmen but this sound is a recurring one in Sweden so here’s some more Beatles inspired mop-top- meets new wave fun from The Paper Faces.

The band is currently recording their ep to be released sometime in August. Expect this song to be on there as well as their first single “Disco Boy”.

Mistaken

iPod compatible video for “Disco Boy”

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Syd Barrett’s "Baby Lemonade" covered

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006


I wasn’t going to mention Syd Barrett’s passing as it really has played no part in my life. Syd went into hiding before I was born and while his music is important and a definite part of music history it never really connected with me. However I just got access to this mp3 tribute of sorts by the Swedish electronic combo Nattvaktaren and Moe Lodin who record for the netlabel Belvar.

Again I’m no expert but they say “Baby Lemonade” from Syd Barrett’s second and last (?) solo record is one of his finest. You can hear the rest of this Bevlar release and download art work here. If this wasn’t all free I’d say they’re capitalizing on the man’s death but this is one group that is not doing that. I’m sure every other retail outlet from HMV to Tower to the iTunes store will be busy reworking their stores to get Syd Barrettt’s work front and center.

Baby Lemonade

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Rigas – This Year Has Been Good To Me (plus a new unreleased song)

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006


Sometimes it’s very hard to change gears from writing about the predominantly acoustic based music of Songs:Illinois (basically all of it stemming from Woody Gutherie, Bob Dylan and Neil Young) to the electro disco punk of the new wave of Swedish bands. A band like Rigas (My Space) is both pushing the envelope of experimental electronic music and the accessibility of new wave pop. So different from an all acoustic new grass band from Tennessee.

Rigas’ new record is out now on Flora and Fauna. I have already written about and linked to the single here and about their earliest music here. The single, “We Are Here To Stay”, has been added to the rotation at Swedish national radio and the band is preparing to play a number of festivals this summer. In addition they have a new unreleased song that is as strong as anything on the album so expect more great things from Rigas in the future. Buy the new record digitally at Klicktrack.

Stench Of You
We Are Here To Stay (Akamu mix)

Bonus unreleased song:

No One Does It Better

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New songs from the 14 piece Swedish indie pop group The Gray Brigade

Monday, July 10th, 2006


The Gray Brigade have the look of a band like I’m From Barcelona or Polyphonic Spree. Their sound and style owes some to that type of euphoric, trance-inducing, pop music. This type of modern big band, trafficking not in age-old jazz charts, but in indie pop rock are sprouting up all over the place. What all these bands seem to have in common is a communal spirit, not necessarily religous but more of a vibe that I imagine could be found on a Israel Kibbutz or an organic farm in the furthest NW corner of the United States.

In the band’s bio they mention first talking to the Swedish giant dub collective known as Morder Jords Massive about what it takes to form and keep going such a large band. Apparently the answer they got was enough to move forward and since then this 14 piece band has been playing and recording together. Their first release is a four song ep that you can pick up at their site here.

One Way Ticket To The Stars

Bonus dub tracks from Morder Jords Massive (I don’t know one solitary thing about dub but I like this, especially “Man To Man”).

Man To Man
Down In the Palm Of His Hand

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Hello Safride videos – The Quiz, Lost Penpal and My Best Friend (or "Damn I Wish I Was A Lesbian")

Friday, July 7th, 2006

I’ve been totally slacking with my Hello Safride obsession. I hope she doesn’t mind. I feel like I’m in confessional. “It’s been two months since my last HS post, I haven’t thought about her in two weeks and I haven’t even heard the new ep.” To that the priest might say, “I forgive you son, link to two amazing You Tube videos and say ten our fathers.”

Here’s “The Quiz”:

And “Lost Penpal” (featuring AK Firefox)

Bonus video of “My Best Friend” (or “Damn I Wish I Was A Lesbian”)

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Mellowmen

Friday, July 7th, 2006


I’ve started to write about the band Mellowmen on a number of occasions. If you’re reading this now it means I’ve finally got all the pieces in place to complete a post on this Swedish pop group. Mellowmen record for Kite Records (home to Thomas Denver Johnson) and their new record Tomorrow’s Sound Today is out now. And in a strange twist of fate it’s available from the excellent U.S. mailorder company Miles Of Music for only $11.49 here.

Tomorrow’s Sound Today could be renamed Yesterday’s Sound Improved Upon Today as Mellowmen recreate and update the British invasion sound of the Beatles and the Kinks. Like `66 era Beatles their pop is flavored by piano, guitar and an odd assortment of sounds (distorted harmonica, organ, horn section). “I’m OK” is a perfectly inspired sunny day song, highly recommended! If you live in the states this is your chance to pick up one of the best new records out of Sweden as an import for a price lower then even a domestic release.

I’m OK
You Better Leave Now

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A summer single from Swedish group Marble

Thursday, July 6th, 2006


Whereas The Sounds totally got it all wrong on their last record the unheralded Swedish group Marble seems to have done it all right. Their song “Bam” has that great confectionary-rock Joan Jet sound that The Sounds were shooting for but instead came up with Milli Vanilli’s fake synth pop.

Marble’s debut album is out now on the Swedish label Massproduktion.

Bam

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The Tallest Man On Earth!?

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006


Who is the The Tallest Man On Earth? Apparently it’s the band name of a mysterious blues playing swede named Kristian. What I thought was just some random My Space discovery has turned into an established artist who is signed to the Swedish label Gravition Records. There will be a five song ep out in September (I know that’s a long time to wait).

This song will be on it, I imagine with warts and all. But blues is the ultimate lofi genre isn’t it? Would Charlie Patton be any better remastered and produced by Jim Dickinson? Would Dylan’s early stuff be more thought provoking and rebel rousing if it were recorded today with pro tools? Befriend him and check out two more songs streaming on My Space.

Before The Morning

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