Archive for August, 2006

A new feature and more

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

FYI I joined the 21st century and added a little flash radio player to both Swedesplease and Songs:Illinois. It’s a pretty neat bit of coding that allows you to listen to all the songs on the sites instantaneously also you can separate the player from the blogs by clicking on the little boxes in the lower right hand corner.

Also the website Online Fandom did an interview with yours truly on the subject of Swedish music on the net and fans of Swedish music.

And just cause you came and visited here’s the new single from Rio Grande:

Crime

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Mr. Pedro remixes My Darling You (plus new song from My Darling You)

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

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Mr. Pedro is Mr. Remix Sweden. There’s no one that is as prolific or no one that alters and improves songs like Mr. Pedro. His remix of My Darling You’s “Please Don’t Talk To Me I Fall In Love Too Easily” makes a great song that much better, suddenly what was a cute little indiepop song becomes an infectious dancefloor track.

Please Don’t Talk To Me (Remix)

Bonus song from the new My Darling You disc My Heart Beats Too Fast For Our Friendship To Last
My heart beats too fast for our friendship to last

Everything Allright?!

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I see your I’m From Barcelona and raise you Billie The Vision & Dancers

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006


I’m astounded by the success that I’m From Barcelona has had. Every which way I turn I encounter mentions of them, their sound, their size or their presence on You Tube, P4k, and the blogs. I wish them well; I really do. But once something like this happens you hope for at least some of that sucess to rub off or trickle down to other bands from the same scene.

The most similar band in terms of sheer size, naive indiepop sound, and idiosycratic eccentricities is Billie The Vision & Dancer. Much like I’m From Barcelona this band revolves around the deadpan slighlty accented vocals and songwriting of Lars Lindquist. The bands new record, The World According to Pablo, follows the trials and tribulations of a character named Pablo Diablo (particularly his homosexual tristes with someone named Marcus). Pablo pops up in one way or another in nearly every song on the record; as do tamborines, handclaps, syrupy strings, strummed acoustic guitar, harmonica and horns. You can download all the songs on the new record here and then buy it here.

Vamos A Besarnos

Bonus: 40 year old French dude covering I’m From Barcelona’s “Collection of Stamps”

Collection of Stamps

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Tourist chronicles the end of summer

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006


(Photo by Ismail Milikov, www.malikov.com)

It’s nice to know that if I wanted to I could quit searching for new swedish bands, scouring MySpace and reading a hundred other blogs. I could do that and continue this blog just with the submission emails that arrive in my email inbox (cbonnell@gmail.com). Quality would suffer if I posted all these bands with no filtering but it could be done. Today’s group, Tourist, arrived this way and deserves it’s place on Swedesplease.

The band has a number of songs on their website but it’s one of the newest, “Going Going Gone”, that has the most potential. Souding like a mix between The Go Betweens and XTC, Tourist has crafted a perfect song about the end of summer (or alternately the end of an affair, the end of youth, the end of innocence).

Going, Going, Gone

Bonus track

Time & Space

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New ep from Don Agbai

Monday, August 28th, 2006



(Editors note: I told another Swedish band that I’d write aout them today and thay they would only be bumped if ABBA regrouped. Well I hadn’t considered the fact that I might receive the new ep from Don Agbai in the mail yesterday so apologies to that band (you know who you are!?) but check back tomorrow for today’s scheduled post.)

Don Agbai likes cats and likes to travel. Since these two passions don’t usuually go hand in hand I expect he is stuck in with his cats more than he’s out exploring the world (Don Agbai’s really just the band name for a trio of swedes – Johan, Tobias, and Fredrik). And perhaps that’s better for us as they can concentrate on making their brand of danceable pop music. The new 5 song ep is called Cats and Travel (Vapen and Godis, Sept. 8) and features songs about just that: cats and travel. One song (of the five) is old but there’s a new remix of it, the other three songs are new.

“A Trip To Venice” features thumping beats with a restrained and partly resigned vocal. File this as another excellent entry into the world of Swedish electromic dance pop.

A Trip To Venice

P.S. If any other bloggers out there would like a track from this cd email me (cbonnell@gmail.com) and I’ll send you one more cut to post. This should really break out of the Swedish music blog ghetto.

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Swedish Polarbears

Friday, August 25th, 2006


Did the new Big Star record, or the db’s reunion disc or the upcoming 3 disc Sloan extravaganza not live up to your hopes and dreams for what intelligent power pop should sound like? If so perhaps you’d like to hear some of the music from Swedish Polarbears. Their new song “Norman Blake” sounds like an outtake from any of those classic bands early material. The video features the boys playing live with an alcoholic 6 foot polar bear making a guest appearence on lead guitar and vocal.

Norman Blake
Worship This


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exclusive first look at Hanif’s "Oh Lord Jesus Christ Baby"

Thursday, August 24th, 2006


I wrote about Hanif first here noting their interesting policy of releasing a demo a week for their online fans. I guess I ingratated myself with the band as I’m now able to offer the world premier of their new single off of their forthcoming record Oh Lord Jesus Christ Baby.

“Black Box” is an epic, jangly pop song that features soaring vocal harmonies, shimmering guitar and muted (romantic) trumpets. The band is calling its’ music scandinania (a play on Americana I think). But this music owes as much to Bill Haley and Buddy Holly as it does to The Jayhawks and Neil Young. If you’re a fan of American rock music that Americans by and large don’t make anymore (early REM, The db’s, The Band, or even something like Big Star) then this will beup your alley. The record comes out Sept. 25 but can be preordered from Krusty Stills Records by emailing here – krustystills@gmail.com. The band is still looking for foreign distribution.


Black Box

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Swissair

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006


Swissair is really from Gothenburg, Sweden (name makes sense huh?). They’ve described their music perfectly on their website as “some sort of airy, semi-electronic pop music”. It’s pretty simple stuff musically but their lyrics take chances by discussing some off beat topics and issues. The chorus of their song “Your Good Looks” is 16 words long and a mouthful but it’s this unusual element and the the turn of phrase in “One Nation Under A Gloom” that makes their electronic pop stand apart.

Your Good Looks (Will Ruin What Otherwise Could Have Been The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship)
One Nation Under A Gloom

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Brothers in Arms – New songs from Boy Omega and Book of Daniel

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006


Sometimes you can find Swedish music in the oddest places. Japan for twee inspired swedish pop, Norway for experimental Swedish electronica and Germany for Boy Omega and his brother Book Of Daniel. These talented brothers record for Riptide Records in Germany (and for Tract here in the states and Stereo Test Kit in the UK).

I’ve written about Boy Omega as much as any other Swedish artist if not more (here, here, here) . Is he deserving or does he just have competent people promoting him? Of course it’s a little bit of both. “Burn This Flag” starts off with a bang and the jaw dropping lyrics “she said she found God in a keyhole”. Musically the song takes a number of twists and turns including odd bursts of noisy static, breaks for thumping beats and quiter interludes that sound like some sort of synthetic string section making this a little more exciting than Boy Omega’s earlier acoustic based songs. This song is off the upcoming ep The Grey Rainbow due out Oct 12.

Burn This Flag

I could go on and on about both of these artists (and I have in the past) but time is short so here’s the link to Boy Omega’s brother and his band Book Of Daniel. The rather epic song below is “Deadringer” from his upcoming debut record Songs For the Locust King.

Deadringer

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Peter Murphy’s Carver Combo (RIYL Tom Waits, Concrete Blond or that other Peter Murphy)

Monday, August 21st, 2006


Peter Murpy’s Carver Combo sound a little like that other Peter Murphy. There’s certainly a goth-carny aspect to this music. The musicians are all aces on their various instruments which include organ, guitar, saxophone, drums and upright bass. Guest vocalist Anna Stadling’s presence on “Instigator” moves the band in a more Concrete Blond direction (away from Nick Cave et al).

One sin between me and the lord is the new record. If any of the above name-drops mean anything to you order this right away as an import from Cdon.

Bones and Pearls
Instigator (w/Anna Stadling)

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New song/album from Swedesplease faves The Lancaster Orchestra

Friday, August 18th, 2006


Lancaster Orchestra (raved about them here and here) continues to amaze with it’s blend of Neil Young inspired Americana music married to American Music Club’s lyrical moroseness. “Save Me From Myself” is the new song off the upcoming record never cried once when i could have (Rootsy.nu). On the new record Calle Mathson has collaborated with members of Logh and sung a duet with Andi Almqvist.

So here’s the new song, it’s growing on me like moss to the North side of a tree.

Save Me From Myself

Bonus song from Logh

The Smoke Will Lead You Home

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Tupelo Honeys’ "Oh What A Day"

Thursday, August 17th, 2006


I won’t lie to you anymore – I’m a typical ugly American; I speak only one language (and badly at that), I like to be first, I’m competitive and cynical. That leads me to Tupelo Honey. I’m pretty sure I’m the first to write about Swedish twins Linn and Joel Eden.

In any endeavor it helps to have something to catch the public’s attention. In the entertainment world being extremely young can help, having some sordid history doesn’t hurt, or dating a famous movie star are three quick ways to make it to the top. Another way is to be twins. The band Tupelo Honey’s fits that particular bill. They’re a boy and a girl, they’re twins and they make spankly, clean pop. “Oh What A Day” is destined to be a hit, if only enough people could hear it and”Boy You’re Alright” is the perfect Belle and Sebastian inspired b-side. I guarantee this will see wider release in Sweden some day very soon.

Oh What A Day

Bonus
Boy You’re Alright

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A chorus of robots cover I’m From Barcelona’s hit "We’re From Barcelona"

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006


So are you one of the few who think that the Swedish band I’m From Barcelona is some kind of internet fad? A band that will disappear as quickly as they seemed to appear. A band with no substance, a band that somehow gamed the system to get 200,000 You Tube views (here’s some of the many live videos of the band – these will bring a smile to your face), snuck in to a great write up in Pitchfork or is paying off bloggers to rave about them (where’s my check!). If so perhaps some of the evidence to their staying power below will convince you to jump on the bandwagon.

Exhibit A: Drunken festival fans spontaneousley breaking into the hit “We’re From Barcelona”

Exhibit B: Cover songs popping up all over the place (including robots covering “We’re From Barcelona”)

MajaTreehouse

Adventure KidWe’re From Barcelona

Exhibit C: Pitchfork writeup

Exhibit D: Catbird Seat gives a qualified thumbs up.

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On The Cinnamon (demos)

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006


All right this is a little absurd. The Swedish band On the Cinnamon created it’s My Space page yesterday. Clearly this will be some of the first press Jonas Lindskold (the sole member of On The Cinnamon) will receive. It’d better be good or he might just it crawl back into bed (see above). So yes it is…and while it’s novel to write about a band that has just staked it’s claim on the internet and one that has just posted their first few songs and is awaiting virtual friendships and comments, I would have quickly moved on if I had not heard something special.

On The Cinnamon tread quietly into the calming waters of indie folk on the four songs uploaded to My Space. I don’t need to tell you which current Swedish artist this may remind you of or which dead English hermit. And while this may sound like something you’ve heard before it’s hard not to be taken in by the way Jonas sings “I’ve found a soulmate on the other side of town, she wanted someone like me who would give her something besides the pain”. So be the 37th (or 38, 39, 40) person in the world to hear this music and let Jonas know you’re out there by visiting and encouraging him on his page.

I found a soulmate on the other side of town

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Jed and Lucia

Monday, August 14th, 2006


The band (duo) Jed and Lucia (MS) can be reviewed on Swedesplease but only due to a technicality. Lucia is the female half of Jed and Lucia and she was born and raised in Sweden. This duo (couple?) now live in Jed’s adopted homestate of California. You can hear how the two backgrounds of these artists mesh and meld to form a new sound. It’s got some of the breezyness that can be heard in some California folk rock and a little bit of the electronicpop sounds coming out of Sweden.

Jed and Lucia self released this record 6 months ago and I didn’t review it at the time and thus not taking part in the small orgy of press they received. They have now re-pressed the disc, improved the artwork and hired an indie promo firm to get their music heard even more. So I guess I’m joining the bandwagon for the second round of glowing reviews. Buy Candles In Daylight here.

Answers

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doublePark’s "My Destroyer"

Friday, August 11th, 2006


Doublepark are mid-tempo more or less all the time. But if you’re a fan of the slower songs from bands like XTC, Steely Dan and The Beach Boys you’ll like these two songs from the upcoming August release of My Destroyer.

The new single that’s getting play on Swedish national radio is “I Don’t Want To Party”.

I Don’t Want To Party

Bonus

Come On And Let Me Love You

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Goodbye Elodie

Thursday, August 10th, 2006


RIP Elodie. They’re going out with a hushed bang with the release of the ep At The End Of The Line on the labels A West Side Fabrication, Jezebel Recordings and Music Is My Girlfriend.

Be My Ghost

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Belle and Sebastian out the wazoo

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

collage
A new Belle and Sebastian covers project with bands like Canadians, Mixtapes and Cellmates, Hell On Wheels and Billie the Vision and Dancers (and The Canadians). Where do I sign up?

Put together by Kirsten’s Postcard this comp is perfect for a sunny day. What could be better then the originators of twee reinterpreted by the next generation of indie pop stars!? Do I sound excited? I hope so. The clincher is the record is available as a free download (.rar file) through the Italien site Kirsten’s Postcard. You may like the layer of lofi haze Mixtapes and Cellmates adds to “Photo Jenny” or the slight electronic touches of Hell On Wheels take on “Dog On Wheels”. If you’re a diehard fan then you’ll love the straightup version of “I Am A Chukoo” by Billie And The Vision Dancers.

sebastian

Billie and the Vision Dancers – I Am A Cuckoo
Hell On Wheels – Dog On Wheels
Mixtapes and Cellmates – Photo Jenny

Canadians – Like Dylan At The Movies

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Erik Matsson’s (of the Wild Geese collective fame) new songs

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006


The Wild Geese collective continues to impress. The song of the week up now is Erik Matsson’sCaptain Of The Boat (Where The Stormwinds Blow)“. Again there’s a pretty clear Neil Young influence in both the sound and the lyrical imagery.

Captain Of the Boat

Bonus Song

You Don’t Know the Definition of Accident

If you read any Swedesplease post this year make sure it’s tomorrow’s about a brilliant new B&S covers compilation.
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Quick vacation post…be back full speed tomorrow!

Monday, August 7th, 2006


Still on vacation…sort of. So just a short post to prove I’m still alive. Man everyones nuts about Peter Bjorn and John’s song “Young Folks”. Where were you guys last year?

Also the music blog Fabulist has been kind to Swedis pop of late and their tastes run with mine (and yours) so bookmark `em.

Oh and Absolute Noise has fallen hard for Soviac.

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