Archive for September, 2006

New music from Musika 77 (Stereo Test Kit, Oct. 16)

Friday, September 29th, 2006


Musika 77 is getting the royal treatment. The band’s new record is being released simultaneously in Italy (Mi Amante), England (Stereo Test Kit) and Sweden. I guess that’s peanuts to Justin Timberlake or Madonna but for an artist that’s a cross between Antony, Robert Smith and Morrissey that’s a pretty wide release.

This is music for the theater; it’s lush, thematic and a little contrived. The emotional aspect of the songs, from their upcoming full length debut Brave You Free May, is most evident in “Mountain Rhine Ball”.

Mountain Rhine Ball

Bonus song

Llanvair Liev

Pre-order BYFM here or here.

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Cake on Cake’s "I Guess I Was Daydreaming" (Desolation Records, 2007)

Thursday, September 28th, 2006


It seems a little absurd to be writing about a 2007 release before Halloween even rears it’s ugly head but there is a method to my madness. Cake On Cake’s new release, I Guess I Was Daydreaming, will be for sale on her US tour dates in November/December.

This is basically a one woman band that expands a bit on tour to encompapass some of her friends. Cake On Cake is Helena Sudin from Umea and if she weren’t classically trained and presently working on a degree in fine arts I might call this lofi. But since she is I’ll have to call this maudlin, well-crafted, accidental pop. These two songs are from that upcoming 2007 release and were gleaned off her website and Myspace page. You’ll be able to buy the new record from Desolation Records some time in 2007 but for now you can get her debut from them here.

Sparrow Parade

Francoise

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Skull Defekts play N. American premiere in Chicago

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006


There’s a high profile and critically acclaimed Swedish band known as Skull Defekts. They’ve been working the avante garde ultra experimental noise drone for a number of years but previously they were members of Union Carbide Productions, Kid Commando and have performed with Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson and Lasse Marhaug. This is the kind of stuff you could write a dissertation on or at least an engineering study of how they made these sounds.

The band will make it’s North American debut on Sept. 30 in Chicago at the non-profit Lampo. Here’s the two long tracks that made up their recent release. This has been released for free now that the hard copy is sold out.

Rotating Feedbakk & Save The Skulls

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New Pet Politics EP on Catbird Records (plus Anna Ternheim’s new video for "Girl Laying Down")

Monday, September 25th, 2006


Catbird Records (a spinoff of the Catbirdseat blog) has released their 7th cd, The Spring, and it’s a followup to the debut release by Pet Politics. The song “Sunday Morning” continues lead/sole member’s shift from underproduced guitar driven rock to a much better sounding mix of pop (the horns) and rock. He still sounds a little like Lou Reed with an accent but he is also developing his own unique vocal style that consists of splitting single syllable words into multisyllabic utterances.

There are 200 of these discs and I’m guessing they’ll be sold out by the end of the week. Order here.

Sunday Morning

Bonus song from Pet Politics debut

The Ghost Mary and Friends

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New You Tube video of Anna Ternheim’s current single “Girl Laying Down”

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Lost Summer Kitten (Popkonst)

Monday, September 25th, 2006

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Lost Summer Kitten claim in their bio that sometimes we’ve got to slow down a bit. That sometimes Billie The Vision & Dancers (and in the guilt by association dept. – We’re From Barcelona) are not enough to keep one from getting blue on any given Tuesday. Lost Summer Kitten is blue. Their sound is like twee on downers.

There’s a new ep out on Sept. 20 called Yeah oh wow on Popkonst. “I’m Better Off” is quite produced (compared to their demo released ealier this year) and self assured.

lsk-yeahohwow

I’m Better Off

Bonus demo track

Don’t Leave Me Hanging

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Half Swedish band Herman Dune trys to steal I’m From Barcelona’s thunder with it’s new video on you Tube

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006


Last week I proclaimed Herman Dune’s “I Wish That I Could See You Soon” the best song of the year (here), the post was picked up by BWE and caused a little discussion in the comments section over my sanity or lack thereof. Now thanks to reader Michael I have the You Tube video of said song. It’s impossibly cute with costumes, angel puppets, scampering kids and bubbles. I love it. This time next week hopefully they’ll pass 200,000 views.

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Swedish Music Round-Up

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006


(“Taking From Jesus” by Youshi Li)

Here’s the semi-bi-weekly Swedish music on the net roundup.

The soul music blog (plus dj/house et al) Cool Hunting has first hand knowledge of the underbelly of the Swedish sould msuic market.

The swiss student website Student.ch interviews Mando diao

In the blogs

First Floor Power on Music Is Art
We Are Soldiers We Have Guns up at Getetcho
El Perro Del Mar is up at Moustache and he’s got nice things to say about Swedesplease so that’s a bonus
The Post Rockist has a great review of I’m From Barcelona
Kofi’s Hat deconstructs the recent Guardian piece on the Swedish scene invading England (oh yeah and she says nice things about Swedesplease so that’s a bonus)

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Tiny Well-Placed Beep opens for Casiotone for The Painfully Alone tonight in Gothenberg (Xylophonica!)

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

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On Sept. 22 Casiotone For The Painfully Alone arrives to play Cosy Den in (or near) Gothenburg. The promotor took the name of that headlining band a bit too seriously and booked the painfully shy electronic casiopop of Tiny Well-Placed Beep to open. The woman behind TW-PB has coined the term xylophonica to describe her music since the xylophone is one of the prominent instruments in many of her songs.

Cancel the show by god! If these two artists get togther we may never see them again as they’ll be locked in their small flat experimenting together with their casio’s and as TW-PB says in the song “Important Things” – “you want to lie around listening to records all day and you want to share it, you wish for someone to hear the same things that you do from those lovely tunes.” Sweet sentiment and sounds like a few music bloggers I know.

Important Things

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Reggae/Ska/Dub from hjalmar

Thursday, September 21st, 2006


This is a first, unprecedented really. I’m sure it’ll be the last to. How many half Icelandic and half Swedish Reggae ska bands are there anyway? Hjalmar is that band. It seems I stumbled upon the band right when they released a new song (“Vagga Vagga”) on their My Space page.

Vagga Vagga

Varud

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Something special from Axell Yngvell

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

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I’d like what I write about here to have some context or at least some consistency or purpose. There are thousands of MySpace bands I could be writing about that I don’t/won’t (ie The Similou). A lot of what I post is rooted in pop. Sweden is the pop headquarters of the world. So the bands I write about or have written about are actually at the head of their class and well known in certain circles. Sure your average world citizen doesn’t know which band I mean when I type SKWBN but many of you do.

But my point is you shouldn’t know Axel Yngvell. There’s no context I or anyone other than perhaps his mother can shed on where, why and what makes Axel Yngvell tick. But these three songs from his MySpace profile reveal an artist with a fully realized if undeveloped/underproduced style. I’d like to say this guy is in a class by himself but that wouldn’t be true however add him to the top of the class of 2005/2006 (right there with Hello Saferide, Montt Mardie , and Don Agbai). So here’s two songs (visit his MySpace for the 3rd). Enjoy.

The Great Big Saturday

Regent Street

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A couple new songs from two of my favorites – Hell On Wheels and Nils Folke Valdemar

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006


(“Untitled” by Caroline Hwang to go along with “The Taking Off Of Pants”)

Hell On Wheels –

As We Play

Nils Folke Valdemar -
The Taking Off Of Pants

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Dead-on americana rock from Thomas Walter

Monday, September 18th, 2006


Due to some recent press music has been flowing freely into my inbox. Here’s a sampling from Thomas Walter. His music is being self-released and is available in it’s entirity free online. What he does is out of favor in Sweden (except for a small block of supporters) but this brawny “american rock” (think Neil Young, The Byrds) has a huge following worldwide (americana.co.uk, americana.nl) so I do think this will be heard, I like the cruncky guitars on “Take My Hand” and the southwestern feel (slide guitar, clinking bottle) of the title track to the 2006 release “Dead End”. You can dl the entire Dead End release here.

Take My Hand

Dead End

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The Guardian introduces us to the Swedish scene

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

Courtesy of the online radio show “The Signal” here’s a nice little article from The Guardian about the Swedish scene (topics covered include Hybrism, Labrador, Tack Tack Tack, Sound of Sweden and more).

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Funky disco soul from Shade Tree

Friday, September 15th, 2006


The band Shade Tree released one of my favorite songs of the year last year, Swedish or otherwise, with the song Stupidest Thing. Things have changed slightly as they have become a little funkier and more disco. At some point they’ve added a female singer. And a few new members as well.

The bands been listening to The Spinners, Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes, the Staple Singers and even Phoenix. It all shows but it’s still Carl jonsson’s vocals that are a show stopper. Here’s two songs from the new ep Love Means Coming Home. I’d like to write more about how great this is but am short on time. Listen and enjoy!

Where Do We Go From Here

Killing Time

Still loving

Stupidest Thing

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Ass

Thursday, September 14th, 2006


(Artwork by Jeana Sohn)

I know oh so little about Ass. That kinda sounds bad, huh. Ass is actually the name of the project of Andreas Soderstrum. Their’s a minimal MySpace page (w/friends like Juana Molina, Tape and Blood Music I was instantly intrigued). I have a preview of a song from an upcoming record. It’s the beautiful, mostly acoustic soundscape called “Two Different Ways”. I suppose this is considered experimental music but it’s hard to call it that with such beautiful melodies and such exquisite guitar playing. Ass is on a tour of Europe as we speak with Tenniscoats and Tape (here).

Two Different Ways

Bonus song from the Japanese band Tenniscoats (records for the Swedish label Hapna though)

Take Me Home

Plus Tape’s “Root Tattoo”

Root Tattoo

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Two new videobeatronic songs from Adventure Kid

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006


Last I wrote about Adventure Kid he had a single song available and that was the robotic cover/reimagining of I’m From Barcelona’s “We’re From Barcelona”. He’s since put up two pre-release demos that you’ll like if you’re a fan of video games (Commodore 64), the 80′s and those breakdancing movie soundtracks. The debut ep will be called Erasing Clouds When The Kids Are Sad and should be out some time in September. Here’s two demo’s plus that robot cover.

Go

Erasing Clouds…

We’re From Barcelona

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Bjorn Yttling’s (of Peter Bjorn and John fame) jazz project – Yttling Jazz (plus live videos of Peter Bjorn and John and Anna Ternheim)

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006


Once something gets really popular my general inclination is to just block it out. But with Peter, Bjorn and John instead of ignoring their music (it’s hard to avoid “Young Folks” anyway) I dug deeper to find out that Bjorn Yttling has a jazz project called Ytllin Jazz. The band released their debut record, Oh Lord, Why Can’t I Keep My Mouth Shut, in 2005 on the Swedish label Headspin Recordings.

The song “Mr Sophistication” starts out with what sounds like an air-raid siren and then Bjorn and the band kick in. Underneath the track is a wall of noise unlike anything you may have heard in jazz. In the band’s bio they claim this release is both the most respectful and most disrespectful jazz album to come out of Sweden this year. Even on this one song you can hear both sides of that coin. At times the horns, vibes and piano do sound like your standard, albeit avante garde jazz but at other times the electronic noise reaches a pinnacle and all bets are off. If you like The Lounge Lizards, some of John Zorn’s more accesible work or even Medeski Martin and Wood then you should check this out. Buy it here. And if you’re in Stockholm (lucky you btw) you can always walk right in and buy it at Pet Sounds Records.

Mr. Sophistication At The Losers

Bonus Peter Bjorn and John live in Glascow performing “Young Folks” with Victoria

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A reader submitted this link of Anna Ternheim live in the studio of the very “local” English speaking show The Living Room performing her hit “To Be Gone”. The quality of the video and the performance is breathtaking.

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New single from Tingsek – blue-eyed soul like you’ve never heard! (V2, Oct. 25)

Monday, September 11th, 2006


My good luck has got to stop soon. Isn’t there supposed to be a lull in the music season. I haven’t experienced it yet, maybe around Christmas and into January?! What got me going today is a new song from Tinsek (wrote about him first here).

The new record, World Of It’s Own, comes out in Scandinavia on Oct . 25. The first single and the song I have for you is called “I love You (Part 1)”. This is better sounding, better written and has a greater chance at success than a lot of what I write about on Swedesplease, yet it also has a hell of a lot of soul (real soul, like Motown and blue eyed soul as well). Listen to the church organy intro to “I Love You” and the high notes Tingsek hits and the langourous horn section. Syrupy sweet!

I Love You (Part 1)

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Swedesplease in the news (The Times no less!!) and Cats on Fire – "Kind Of" Swedish)

Saturday, September 9th, 2006

(Editor’s note: Apparently Swedesplease is “blog of the week” in The Times, so welcome all you British readers. Here’s a special post for saturday (very rare for Swedesplease). And the link to the little blurb about Swedesplease. Thanks to Lindsay of The Next Big Thing for the good news.)

This is sort of my first post on the Swedish indie pop band Cats On Fire. “Sort of” becasue I wrote about them once on Songs:Illinois (here) because I thought they were from England, someone commented that they were in fact from Finland. I guess they are from Finland but they play a ton in Sweden, some of the members have lived in Sweden, they speak an accented Swedish, do interviews on P3 and play small cafes in Gothenburg. So I crown them “kind of” Swedish.

Their new ep came out in June. Buy from Fraction discs here or here through the twee mailorder PopPolar.com here.

Higher Ground

Bonus from 2003′s Happiness Is Chemistry ep.

My Friend In a Comfortable Chair

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Mixtapes and Cellmates – A Quiet Evening (Cat Burglar Remix plus Belle and Sebastian cover)

Friday, September 8th, 2006


I can’t be doing much good. The little label that could (that I linked to a bunch and encouraged people to support) went out of business about 8 months ago. Bedroom Records had an eclectic roster of artists including those that embraced technology and those that shied away from it. Some of the bands I wrote about that used to be on Bedroom are All Of My Brothers Girlfriends, Friday Bridge, Holding a Peach and Happy Go Lucky. They are part of a larger diaspora away from labels like Bedroom, Planekonomi, and Smashing Time.

One of my favorite bands from the Bedroom roster is Mixtapes and Cellmates. They have re-emerged with a new ep and on a new label. No Method is releasing the new record, If there is silence fill it with longing, the band and the label have both been a little tight with actual mp3′s of songs from the ep but they have been nice enough to release a free ep of three of the songs remixed, a Belle and Sebastian covered and an unreleased track. I’ve already written about the Belle and Sebastian cover here. So I’ll tackle one of the remixes despite not being very knowledgeable about the art of the remix or for that matter the original track. What once may have been a quiet introspective track has become a throbbing dance club number full of beeps, blurps and electronic whimpers. You’ll have to buy the new ep to see if the song has been improved or damaged by this remix.

A Quiet Evening (Cat Burglar Remix)

Bonus song from new free ep, MT&CM’s cover of “Photo Jenny” by B&S

Photo Jenny

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