Archive for April, 2007
How would you like your first single from your debut record to be used in an insanely popular Saab advert? What if the song was the sole reason people loved the add? Well that’s the conundrum the 5 piece band from Stockholm, Oh Laura, find themselves in.
The song, “Release Me”, is now available through iTunes (via the band’s MySpace) and the full record comes out in late May.
Monkey Bastard goes on a little David Sandstrom rant and also trys to shame me into same.
Obscure Sound continues to be surprised by the quality of Swedish bands. This time The Mary Onettes and The Milestone corporation.
My Old Kentucky Blog has the new one (or two) from The Moonbabies.
Bibabibi has some songs from Tough Alliance who have apparently been signed by the US label Summer Lovers Unlimited Music.
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside piles on with a nice post about The Field.
I guess one of my goals here on Swedesplease is to write about Oh Sweet Music! until they get signed and become big stars. Are my ears so outside of the mainstream that I’m somehow wrong about this band? I understand that just about every note played and sung is out of tune, and the songs can meander, yet the energy and soul that I hear in each of their songs has to make up for that. Doesn’t it?
Here’s two new songs from Oh Sweet Music! The first is a cover of an old American folk tune called “Poor Man’s Heaven” which is along the lines of “Big Rock Candy Mountain” and the second is an audio postcard of a trip to Asia.
The Swedish band Florence Valentin has been signed up for the huge Hultsfred Festival held every year in Sweden. “Varby Grad” is nice mix of Clash-type anthemic brit-rock with the snazzy pop horns of Swedish pop. The band seems unsigned but I’m guessing Labrador is knocking on their front door on the basis of this song alone (psst there’s another great song available on their MySpace page).
Here’s the little bio material I found on the band in Swedish. Translate?
Det började som en inbjudan för mer än ett år sen när Danne och Cezary fortfarande delade ungkarlslya tillsammans i Vårby Gård. Det lät mer som ett hot! Nu har vi rockat i Crilles studio, och fått ihop en hel platta. “Pokerkväll i Vårby Gård” släpps i juni!
Amandine is practically the reason I started Swedesplease. I began Swedesplease because I was astonished by the amount of rootsy music sung in English coming out of Sweden. Somehow the swedes just seem to get the barren, lovelorn, and tragic sound that comprises the best of the Americana genre just right.
Amandine’s new record, Solace In Sore Hands, is out this week on Fat Cat Records. For some reason everyone’s been posting the song “Secrets”, I guess it’s available free somewhere. For a change of pace here’s “The Faintest Of Sparks” which is terribly impressive given the restraint with which all the instruments are played (banjo, trumpet, piano) and given that the lyrics areat a near whisper. Buy it here from Fat Cat.
Faintest of Sparks
“For All The Marbles” live in NYC
The new Taxi Taxi EP is out soon (May 7). It’s available now as a pre-order from Rumraket (via Dotshop). The EP was produced by Bjorn Yttting (yes from PB&J). A new song from the EP, “Mary”, has just been uploaded to the twins MySpace page (streaming only).
The Tiny’s American Label, Eyeball Records, has anounced that the video for “They Say It’s Weird” has just been “released”. The Tiny are consistently one of my favorite Swedish bands, both for the lead singer’s stunning vocals and for the minimalist music the band utilizes.
Rockin’ twee from the new record by the gender bending Swedish indiepop band Billie the Vision and the Dancers (plus new videos)Monday, April 23rd, 2007
Billie The Vision and the Dancers (homepage) has a new record out now. I’m excited about it but have only heard bits and pieces. From what I’ve heard it’s overflowing with pop culture references including many to American TV shows like “Will and Grace”, “Seinfield” and “Desperate Housewives”. One song that is chock full of pop culture is “One Beautiful Night In Oslo” about a crazy night in Oslo on tour with the UK band The Pipettes.
Instead of more full song downloads, I’m going to leave you with a legal clip of the tune “My Love” plus point you in the direction of their MySpace page where you can stream the duet with Hello Saferide called “Overdosing With You”. You can buy their new record Where the Ocean Meets My Hand over at Bengans or at the indie pop mailorder company Popsicle.
My Love (clip)
Homemade video for “Summercat”
“Summercat” and “Ask For More” live on Swedish TV
What do the Swedish band Acid House Kings, Korea, Drew Barrymore and Baskin Robbins have in common? Just watch!Friday, April 20th, 2007
How weird is this: A Korean commercial featuring Drew Barrymore and the Acid House Kings for Baskin Robbins. Sounds great and Drew looks hot. Meanwhile, I wonder why Americans have to continually be dealt the same hand of John Mellancamp, Bruce Springsteen and Johnny Cash when it comes to commercials.
Nothing new from The Second Band (2 songs) plus "the world premiere" of the new video from Montt MardieFriday, April 20th, 2007
Just because I can, here’s the best one-two punch by any Swedish band last year. I’ve linked to these songs by The Second Band before but occassionally I still get requests to repost them (especially since “Wild Is The Wind” was featured on Grey’s Anatomy). Lazy of me? Yes. A cheap way out of posting anything new? Yes. Two of the best songs you’ll hear all year? I say a resounding yes!
World Premiere (I have no idea if this is the world premiere but you can be the 196th person to view it on You Tube) of the Montt Mardie video for “The Windmill Turns All The Same” from his new double record on Hybris.
And just for fun here’s an AMV (I don’t even know what that means) video of the Hello Saferide song “The Quiz”
A new song from Friday Bridge is a cause for celebration, no? “Love and Nostalgia” is the first song released from Friday Bridge’s upcoming album Intricasy (But Is It Art? Records). I haven’t exactly been able to put my finger on the quintessential Friday Bridge sound but what it reminds me a little bit of is Audry Hepburn in soft focus. FB’s music is romantically retro yet updated with synthy bits of eurodisco.
I had wanted to write up Santa Maria months ago but couldn’t get access to legal mp3′s and then Fluxblog scooped me. I just revisited the Santa Maria site and they now have three mp3′s available for download. Of course Santa Maria is Maria Eriksson from The Concretes.
Of the three songs available “Cuckoo” has just the right amount of sugary pop, 60′s retro (The Monkee’s come to mind) and 10,000 Maniacs stylings to make me very happy.
PS The other day I wrote up a band who records for the Swedish label Lavender. It just happened to be a guy from Chicago who goes under the moniker Fireflies. You might want to check out that post if you like some of the sounds on Swedesplease.
Maia Hirasawa is the flavour du jour on Swedesplease until you are notified otherwise. She’s released another song from her Razzia debut Though I’m Just Me. I haven’t heard the whole record but this song seems like it’s the slowest, most tender and most sad song on there. It’s certainly vastly different the the brassy, self-assuredness of “And I Found A Boy”. This reminds me most of her earlier work when she hadn’t yet developed such a glorious pop sound, when it was primarily just Maia and an acoustic guitar.
People are loving Maia Hirasawa which makes me very happy. BBQ Chicken Robot has more from her debut for Razzia Records.
Discobell has video and remixes of Karin Strom. She continues to at least amaze with her chameleon like approach to music. Or mybe it’s more like a sanke shedding layers of skin.
Harmonium spends a lot of ink on the band When. Not sure if it’s at all warranted and why it was necessary.
The Line Of Best Fit has 20 questions with Loney Dear and more importantly an extended mix of “Ignorant Boy, Beautiful Girl”.
Hot Stof beats me to the punch with the new song by Amandine.
Nom de Guerre are over the top. Their music, their hair and even the lead singer’s mustache (what’s with that anyway?). Besides their new album, La La La, the band is also marketing their own line of fashion. La La La is available now on Dead Frog Records. Their are remixes up on the band’s website. These guys just want to have fun, there’s not a law against that is there?
Video of “So Long Sister”:
PS Jen’s Lekman’s US label Secretly Canadian just turned 100 (100 releases not years). The 100th release is a 2 cd set of SC artists covering other SC artists. Here’s Marmoset doing a cover of Jens’ “Black Cab”.
The good folks at Emmaboda have come down from the mountain, like moses with his tablet, to announce more bands added to their lineup. While not all were of interest I do like the soft, multi-instrumental (nearly bossa nova) experimental pop of Band In A Box. Here’s “Elevator Theme” and their newest demo “Leaving Smears”.
The band Konie is getting some good press about their new album, The Club Is Open, on Razzia, they’re also getting some attention for how they made it. I’m not an expert on digital recording and perhaps neither is Konie, as he has hand spliced all the tapes needed to make the loops that appear on this record. The complexitiy of the loops isn’t up there with something like Girl Talk, but the analog nature of the sound is somehow more appealing.
This came out April 7 on Razzia in Sweden. The first song that was released was a cut called “My Life Is Shit But I Am Funky” (hear it via It’s A Trap). I’m liking the second track even more. “Are You Ok?” has a spacier vibe (thinking Star Trek actually) and a deeper groove, but perhaps doesn’t have the same novelty factor.
There’s a great music scene in Malmo and what ties it together from my perspective (mind you, I’m separated by thousands of miles) is the common thread of experimentation. One of the bands that’s experimental sounds are hidden a bit beneath a shiny, sparkly, surface of pop is Houses In Motion. They’ve subverted pop with slightly distorted sounds, off key vocal harmonies and a layered sound.
They’ve just recorded some new demo’s which have recently been added to their MySpace page. I like “His New Job” and “That’s What’s The Matter”.
I tend to shy away from music simply described as indie rock. There’s a sameness and blandness that seems to emanate from it. I’d much rather listen to one of the many subgenres like twee, garage, electronic or shoegaze but simply indie, not really.
On their MySpace page Ronderlin describes themselves as indie. That one word tag may hold some weight with other bloggers but not with me. Their upcoming record on Tomt seems unspecatular but I wonder what you guys think. Pre-order this May 7 release now.