Memories is the new ep from Henry Morgans Solokarriar and it’s fitting that I feature the song “The Good Ones” as it deals with all the beautiful memories of childhood and skips all of the unpleasantries. This 4 song ep is available free in it’s entirety from Henry’s website and I heartily recommend grabbing the .zip if you have a thing for the best English music that the 80′s had to offer (see title) combined with intelligent (slightly emo) lyrics sung with conviction.
P.S. Henry Morgan Solokarriar (or Christoffer Davidsson in this case) is also one half of the indie pop band c/o Happiness. That band has two songs up on MySpace and a raft of divergent interests listed in their influences section. From the sound of the song “The Lonliest Man” I agree with the Bright Eyes reference, but not so much the Mercury Rev. Either way Christoffer Davidsson is clearly an up and coming Swedish artist to watch in 2008.
Niklas Hegfalk (previously here) continues this week’s coverage of Swedish artists obsessing over americana music by the likes of Neil Young, Ryan Adams and Will Oldham. The hazy, lazy, and gentle feedback and low slung vocals of “Dull Delight” from Niklas new lp At One With The Tide captures that sound quite nicely. The video for the song is a clever take on the story within the story concept.
I’ve never been to rave, I hardly dance and I’ve yet to travel to Sweden. So it probably seems strange to read this my umpteenth post on the electronic artist Rigas. Or in this case his alter ego – Rigas Den Andre. But of all the electronic music being produced in Sweden (or the world for that matter) I find his mix of strange beats, skweee blips and beeps and nearly danceable tracks to be one of a kind.
Exhibit A is this brand new toss-off track from his side project in anticipation of the release of his second record some time in October on Flora And Fauna.
Fancy Fruit is a newly formed ultra lo-fi band (with a sick sense of humor). “All I Need” is the most NSFW song I’ve ever posted, I’m blushing just sitting here. I was wondering how I could possibly describe it. Then I gave up.
“Kvarnen Vs. Carmen” is a more along the lines of the lofi twee that I’m familiar with. The song seems to be about which pub to stay at and it has a funky little keyboard part as well as plenty of guitar strumming.
Anna Frank is a state sponsored, hermetically sealed, “experimental” artist. She’s been given a push by both Export Sweden and P4 (Swedish Public Radio). Her 2006 album Discovery is in the vein of Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan. I know it sounds like I don’t like it, but I’m much more ambivalent than that. I can’t find anything in these songs to hang my hat on; not a turn of phrase or a piece of music.
Anna Frank is working on her sophomore effort as we speak. This is an artist that with the right production and the right material could be a an important part of the Swedish scene.
It’s been a little over a week since my last swede-influenced-by Neil Young post. But with the impending release of Happiness by Markus Orn it’s time for another post about a Swedish singer-songwriter clearly in love with The Band, Neil Young, Magnolia Electric Company and even artists American(a) acts as obscure as J. Tilman and Damien Jurado.
“Sunday, 2 AM” was literally recorded this past Sunday (the 16th) and posted to the band’s MySpace page on the 18th. It’s rough with a bit of distortion peaking around the edges, but the vibe is supposed to be loose. The guitar solos ring true as do Markus’ upper register vocals.
Ever wonder what Jens Lekman would sound like as part of a thumping club track that mixes the c64 skweee sound with solid bass and punctuated with cascading electronics. Wonder no longer, as Jens has collaborated with Swedish producer/hip hop artist Kocky on the song “Be Part” off of Kocky’s new record Kingdome Came (buy it here).
Parker Lewis is an all time Swedesplease favorite (here and here). That’s based on an output of about 5 songs over the past three years (not the most prolific bloke). Parker Lewis has a new 3 song ep coming out on Cloudberry this week (Sept 21). It’s a 3 song affair featuring the year old track “Dirty Dancing”.
Parker Lewis fits the mold of some other Swedesplease favorites noticeably Kalle J, Montt Mardie, Don Agbai and Pelle Carlberg .
There will be an even newer, “real” ep to be released in the next month or so on the new label Mad For It. Here’s “Dirty Dancing” from the Cloudberry ep. The song’s a breezy tale of longing for that special someone, with a tinkly toy chime interspersed between the soft layered indie pop.
I don’t know what the hell he’s saying on his blog Emodreng & Indiepige but the quality of his selections are second to none. E&I’s been going for 9 months but I just only now found it, I hope you don’t wait as long as I did to discover this great blog. They’ve also great a great t-shirt for sale which brings me to the Swedesplease shirt situation. It’s been a while since I sold one and frankly I’m not even sure the link is working. So buy a shirt today and I’ll throw in a new cd to the first 5 orders. The t-shirt ordering info is all the way at the bottom of the site (sorry blogger’s still f***ed up).
Testbild! have announced the title and the concept behind their new record, Une Teinte Intense. The record has the unifying theme of addressing the life of Isabelle Eberhardt (a fascinating revolutionary woman who lived in Norther Africa). “In the Moorish Cafe” is a deceiving song that comes on like a breezy pop tune but then is undercut by ominous bass, Northern African guitar accents and Moroccan drumming. What seemed for once to be conventional song from Testbild!, turned out to be a decidedly different venture with the song at times moving in three different directions at once.
Swedesplease is going to take a one day holiday from posting to soak up this excellent piece of press about us in The Guardian. “Influential” Swedish music blogging to continue tomorrow.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Only in this weird and wonderful digital age could a village in Illinois provide one of the most influential (lol) players in the Swedish music scene. But that’s exactly what US blogger Craig Bonnell is becoming, thanks to his Swede-centric MP3 blog (http://www.swedesplease.blogspot.com). Bonnell’s ear is so close to the far-flung Scandinavian ground that he’s usually among the first to write about hot Swedish acts.”
Fiktion straddles the border between organic electronic music and something more experimental and avant garde. This is far from the electronic dance music that I often post about here but not that far removed from something like Detektivbyran. You can download the entire record on the excellent netlabel on Frukt.
P.S. I have not changed the layout of Swedesplease, in fact I haven’t changed the settings for weeks but I woke up this morning with an all new layout in both Firefox and Safari. I actually don’t mind the new look, what do you think? Needs some tweaking though. It’ll probably revert back to the old format soon. Right? I hope.
I’m a big fan of Elias & The Wizz Kids. And I’m a big fan of goofy semi-homemade You Tube videos. I love the single “Dance” from Elias’s solo debut for Hybris (wrote about it here). That’s right! You guessed it. There’s a new video for the song. I think it’s as charming and catchy as anything I’m From Barcelona has done so I hope the hit count on You Tube will go through the roof after this post (lol).
The Paper Faces are a throwaway emo(ey) pop band. I’m sure they are shooting for the stars commercially with their amped sound. But like 99.9% of all bands they probably won’t make it. All the more reason to buy their three eps, including the new single “Closure”. Who knows these may be the collectible Swedish records of the next millennium. Silly, right? I know and this isn’t usually my thing, but this morning these two really got me going.
It’s funny when a pop song is reinterpreted and rerecorded at a different pace, different tempo and/or different voice (male vs. female, deep vs. light and airy, somber vs. upbeat, etc). The song often takes on a whole new meaning or is given more depth. Lyrics that originally sounded trite and cliche suddenly have more meaning and seem more powerful.
This is the case with Erik Mattsson’s new cover of Jennifer Rush’s hit “Power Of Love”. Erik Mattsson (a fan of M. Ward, Damien Jurado, Iron And Wine) version of the song is given the indie folk/alt-country treatment. Unlike the overproduced, “bombastic” original, this cover was recorded lofi with borrowed picks (Jason Molina’s) and found guitars (one bought from a hobo; the other handed down by Erik’s father) and in a basement south of Stockholm.
The new ep is called en attendant and is available as a free download at the excellent Swedish singer-songwriter’s co-op known as Wild Geese Music.
The Gustafson Brothers are back (Book Of Daniel and Boy Omega). Are there two bands anywhere in the world that are lead by brothers that are more prolific or more tuneful? I’m not aware of any. This time Boy Omega is going to be releasing his new record on the German label Glitterhouse, as well having an Oct. 1 release date for Hope On the Horizon on England’s Stereo Test Kit Records.
“Suffocation Street” sounds a bit like the title. It’s not completely a downer, yet it’s a little dark and depressing. The similarities to The Cure and the similarities in song titles between this and “Fascination Street” is surely not an accident (more of a homage I suspect). Either way this single is fantastic.
Video For “Suffocation Street” (be one of the first to see the video!)
Book Of Daniel have released this song, the title track of a three song ep, in advance of the new record. It’s got a sound similar to his brother’s, but with horns instead of strings, a bit more upbeat and a little less resigned. You can find out more at the German label Riptide Records.
Indie Surfer Blog has a great review of Taken By Trees new record, as well as three mp3′s and a YouTube video of Victoria Bergsman’s new project. This stuff is criminally underrated.
Obscure Sound sounds off on Swedish music in general and Hybris’ Kalle J in particular.
Discobelle is featuring Swedish hip hop from Lorentz & M. Sakarias.
Stereogum (and others) has a never ending stream of Jens Lekman news. This time a couple of live videos. Green Clothes has a couple older songs (like last year…jeez) from The Consequences (one of the few Swedish “indie” rock bands I can stomach).
The Yellow Stereo has not one but two new songs from Club 8′s new Labrador release The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Dreaming (personally I’m nonplussed).
I got a comment the other day proclaiming Tellus About The Moon the new Swedish Belle And Sebastian. This is untrue although I will say this sounds like the new Swedish Jazz Butcher Conspiracy (unfortunately for the band that has a lot less cachet than B&S). This 5 piece Gothenburg based band plays a hometown gig on Oct. 13 at Simons 25ars Festival. It’ll be interesting to see the output this group produces in the near future as this is their only available tune at the moment. Enjoy. Hate
Swedesplease was the first daily mp3 blog devoted to Swedish music. It's gone on to be recognized by Swedish Public Radio, Swedish press, The London Times, The Guardian, The Chicago Tribune and on and on. If Swedesplease has a slant or plays favorites it's a mostly due to an insatiable love of Swedish indie pop, electronica and twee. Most songs posted are free and legal courtesy of the artists and labels. If for some reason you think a song should come down please email me at cbonnell (at) gmail.com.