Archive for March, 2008

Kasban – Wow!

Monday, March 31st, 2008

I read a complaint recently online that Swedesplease had been more “miss” than “hit” of late and while I take exception to that I’m sure this will improve my ratio. This song by Kasban was delivered to my inbox late last night. It instantly went to the top of the list of posts for the week. It’s clearly the most gorgeous thing you’ll hear, regardless of the language it’s sung in (Swedish).

Kasban’s MySpace page was created March 22 and at last check they had only 5 friends. So run on over and tell them how much you love this song and tell `em Swedesplease sent you.

Flyta Med

Swedish Music Roundup (Robyn, Strip Squad, Robert Church and the Holy Community)

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

(Artwork by Herbert Baglione)

Rock Sellout takes Wired to task for its Robyn Vs. Britney piece.

In other Robyn news Bwank! reprints the recent CMJ interview with her highness.

Microlips has an update from Strip Squad.

Quarterlife Party has three songs from the newish record from Robert Church and the Holy Community.

YouTube Friday Swedish Style (The LK live in Atlanta, Lykke Li interview and performance clips in HD, live video of Dag For Dag and a new single/video from Mata De Leon)

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Great Lykke Li interview with performance clips all in HD from a show in Malmö.

A spacey, epic song (in the vein of Coldplay) from Mata De Leon plus the mp3 of same song – “Evolution”.


Nice live video of “Down By Law” by The LK in Atlanta, again near-HD quality.

Brother/Sister indie rock band Dag For Dag live on Swedish TV.

The Klezmer Sounds of Stockholm’s Davaj – Take That Gogol Bordello and DeVotchKa!! (plus two new videos from Detektivbyrän chronicling the recording process behind their upcoming record)

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

In my other life I write a lot about music inspired by the Balkans, by gypsys and even by American vaudeville. But on this Swedish site I rarely have linked to this type of folk music. Detektivbyrän plays a facsimile of this type of Eastern European folk, but they add so many other elements that it is an entirely new entity once they’re done with it.

So I was happy to discover the Stockholm based group Davaj the other day. The band is seven members and play this folk music in a lively manner encouraging concert goers and fans to dance and sing-along. These two songs are from the groups new demo which can only be purchased at one of their upcoming live shows. Check MySpace for dates in April.



Speaking of Detektivbyrän here’s parts 3 and 4 of their great video series on the making of the new album.

Part 3

Part 4

The Perfect Pop of Sunday Forever

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

There’s a group of artists recording in and around Stockholm who have befriended each other on MySpace, maybe even met in real life and who share a certain musical aesthetic. I don’t think there’s any hard and fast membership rules, but I place The Bridal Shop, Japan Air, and now Sunday Forever in that group.

The sound they share is best described as dreamy electronic pop with crooning vocals and with emotions worn on their sleeves. Following in the footsteps of The Cure, Felt and early Depeche Mode, these bands usually are surrounded by an air of mystery with photos mostly blurred and out of focus, and cd releases hard, if not impossible, to come by.

Sunday Forever has put a couple new songs up on MySpace and it’s the newest song, “Barely”, that is the most perfect example of this type of dream pop that I’ve heard in a long time. I expect these guys will receive a call from Cloudberry, if not Labrador, some time in 2008.



Growing Older

“Lesbian Wannabe” from Doktor Kosmos (and news of a new record!!)

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Pre-order info is up now about the new album, HALLÅ, from Doktor Kosmos. I don’t have anything new in the song department to share, but this song from the 2006 record Assburner on should get you in the mood for more dancefloor wackiness from Doktor Kosmos.

Pre-order HALLÅ here.

Lesbian Wannabe

“När min pojke går på stan”

Swedish Music Roundup (The LK, Those Dancing Days, The Sound Of Arrows, Sophie Rimheden)

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

(“Motions” by Tessar Lo)

3hive has a nice post summarizing their feelings about The LK; feelings that haven’t changed much over the last two years or so.

My Old Kentucky Blog recently discovered Those Dancing Days which set off a small chain reaction as the music blog Who Killed The Mixtape piles on the love.

Rock Sellout (and just about everyone else) wrote about the new Labrador act The Sound Of Arrows and their new single “Danger!”.

has the new single from Swedish electronic dance high priestess Sophie Rimheden (and for once it’s a direct link to the mp3 – hooray DB!)

Mp3′s from Ed Greene, Soviac and Streetwaves; New record from Traktor ( I Made This, April 9)

Friday, March 21st, 2008

From the “It’s About Time Department”: I Made This has finally redone their website. They’ve gone from basically unuseable to pretty cool in the last week. The label/management company’s site was due for an overhaul. Despite the old site their roster is strong (Ed Greene, Soviac, Streetwaves) and they have good plans for 2008.

Next up from I Made This is the new full length from Traktor called Sequence the Sequence due out April 9. Stream a couple of the new (raucus) songs here.

Here’s the really good news. They’ve made three songs from their catalog available as free downloads including my favorite by Ed Greene.

When The Sky Is About To Fall
– Ed Greene

I got The Ribbah
– Soviac

Voids Of Charm
– Streetwaves

New Wave Gay Punk from Sweden’s Viva Revolucian

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

There’s a good solid chance Viva Revolucian are no longer a group. Their homepage is not up to date and their MySpace comment section is filled with spam.

If that’s true it’s a shame since they seem to do the electro-new wave-gay-punk thing as well as anybody. According to their MySpace page they’re a band made up of hookers, punkers and vagabonds. Most of that’s probably a fabrication, but from the selection of pictures on their sites it seems they were always ready to play hard and strip down to their underwear for their art. I like that in a band and I like this song.

The band is/was from Gothenburg. So if you know them, give em a poke, and tell them to get back to work.

That Means I Love You

New single, album track, and video from Stars In Coma

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

I’ve been holding off on posting about some of the new music I’ve been listening to to make sure it is still alright a week or two after the fact. The two songs posted by Music Is My Girlfriend from the new Stars In Coma record You’re Still Frozen In Time easily pass that test.

“Invisibility Trick” is the single and it’s blend of indie pop vocals with accelerated beats and synths is pretty catchy. The album track “People Put Up With A Lot Of Shit” is more of a dance track except with jangly guitar and more of those cheesy synths (but they work here!).

Invisibility Trick

People Put Up With A Lot Of Shit

from Soldiers EP

Video for “Invisibility Trick”

Lykke Li @ Emo’s Annex and Club Deville @ SXSW 2008 (plus I’m Going To Sweden!!)

Monday, March 17th, 2008

You’re all going to be disappointed in me. The only Swedish act I caught at all of SXSW was Lykee Li. The problem was so much else to see and the fact that I didn’t have a wristband and refused to wait in long lines when there was so much else to see. But I will say Lykke Li had her S#$t together. Her three piece backing band was tight. They plowed through a 4-5 song set in record time. Besides Lykke Li’s commanding stage presence, I was most impressed with her band and in particular the way they processed their backing vocals to sound like a small choir. The only problem I had with the Lykke was having her hold still long enough to take her picture.

In other exciting news I’ve been invited to Sweden to cover the Hultsfred Festival. I can’t wait to come. I’ll be there on June 7-15th or so. I’m really looking forward to seeing some of my favorite artists (Sakert, Billie The Vision and Dancers etc) in their natural surroundings (sounds like an African safari, doesn’t it?!).

“Little Bit”

“Let It Fall” @ Club Deville

SXSW – Swedish Preview

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

I’m off to SXSW. There’s no way I’ll get to see all the bands I love that I write about on both Songs:Illinois and Swedesplease, but I hope to do my best. Here’s the complete Swedish SXSW lineup even including some bands/shows I wouldn’t be caught dead at (you’ll have to figure those out for yourself). Most bands are playing more than once and in the case of someone like Lykke Li she may play 10 different times.

I’m not going to bring my laptop so I probably won’t update from Austin. Have a great weekend; see you Monday.

– Bourbon Rocks – March 12

The Tough Alliance – Karma Lounge – March 12

Peter Moren – The Parish – March 12

Social Competence
(Via Stereogum)

Jens Lekman – Emo’s Main Room- March 13

You Are the Light

The Opposite of Hallelejuh

Kristofer Ragnstam – Hilton Garden Inn – March 14

Lykke Li – Austin Convention Center – March 14

Robyn – Pangaea -March 14

Shout Out Louds – The Parish – March 14

Sabaton – Red 7 Patio – March 14

Primo Victproa

Avatar – Red 7 Patio – March 14

March 14

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives – Esther’s Follies – March 15

Still Get Around

The LK – Habana Calle 6 – March 15

Stop Being Perfect

Tiger Lou – Spiro’s – March 15

New song from The Social Services – The next big thing from Sweland!

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

The excellent Swedish leaning blogs It’s A Trap and Indie Mp3 have been talking up the Swedish/Scottish (Swelandish?!) group The Social Services for a little while now. So not wanting to feel left out I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. I’m not sure exactly what it is about the band that is so captivating. It could be that for such a new band their sound is strong and confident. Their self-released recordings sound as good as any major label indie pop I’ve heard. And the clash (or melding) of the two cultures is an interesting sideshow that could really develop into a compelling sound.

“Folkan” is a great example of a couple of these ideas as the song has both English and Swedish language sections, as well as a diverse musical palate with traces of Scottish folk, gypsy music, and circus sounds. Miraculously the band still claims to be unsigned on their MySpace page!


The band’s put together this MySpace video called “Touch The Swede” where they travel around Stockholm doing just that accompanied by snippets of their music. Watch for the Elias and The Wizz Kids cameo about halfway through and the “touch and run” at the very end…

The Tallest Man On Earth (plus something new from Gentle Touch)

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Gorilla Vs. Bear has a new song off the new record from The Tallest Man On Earth. In related news Jimmy Robertson of Club Springfield sent video of him performing this very song just last week.

I won’t Be Found
(Via Gorilla Vs. Bear) (song removed by request – stream it here)

“I Won’t Be Found” (Live at Club Springfield)

“Moonshiner” from the record release show


Totally unrelated: Songs I Wish I Had Written wrote today with news of a new single by Gentle Touch. It’s from the forthcoming record In Memory Of Savannah out March 19. It’s a slinky electronic dance track that brings to mind any number of euro pop bands from the 80′s.

Once You Used To

Open Trio – “Goodbye Everytime” (Found You Recordings, April 7

Monday, March 10th, 2008

In all of music there may not be any ensemble, group or band that is more capable than the jazz trio. To hear each instrument occupying it’s own space and then coming together as a whole is a wondrous thing. Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson may have defined the form but increasingly the future of jazz and the trio itself can be found in parts of Europe and Scandinavia.

Open Trio is a Swedish jazz group that’s been together for over 6 years. They play a structured improvizational style of jazz. The song “Heartland” from their upcoming release Goodbye Every Time (Found You Recordings) was composed by the band’s leader/piano player Joakim Simonsson. But it’s the interplay of all three musicians (bass, drums and piano) that makes this special. All three players have terrific solos and when the group comes back together for the finale it’s simply thrilling. You can pre-order the new record here at DotShop.


From the band’s 2003 debut Farger:

Av Längton, Av Glädje

Swedish Music Roundup – Moofish Catfish, The Touch, El Perro Del Mar, Those Dancing Days and The Social Services

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

(“Songbird” by Scot Nobles)

Pop `N Cherries seconds my disbelief at the musical wonders known as Moofish Catfish.

Underground electronic culture blog Subdrive has a new video from The Touch.

The best thing I’ve heard all year (although it sounds so much like Maia Hirasawa that it’s a bit disconcerting) is the new song by The Social Services called “Baltic Sea” exclusively available over at It’s A Trap.

I can’t get enough of Those Dancing Days; the music blog Apparently is having the same problem.

Fuck Yeah! Go Team!
has second thoughts about the new record from El Perro Del Mar.

The Sky Report weighs in on Pacific!

Swedish Ska! – The Beat From Palookaville

Friday, March 7th, 2008

With every other music blog and their brother writing about Swedish music (note this week’s blogasm about the new video from The LK) it’s getting harder to bring you the newest/best/original Swedish music. That’s been the intent of this blog since the beginning. But lately bands like Lykke Li, Sally Shapiro and The LK are getting coverage left, right and center for every (bowel) move(ment) that they make. The bands and the music are by and large the same great stuff but the amount of coverage and the press machine working in the background has really grown out of control.

My answer is to do the same that I’ve always done and that’s focus on Swedish music that is deserving but not overhyped, unusual but not contrived, and experimental but grounded in pop.


The Beat From Palookaville are a ska, r `n’ b, jump blues, early rock and roll outfit from Stockholm. They’re a band out to have a little fun, a couple of pints and maybe earn enough $$ for gas. I expect that the live show is a sweaty mess of dancing bodies, blurting horns and full of hepcats and greasers from the mean streets of Stockholm.

So here’s an mp3 from rehearsal with the band doing an acapella thing sans instruments:


Plus two live videos of the Skariffic band, The Beat From Palookaville, in action:

Click here to visit Song:Illinois and to see a couple pictures from my trip to Mexico.