I actually went looking for some electronic music to write about the other day. If I ever hit a dry spell that’s my fall back genre. I found a couple things I thought I could post. But it wasn’t until I heard “The Factory” by Super Multifaros that I was convinced this should be the track. This song (and the bonus track) were recorded on a Gameboy by 16 year old chiptune blippop wunderkin B?rd Ericson.
Hell, I can’t even play these handheld video games let alone compose music on one of them. “The Factory” was release onto the net 5 days ago. Enjoy!
Sure The Magnificent Seven is an outstanding western but it’s also the name of a pretty cool gothic folk group out of Örebro. The group of four play waltzes, sea chanty’s and eastern folk music that is often eerie and spooky but always danceable. This is a good time for this odd mixture of genre’s since Devotchka, The Decemberists and Gogol Bordello have popularized the form and taken it out of the world music ghetto.
The band has released a number of ep’s and lp’s but these two songs are new demo’s from 2008.
The single “Sarabande” from Alpha 60′s 2008 release Melting Tracks is a guitar and synth fueled romp. It’s more propulsive and pop/punk radio ready than just about anything I’ve written about lately. But as I listen I’m drawn into the band’s little orb of catchy electronic rock. It’s as light and frothy as indie pop but with a slightly harder edge. I could do without the lead singer’s vocal histrionics however.
Second Band member Fabian Lundmark has directed the first ever video for the group. It’s for the song “The Flood” from the new record Definite Form. You can listen to two new songs from the band below. “The Killer Comeback Line” is soaring melodramatic pop that is a bit morose. While “The Future” is straightforward indie pop with hand claps, trumpets and a sing along chorus.
In anticipation of my trip to Sweden and the Hultsfred Festival I thought I’d talk to some of the bands playing that weekend to help me get a better feeling for the festival and the music scene in Sweden. The all girl group Those Dancing Days were high on my list of people to talk to. So below is my interview with Cissi the drummer. You can see what I’ve written about the group here.
(Swedesplease) I’m interested in the formation of the band. There’s a story that you all met in school or while in school. Were you all friends or was their a tryout? Did you expect the band would travel all over Europe and share a label with Peter Moren and Los Campesinos?
(Cissi) Yes we were all still in school when we started to play together, but it wasn’t how we got to know each other. Now you get the long story. Me and Rebecka became friends when we were only five or six and went to the same child minder and Rebecka and Lisa became best friends when they started school together, but me and Lisa still didn’t knew each other until we were 14 and confirmed us together. We noticed we had the music interest in common and decided we wanted to start a band together with some other friends in the conformation. Rebecka joined and we had a band going. we were not very good but we had very fun.
When we where 16 we split up and during the summer 2005 me lisa and rebecka talked about starting something new. We went to many concerts and festivals and got very inspired by for example Shout Out Louds and Hidden Cameras. We wanted to start something we would like to listen to our self. I knew Mimmi a bit and knew she played the bass so we asked if she wanted to join and she did. We started to rehearse in our youth garden just a few times before Linnea started to play with us. Mimmi had told us she had a girl in her class with a really cool and soulful voice. It was a nice mix.
(Swedesplease) When you first started you were very young (now you’re only just plain young!). What did your parents think about the band. Did they think it was a lark? Were they concerned?
(Cissi) They saw it just like a hobby, like it was. They didn’t care so much. My mother could be concerned it took to much time from my studies.
(Swedesplease) There’s the perception that the Swedish government helps bands by supporting them financially. While that may not be true anymore, did the band have any help from governmental music agencies?
(Cissi) “Hmm we get contribution from something called studieförbundet vuxenskolan (educational association – the adult school), but i don’t know if it’s govern by the Swedish government. It’s a contribution everyone who starts a study circle. They pay a part of our rehearsal studio cost and drumsticks and strings. I’m not sure how it works. But the youth garden where we have rehearsed until now is run by the state and there we kids can play music and borrow the instruments for a very cheep price. That has been very needful for us.”
“Those Dancing Days”
(Swedesplease) Have you played Hultsfred in the past and if so what was it like? If you haven’t what do you expect it will be like?
(Cissi) last summer we played there, but on the smallest stage. the rookie stage (i think it’s called) it’s just for unsigned bands but we had just got signed so we played there anyway. It was real cool. Me, Rebecka, Lisa and Mimmi were there as visitors two and three years before so it was a very big dream come true. It was our first festival we played at so it was a really cool feeling. Not just the gig. Everything around was so new with the backstage and hanging out with other artists. We had a great time! This year it will be even more fun because we will be so much better live than last year (i hope) and play on a much better stage and commonly be more experienced.
(Swedesplease) Are the members in the band surprised by the mentions and reviews of the bands on music blogs in the states? Did you ever imagine that music writers all over the world would be writing about the band?
(Cissi) Of course we could never have imagined. all this came like a chock and we still have hard to understand. there are no interviews without the thought “why would anyone want to know anything about us”. I mean i understand people want to listen to our music, but it’s weird that people want to know things about us that has nothing to do with the music. But it’s very funny. I often think it’s hard to understand it’s us they right about on the other side of the world. But i think it’s good to keep a distance to it. Otherwise i think it would be hard to keep the feet on the ground.
(Swedesplease) How have music blogs, myspace, last.fm and other sites helped the band grow?
(Cissi) Very much i think. It was very much through Myspace we got this much attension. especially in the beginning, when we put up our demo we got response very fast. Maybe we would have came in contact with record companies and clubs now or then but i think it would have taken much longer. Now it all went very fast. Now Myspace is a very good and easy place to get in contact with fans all over the world.
(Swedesplease) What are the plans for your debut release? Is there a title, a release date, a single etc?
(Cissi) We’ll release a single in Sweden and england in may. It’s called “Run Run”. The album will probably be released September or October this fall. We are not sure what we’ll call it but we have recorded about ten songs and it will be a so good album!
(Swedesplease) What are some of your/the band’s favorite Swedish artists? What about in general, what are you listening to recently?
(Cissi) It’s hard to talk for all the band because we have a bit different music taste.
I listen to a lot of different bands and artists but some favorites are the Smiths, the Cure, Vampire Weekend, Belle and Sebastian, David Bowie, Mando Diao, the Strokes, Håkan Hellström, Shout Out Louds, Arctic Monkeys and Muse. Rebecka has recently got me into sunset rubdown. They are very good. Also lately I’ve listened much to Lykke Li and Talking Heads. I like much Swedish pop music. Enough of name dropping!
(Swedesplease) Are there any plans to tour the states when the new record comes out?
We haven’t anything decided yet, but we hope to go there soon. That would be very cool.
Catbird Seat put the long out of print Hemsted release up for free streaming at Muxtape here.
Idolator links to the Handheld show from Love Is All. Otherwise everyone else was writing about Lykke Li, Sally Shapiro, Peter Moren and El Perro Del Mar and you don’t need to hear anything else about those four, do you?
Friday’s as good a day as any for the Swedish YouTube video roundup. It’s a bit of a cop-out and an easy post but these all appeared on YuoTube this week. Plus the weeks had somanygood posts you can’t fault me for slacking off going into the weekend.
Tobias Froberg’s new video for “Slipping Under The Radar”
A chiptune from Ludvig Eloffson
TWIG Gigfi Session w/”Helen Of Troy” and “Close Up”
Gustav and the Seasick Sailors live “Don’t Stop To Let It Die”
Plus the new video from Moto Boy – “Ride My Wild Heart”
I can’t think of a better thing to do as we wait for something new from Detektivbyrån than to listen to the new ep from a band called Symfoniorkestern from Helsingborg. This mostly instrumental EP is a wonder. Its got some of the organic instrumentation of Detektivbyran but at times is a bit heavier on the beats and the sampled found sounds.
Check out the odd voices that start out “Sommardepression” or all the exotic instrumentation that’s layered throughout the track. There’s a degree of experimentation here that is anchored by catchy, nearly hummable, melodies. More songs are available from the new demo Ouvertyr on their Mypace page. I’m excited to have found this, I hope you enjoy.
Did you notice I was gone on Monday? Did you even miss me? Anyway I was on posting sabbatical spending time finding more great music to post. No that’s not right, truth is we were updating to the shining new WordPress 2.5 platform. It went well thanks to One Flower Media. In response to this guy, I say yes, as a matter of fact I do have some more lovely Swedish music, some of the loveliest actually.
These songs from Staphan Obell floored me when I heard them a couple nights back. They blend the crooning Swedish pop style with the more forward busker style of the film Once. Staphan says people have been trying to peg him as a Coldplay knockoff or sounding a bit like Dylan. He says he’d more like to be Freddie Mercury at Wembley in `86 if that gives you a clue. More info at Staphan’s Myspace page here.
The Göteborg based duo Don Agbai is not making a lot of friends in the Swedish music community. Last time I wrote about the band I had to preface the post by apologizing to another band that I promised would be up next. Well the same story goes for today’s post. It was promised to S.O. from Stockholm but he’s getting bumped due to this Swedesplease exclusive of the new song from Don Agbai. It’s actually from Don Agbai Vs. Evergreen Days; it’s a collaboration. The collaboration with Evergreen Days has added a feminine touch to the electro-pop sensibilities of the band.
“A Last Resort” starts out with an ominous warning about war and then quickly gets down to business with a steady beat and the laid back vocals of Don Agbai combining with Emelie Berg’s more ethereal voice. These two worked together on the song “Barcelona 2002 (All I Wanted Was A Postcard)” and once again it’s a wonderful combination. Contact the band here or here for your own burned cdr.
Lots of Swedish related music news coming into my inbox of late so let’s run down the latest:
First off Tomt Recordings has released a free single from the upcoming Björn Kleinhenz record Quietly Happy and Deep Inside. The song is “A Quest For Your Heart”.
A Quest For Your Heart
The production team of Addeboy Vs. Cliff have a new single out as well called “Red Button”. This is something Discobelle would have better luck writing up. In fact, for more info refer to their earlier post on a different song from Addeboy Vs. Cliff here.
After what seems like ages the new 4 track EP by Parker Lewis is officially out now on Mad For It. Parker Lewis is one of those rare artists that mixes a pop sensibility with electronic beats and stellar songwriting. All those elements are present in the song “Shelly” with it’s swirling synths, electronic beats, soaring distorted vocals, and melodramatic lyrics. You can download the entire ep for free here.
Ironville is prepping their new record and they’ve decided to share the song “Roses” from it. I wrote about the eclectic 7 piece group first here.
This song is from the forthcoming lp Welcome To Ironville. If you like the idea of a bunch of Swedish women fronting a seriously energetic pop group, like a Swedish version of Tilly and the Wall, then Ironville may be for you.
Folke is the not quite ready for mainstream project of jazz bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg. The new record features members of The Tiny, Laakso, Loney, Dear and Tape. This info is all via It’s A Trap. Don’t thank me for any of it. In fact, the mp3 is from the Swedish language alt-rock publication Panda.
Compare to The Flaming Lips, The Radar Bros, Mercury Rev or fill in the ________. I think the self-titled record is out now on Finest Quality. You should be able to find it on KlickTrack.
At any given time Lothar may have as many as 5 guitars up on stage. You can hear the result on these two demo’s. Swirling, buzzy, chunky, fuzzy, slashing guitars fight for dominance against Nathaly’s vocals. Think a heavier Cranberries or a more abrasive sound than The concretes.
The Laromlabcontroversy and just plain piracy/plagiarism has struck the Swedish chiptunes scene. The band Goto 80 has just realized their music was also appropriated by Laromlab and used as the musical backdrop to the song “History of the Butt” by Kentucky Prophet.
Any evidence of the song “History of the Butt” including the YouTube video has been wiped from the internet, in fact Laromlab’s complete musical identity has been erased. It’s a little sad but this was the worst case of musical plagiarism I’ve ever heard of.
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.