Archive for January, 2009

Niels Nielsen – “It’s All In My Head” (plus a Hari and Aino b-side)

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Here’s a sneak preview of Niels Nielsen’s upcoming single “It’s all In My Head”. Niels does a lofi one man band kinda thing that reminds me a little of Pet Politics.

It’s All In My Head

———
The Stockholm based indie pop duo (with 5 members) of Hari and Aino have a single coming out on Cloudberry in February. Here’s the lovely b-side called “Maple”.

Maple

Örnsberg on Perfectly Charming Records

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Örnsberg is the work of Johan Ragnarsson. His first album, Redlinespotting, will be available in April on the London based label Perfectly Charming Records. This track is off that forthcoming record and it nicely blends anthemic pop with electronic touches.

Every City

The Ultimate Swedish Hip Hop Site (plus Swedish Music For Dummies and lots of electronic goodies from the netlabel Swedish Columbia)

Monday, January 26th, 2009

I’m kind of taking the day off today from regular posting since my kids are out of school for the day. But I did want to share with you some tidbits I discovered over the weekend.

People look at me incredulously when I say I write a Swedish indie music blog. They can’t understand that Sweden produces enough great music to have a daily blog devoted to it. But I’ve recently been trumped by the great new site My Best Friend Is My Grind. This site has been up for a couple months and is devoted solely to Swedish hip hop and rap. The site is smooth and is easy to use. It looks and acts like it’s been up for years. The guys behind this site are so deep into the hip hop scene and cover it so relentlessly that they really put any other site on the net to shame. I highly recommend this site.

I came across another Swedish site that is much more general and broad in its coverage. But since I’ve been poking around I’m very impressed with her coverage. The site is called Swedish Music For Dummies.

I’ve got a couple tips as well for you today including new music from Penny Century, GoCart System and electronic music from the Swedish Columbia Collective.

–Download the new(ish) Penny Century EP here.
–GoCart Systems Always Been The Same here.
–And a whole bunch of Electronic goodies from Swedish Columbia here.

Here’s one mp3 that from BMK (courtesy of the netlabel Swedish Columbia):

Girls In The City

New Electronic Music From Sweden plus Swedish Video Roundup (The Scrags, Javelin, Loney Dear, Skranos)

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Hej hej, some Swedish electronic music has arrived in my inbox of late. Here’s a couple new and memorable tracks.

Anto“Fantasy”

BMTS – The Jewel

———

Swedish Video Roundup

Loney Dear – “Airport Surroundings”

The Javelins (The Faintest Ideas) – “You’re Beautiful”

The Scrags – “Death of a Rock `N’ Roll Band”

Skranos – “Varsol”

I “Love Lindblom”

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

The Swedish tunes are flooding in and I see no reason to wait `til tomorrow to share with you this perfect pop song from Love Lindblom. I’m told this is the first single from an upcoming ep from Love Lindblom. The debut album will follow this summer.

I’m a real sucker for catchy music like this that builds and builds into a frenetic climax. I love when the horns kick in. I love the diy nature of the video, you just know he asked all his friends to help out. In short I think I Love Lindblom.

Till min syster

Video for “Till min syster”

{Mp3} Cloetta Paris – “You and Me by the Stereo”

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Sometimes remixes take away a little too much from the original song. In the case of this remix of the new single from Cloetta Paris I think Alex Dynamite added too much of his own sound and took away too much of Cloetta’s vocals and presence. Nonetheless, a new song by Cloetta Paris is something to celebrate. This remix is from the single release You and Me by the Stereo on Tabocco Records.

You and Me by the Stereo (Alex Dynamite Remix)

{MP3} “Teenage Love” Part Deux

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

The other day I went off on aging pop stars attempting to connect with teens through music that is base and exploitative. The post revolved around a song/video by Oh No Miriam! called “Teenage Love”. Well now here’s another song by a teenager entitled “Teenage Love”. The band in question is basically a 16 year old Stockholm kid that goes by the name of Sandstream. This is the first single by the group (the Myspace page went live 4 days ago) and it is a duet with a mysterious female singer.

The song starts out with a robotic introduction but this is not Daft Punk electro trash. Instead it’s melodious electro-pop with its roots in English dance pop of the 80′s and 90′s (Depeche Mode, Cure, Echo and the Bunneymen etc etc). The duet is one of the elements of the song that sets it apart, the other is the earnest vocals of the male lead singer. Let me know what you think of this in the comments…I’m going to leave this post up for a day or two to let this settle in.

Teenage Love

Oh No Miriam!

Monday, January 19th, 2009

It’s funny that teens look to singers years, if not decades, older than them for guidance. How, for instance, has Madonna and her team of aging songwriters anything of relevance to say to young people. Even the American idol teen sensations have a team of managers, agents, and assistants around them at all time stifling any type of normal teenage life.

On the other hand you have Oh no Miriam! documenting the real trials and tribulations of growing up. I wrote about Miriam’s music here first. And now “Teenage Love” now comes with a nice little lofi video.


Teenage Love
(via Letters Have No Arms)

“Teenage Love” video

The best Swedish single of the new year (so far) – Rena Rama’s “Klass 6B”

Friday, January 16th, 2009

You can get pretty jaded pretty fast doing a music blog. The daily deluge of PR emails, lame band recommendations and mp3 links is truly astounding. So it was refreshing to barely get an email that didn’t really contain an mp3 of the debut single off of Rena Rama first record. See, Rasmus Ek from the band acknowledged that he was crap with computers and didn’t know if the file he sent was an mp3 or not. It wasn’t (it was a goddamn .wma file). Anyway I converted it to an mp3, but that’s besides the point. The point is that here’s a band that has made the music first and foremost and not the marketing and promotion. You won’t hear about them on any other site, but this song is simply drop dead gorgeous.

“Klass 6B” is hard to quantify or pigeonhole. It’s very rhythmic without being over come with electronic beats. It’s very joyous too, but I expect the lyrics aren’t all sunshine and puppy dogs. Rasmus sites influences as diverse as Timbuktu (Swedish hip-hop artist), Laleh, Maia Hirasawa and The Beatles. But there’s clearly a touch of jazz and perhaps some Eastern European folk in “Klass 6b”. Add to that the children’s voices in the background, an umpa umpa tuba, a catchy sing-along section, and a muted trumpet and you have the Swedish song of the new year.

The band is unsigned out of Stockholm and is preparing to release their self-titled debut on January 27 with a release party and show that night at Debaser Slussen.

Klass 6b

Quite Simply, The Best Music In the World From M.A.P.

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

MAP just keeps getting better and better. Again there have been new countries added to the mix and for the first time my colleagues at MAP have been given exclusive songs to share with the world. Check out each song individually or download the convenient .zip file at the bottom.

AMERICA – I Guess I’m Floating
Blind Man’s ColourJimmy Dove
Blind Man’s Colour came on our radar in late ‘08 with three excellent Animal Collective covers. With their debut album, Season Dreaming, coming out sometime in early ‘09 and Jimmy Dove as their first explosive single, they’ve got a good chance of becoming my favorite find of 2009 less than one month in. They’ve also got a free EP called Rainbow Faces which you can download from the band’s blog (http://blindmanscolour.blogspot.com/2008/10/rainbow-faces.html). Jimmy Dove is a MAP exclusive mp3.

ARGENTINA – Zonaindie
Bicicletas11 y 20
We started the year listening non-stop to this brand new song by Bicicletas, a superb space-rock band that has been shaking the independent scene of Buenos Aires for some years now. 11 y 20 will be included in their forthcoming album Quema, which is released in March by Bingo! Records.

AUSTRALIA – Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
The Middle EastBlood
I feel like Arcade Fire comparisons have been overused in music reviews over the past whenever, so I’m going to do my best to not compare The Middle East to Montreal’s finest. It’s tough though, because this Townsville, Queensland collective do fit the criteria, at least initially – a large collection of musicians (at least six, possibly seven) who create dramatic and climactic folk-ish anthems.

BRAZIL – Meio Desligado
GuizadoRinkisha
Created by Guilherme Mendonça, Guizado presents instrumental songs ranging from jazz, alternative rock and experimental electronica, always sounding avant-garde. Their first album, Punx, was acclaimed by critics (including the Brazilian Rolling Stone) as one of the best albums in 2008. As well as Mendonça, who is a well-known trumpeter in São Paulo’s underground music scene, Guizado is formed by Curumin, Ryan Batista and Régias Damasceno, musicians involved with some of the most creative artists of the Brazilian alternative scene. Rinkisha, a deep and melancholic song, sounds like John Frusciante playing with Tortoise.

CANADA – I(Heart)Music
Parachute PenguinYour Crimes
Yes, their name is horrible. And yes, this song borrows rather liberally from The Killers. But despite both of those things, if Parachute Penguin’s forthcoming EP, due out in late February, is anywhere near as good as this (or any of the other tracks on the outstanding EP the band released back in the spring), then it won’t be long until the band is playing arenas around the world. Hopefully they’ll stay away from those feathered jackets, though.

CHILE – Super 45
Como Asesinar A FelipesEn Busca De Un Nuevo Sueño
Como Asesinar A Felipes (How To Kill Felipes) is the best way to understand what’s going on in Chilean hip hop music – cross-referenced music styles with deep and shocking lyrics. Former jazz musicians joined MC Koala Contreras and DJ Spacio to create an outstanding jazz-rap combo. Their self-titled album, released last year, has been described as the best Chilean album of the year by even mainstream media. And there is no doubt about it, no other band can take our minds, ears and bodies like Como Asesinar A Felipes have.

ENGLAND – The Daily Growl
Emmy The GreatWe Almost Had A Baby
Although the wait for Emmy The Great’s debut album has been long enough to make it seem like an indie-folk-pop Chinese Democracy, the good news is that First Love is finally coming out on February 2. This track is the first single from the album, released at the end of last year.

GERMANY – Blogpartei
The NotwistGood Lies
The Notwist is probably better known abroad than in Germany. They come from the Bavarian city of Weilheim, where other famous bands – partly with the same members – have their base, e.g. Console, Lali Puna and 13 & God. The Notwist sound is built on the characteristic voice of Markus Acher and the discreet electronic background constructed by Martin Gretschmann.

ICELAND – I Love Icelandic Music
Singapore SlingMartian Arts

Singapore Sling is a darkly, neo-psychedelic, avant-garage band formed in Reykjavik in 2000 by singer-songwriter-guitarist Henrik Baldvin Björnsson and lead guitarist Einar Þór Kristjánsson. The band is often compared to The Jesus And Mary Chain, The Velvet Underground and My Bloody Valentine. “Martian Arts” is taken from their fourth album, Perversity, Desperation And Death, released last November on the new Icelandic label Microdot.

IRELAND – Nialler9
Gran CasinoOne Chance
An intriguing upbeat rabble-rousing orchestral racket from a 13-piece Dublin band who have the horn for brass and blustery rock epics. Their debut Sun Music EP sounds like Arcade Fire jamming with Herbie Hancock.

ITALY – Polaroid
ArnouxToday, A Rainy Day
Cascades, the debut album by Arnoux, blends melancholic synths and glitches with acoustic sounds and warm voices, portraying a delicate and touching liquid landscape.

NEW ZEALAND – Counting The Beat
Princess ChelseaMonkey Eats Bananas
Every May in New Zealand is NZ Music Month. Album sales and radio airplay figures of Kiwi artists soar and there is a celebration of local musical talent. For the past two years NZ music magazine Real Groove has issued a CD in May titled The Sound of Young New Zealand. One of the standout tracks of the 2008 edition was “Monkey Eats Bananas”, a song so infectious I’ve driven members of my household mad with repeated plays, eventually awarding it Song of the Year in Counting The Beat. It’s silly but incredibly compelling. Xylophone, electric piano, a nonsense lyric that doesn’t kick in until two-thirds of the way through the song, all atop a great rolling bass line. Princess Chelsea is about to release her debut album and “Monkey Eats Bananas” will be the first single.

NORWAY – Eardrums
I Was A KingWeighing Anchor
I Was A King is one of the Norwegian bands I expect will do very well in 2009. Frontman Frode Stromstad has a unique gift of creating addictive melodies with distinctive roots to the 60s. Distorted through the sound of the 90s indie scene, the result is “I Was A King”. On their self-titled second album, which received a maximum score in Norway’s largest newspaper, the trio is helped by artists such as Emil Nikolaisen (Serena Maneesh), Sufjan Stevens, Daniel Smith (Danielson) and Gary Olson (The Ladybug Transistor).

PERU – SoTB
TurbopotamosTerrorize You/Disco Flor
After a few demos had been circulated, the rumour was that a cool new sound had awoken the sleepy local scene. With the appearance of No Love, the second album from Turbopotamos in 2007, the rumour proved to be true. With their refreshing compositions, Turbopotamos have been plotting a path that took them on to the same bill as REM and Travis in Lima last November.

PORTUGAL – Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
The WeathermanChloe’s Hair
The Weatherman is Alexandre Monteiro, a resident of Oporto in the north of Portugal. Chloe’s Hair is the first single of his second album, Jamboree Park At The Milky Way, due in February, which he recorded with guest musicians. Besides being a musician, Alexandre runs his own independent record label, Poptones, and an arts collective company, Sublime. Thanks to The Weatherman, the MAP sites are the first in the world where “Chloe’s Hair” is downloadable for free. Obrigado.

ROMANIA – Babylon Noise
Les Elephants BizarresHave No Fear
Les Elephants Bizarres is an alternative band formed in 2007 in Bucharest. Not really like those big, apathetic creatures, these dancing, multi-coloured Elephants are a very fresh and vivid appearance in the Romanian music scene. Their concerts often stir up the audience and make them dance with their indie-pop-disco-punk motley sounds. You can download some of their other songs and watch live performances on their website (http://www.leseb.ro/).

SCOTLAND – The Pop Cop
Evan CrichtonHoliday Time
Glasgow-based Evan Crichton is a rare talent. He’s a singer whose songs have a timeless feel, perhaps because they are immaculately paced and seem to exist in a world and space all of their own. After a year-long absence, Evan has just returned to playing live with a full band set-up and the Scottish music scene is a better place for it. “Holiday Time” is taken from his debut record Bright Our Broken Days.

SINGAPORE – I’m Waking Up To…
I Am David SparkleJaded Afghan
The curious name of Singaporean band I Am David Sparkle is a literal translation of a famous Malaysian disco singer in the 80s called M. Daud Kilau. Their music, however, shows only a hint of that nostalgia. In Jaded Afghan, taken from their second album This Is The New, a carefully woven ambience is animated by an intriguing blend of beats and bleeps that moves back and forth in time. For me, though, what most subtly drives this track forward in the end is the sound of a gently wandering guitar, lightly treading but hugely moving, with slightly darker rumblings underneath.

SOUTH KOREA – Indieful ROK
The Invisible FishFallen
Once the male half of Bluedawn – Korea’s foremost folk/dream-pop duo – The Invisible Fish is now completely on his own. For those who know Bluedawn his music is still familiar, but he’s experimenting more and the songs are more personal. Not wanting to compromise with his new-found post-noise-folk sound, The Invisible Fish releases everything by himself and put out his second solo EP, Loss/Sleepless last month.

SPAIN – El Blog De La Nadadora
SaioaIs It Possible
From our point of view, Saioa has changed the concept of the singer-songwriter. She comes from the Basque land and her debut album, Matrioska Heart, was released in 2008 on the small Spanish label Moonpalace (http://moonpalacerecords.com/). Her songs follow a folk pattern with influences such as Low and Leonard Cohen.

SWEDEN – Swedesplease
The Bridal ShopThe Ideal State
I can’t say enough good things about The Bridal Shop. They perfectly meld the sounds of electronic pop of the 80s with shoegaze of the 90s and indie from the 00s. In other words they’re the complete package. Their Peruvian label (I know that’s kind of a weird locale for a Swedish group) Plastilina Records (http://www.plastilinarecords.com/) deserves kudos as well for releasing some of the best indie-pop this side of Cloudberry. This song is from the band’s mini-album, In Fragments, out in February.

To download all 21 songs in one file click here:

{MP3} Perfect Indie Pop from The San Marinos

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

The San Marinos wrote the other day with an update and 2 new songs. They’re to be looking for a cheap place to record their lofi songs in a slightly more hifi way. So if you know of a great cheap studio in the Stockholm area give them a jingle on their MySpace page but let me just say I love them them just the way they are. Of course, if they had true production values I could easily see their music coming out in a nice The Beautiful South shape.

Anyway these two songs are perfect twee pop: the lilting vocals, wistful themes, simple beats and romantic ideas all add up to form the ideal indie pop tune.

I’ll give you one of these new songs today. But if you beg and plead in the comments section I’ll add the second one tomorrow.

On Our Way

P.S. Songs:Illinois has had three great days of music with posts about Willie Nelson, Ramblin Jack Elliott and Phil Lee.

New Digital Model From Songs I Wish = Free Mp3, Expensive Musical Box (Moto Boy)

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

While everyone else was trying to figure out how to sell digital music Songs I Wish I Had Written circumvented the problem entirely and instead is giving the music away but selling the devise the music was created on. In this case it’s the ancient instrument known as the musical box. Here’s the email I received this morning:

Before Christmas, we published a mini-album with Moto Boy, which has a very atmospheric and genuine aura about it and we thought that now is the time to do something more.

This is where the musical box arrive. It’s a nineteenth century invention and produces sounds by the use of a set of pins placed on a revolving cylinder so as to strike the tuned teeth of a steel com. It has an amazing sound and attraction.

In true Songs I Wish spirit we give away the music digitally and charge for the manufactured gadget. So $0 for MP3 and $25 for a totally unique musical box!

Buy the Moto Boy musical box here.


A Room Without You

Swedish garage pop from Babian

Monday, January 12th, 2009

The Malmo based garage rockers Babian are about to release their record Fullproppad, Listtoppad, Livrädd & Uppstoppad. This is the first single from it. It’s super catchy regardless of the language you speak. Of course as with much of the music on Swedesplease you’ll only hear it here first. Enjoy!

Pre-order the new record here.

Ja Sa Ja

“Ja Sa Ja” video

ja sa ja!

Lowood “Close To Violence” (NONS, March 25)

Friday, January 9th, 2009

The new record from Lowood is ready for pre-order. It will appeal to fans of The Primitives, Eurythmics, and even Blondie. The band is signed to NONS and they have set a March 25th street date. Here’s a couple of songs off it, including the single “Crash”.

Crash
Mess

Jazz from Stockholm and the Oskar Schönning Trio

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Here’s a little end of the day nugget courtesy of Youtube of Oskar Schönning Trio performing last month at the Lilla Hotellbaren in Hotel Scandic Malmen in Stockholm. Oskar is also in the Loney, Dear band but I’m guessing this is wear his true heart lies. Looks like a great little club and the trio is burning up. Enjoy!

Stay Ali – “Discoliner”

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Don’t let the out of phase intro to “Discoliner” throw you off. When that gives way to actual beats, robotic vocals, and sampled chants of la, la, la, la, la, this song really takes off. This comes off a free digital album called Music For Men from the young Swedish trio Stay Ali and is available from the Italian netlabel Signorafranca here now (makes a nice bookend with that Val Venosta post from yesterday).

Discoliner

New song from Val Venosta

Monday, January 5th, 2009

All of my carping about the greatness of the Swedish electronic duo Val Venosta has paid off with an exclusive sneak peak of their upcoming EP Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Wolf.

“I Think Billy Wilder Would Like This” expands on the earlier songs of Val Venosta. The robotic synthesized vocals and thumping beats are still present but now the melody is a little more present and the indecipherable chorus is pushed to the front of the song. All in all a great song to get 2009 off on the right foot.

I Think Billy Wilder Would Like This!

P.S. Songs:Illinois is back with an exclusive first listen to a track from the Brooklyn based gypsy punk group Luminscent Orchestrii here.