Archive for May, 2009

Swedish Video Roundup

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Royal Downfall – “A Backlash Is Here”

Tam Tapir – “Nordpol”

Addeboy Vs Cliff

Montt Mardie – “We’re All The Pirate Bay”

Val Venosta – “We’re All The Pirate Bay (Remix)

New music from Ossian Ekenger (riyl Ramona Cordova, Jose Gonzalez)

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

One way I think about which songs should be included on Swedesplease is to ask myself if they would be a welcome addition to my iPod. If the songs I write about were to pop up on shuffle, would they intrigue me enough to keep me from skipping over them or better yet track them down? If the answer to those questions is yes than IU’m happy to write about them on Swedesplease. The songs of Ossian Ekenger have found and will continue to find a place on the iPod shuffle of my heart. They are interesting, mysterious, soothing, and odd little lofi masterpieces.

It’s been almost a year since the first and only mention of Ossian Ekenger on the internet courtesy of Swedesplease, so it’s as good a time as any for a followup. Here are two new songs from this Gothenburg based pop upstart.

Christmas In July
Black Brittle Star Revisited

New Found Land – “We All Die” (Fixe Records, May 20)(Plus Val Venosta remixes Montt Mardie)

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

New Found Land make impeccable and polished pop. The band is really a duo of Karl and Ana from Gothenburg. Their new album, We All Die, is out May 20 on Fixe Records. “By Your Side” is a lullaby from that record that hints at some of the melancholy of the title. It’s languid pace and romantic themes remind me of the slocore romantica of Tindersticks.

By Your Side

Tramsession

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I guess the Montt Mardie YouTube remixes for “Theme For Pirate Bay” are starting to appear. The guys at Val Venosta (V2) put something together and made a striking video as well.

ArcadeLife

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Here’s a little Swedish techno for from the one man band known as ArcadeLife. With a name like that youy’d expect more bleeps and bips and c64 type sounds but this is straight up industrial style electronica.

Blitzer

A theme song for Pirate Bay courtesy of Montt Mardie

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

News about Pirate Bay is big in the states. Imagine what it must be like to live in Sweden where there’s even talk of Pirate Bay political party. So if anything Montt Mardie’s ever done has a chance to go viral it’s this song – the new theme for Pirate Bay which is prominently placed on the home page.

The song/video “We’re All The Pirate Bay” is simple like any good theme song. But it’s also simple for a reason – Montt Mardie is encouraging the people of the world to remix/redo the video/song to prove a point about file sharing and Pirate Bay in particular. No matter what you think about file sharing and the Pirate Bay, for a certain type and caliber of artist these services are hugely effective in getting their music to the masses. Lots more info here.

We’re All The Pirate Bay

Montt Mardie – “We’re All the Pirate Bay”

Sisters of Mercy + Acid House Kings = The Dynamics (No, Really!!!)

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

I’m very close to getting all my news from Twitter. The latest nugget I found is that Andrew Eldritch from Sisters Of Mercy is playing with Acid House Kings. The band is called The Dynamics (not the French reggae Dynamics apparently).

It’s so strangely wonderful to hear the Sisters of Mercy frontman singing in front of a sound that is more jangly indie pop than foreboding goth rock.

My Time Will Come
Before I Was Born

{UPDATE} Dude was kidding on Twitter. Serves me right. Still an interesting new (?) band from Sweden in The Dynamics?!?

Sisters of Mercy – “Lucretia, My Reflection” (how/why does this have over a million hits)

New song from Liechtenstein’s “Survival Strategies”

Friday, May 15th, 2009

A lot has been written about the new record from Liechtenstein. The all girl group from Sweden released the song “Roses In the Park” from their new record Survival Strategies In A Modern World earlier this month. And it got a lot of attention from the blogs. However no one dug any deeper into the record so here I go.

“All At Once” has a pretty solid beat that is accompanied by an almost surf like rock guitar and chanted vocals that remind me more of singing monks than the oft compared Vivian Girls. It’s the amount of reverb and many layers of vocals that set this song apart from the indie pop or c86 bands Liechtenstein are often compared to. Survival Strategies… is available on June 12 via Slumberland Records and May 26 on Fraction Discs.

All At Once

Bonus:

Roses In The Park
Stalking Skills

M.A.P. – The Best Songs In The World For The Month Of May

Friday, May 15th, 2009

We’re back. The mighty international music blogging conglomerate known as MAP (Music Alliance Pact) is back with a new batch of songs from around the world.

AMERICA: I Guess I’m Floating
4 Lands & PeoplesAwake
Baltimore-based Lands & Peoples seem to have a knack for hypnotherapy. With a commanding ethereal ambience and gorgeous catatonic tensions throughout, Awake is an eye-opener from start to finish. You’ll ask, “How have I not heard of them?” and “I can’t believe they aren’t signed!” Well, believe it. There’s an album in the works coming out later this year (perhaps self-released), but for now you can listen to more gems at their MySpace page.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
4 Les Mentettes OrchestraHold On
Les Mentettes is a psychedelic pop band who just released a five-song EP with orchestral arrangements conducted by former Orquesta de Salón member Manuloop. It’s a free release so if you like Hold On you can legally download the other tracks as well. They are currently playing this record live with a full orchestra in several venues around Buenos Aires.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
4 Jonathan BouletA Community Service Announcement
I only recently discovered the very talented Jonathan Boulet’s music online, and upon hearing this song immediately purchased his album from iTunes. It is simply amazing that the 20-year-old produced and recorded everything himself in his garage. Big future for this guy.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
4 A Banda de Joseph Tourton#3
A Banda de Joseph Tourton only have a few songs on the internet and released a digital EP last year, but they are already one of the most interesting of the new generation of alternative groups in Brazil. They create instrumental songs full of groove, emotion and originality, making the next step in mangue beat’s (a musical movement from Brazil’s northeast) history, going through post-rock, jazz and their regional culture influences.

CANADA: I(Heart)Music
4 Green GoBrains For Breakfast
For a year or two now, my friends in Toronto have been raving about Green Go to me and now that their debut album, Borders, is out, it’s easy to see why. As songs like Brains For Breakfast show, the band create infectiously catchy pop with shouted group vocals and bouncy riffs that sound like they’d make for a big, sweaty blast of fun in concert.

CHILE: Super 45
4 MutroneBristol
A mix of experimentation, psychedelia and improvisation are the foundation elements from which Mutrone build solid sound walls comprising samples, effects and a dynamic reminiscent of the machine-like structures of krautrock. With two albums, Oscillatore and Centinela, both released under a Creative Commons licence, the four guys in Mutrone have discovered an exciting way to bring the real sounds of the city into the machine.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
4 SinusstøvWho Am I?
The translation of their name is “Sinus Dust” but there’s nothing at all dusty about Claus Pedersen and Søren Friis Dam’s musical output. Who Am I? is lush, sweeping and crackling electro, showered in the melancholy Scandinavians have to live with and everybody else finds moving. Another grand testament to the incredibly healthy state of Danish electronica.

ENGLAND: The Daily Growl
4 Blue RosesDoubtful Comforts
Another month and I’m sticking with all thinks folky, although we’re leaving London for Shipley in Yorkshire which is the home of Laura Groves. She has recently rebranded herself as Blue Roses and released an amazing self-titled album (on XL). Of all the young folky female artists I’ve enthused about here and on my blog, she’s possibly the best.

FINLAND: Glue
4 Delay TreesDesert Island Song
Indie-pop quartet Delay Trees have just self-released their seven-song debut CD, Soft Construction EP. Desert Island Song is the opening track and the beginning of a dreamy trip through tender pop melodies and bits of psychedelia. It is a very promising start for these guys.

FRANCE: ZikNation
4 WalterLe Dernier Bastion
In the beginning, they were two, playing in parks, festivals and concert halls. Six years and three musicians later, Walter keeps riding French roads offering a tasty blend of reggae, blues and folk, spreading messages of love, respect and peace. They’ll be back in studio by the end of the year to record their next album.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
4 SchlachthofbronxGood To Go
Schlachthofbronx defined a whole new genre called Munich bass. This bastard relies heavily on Kuduro, baile funk, dub and dancehall but also likes to play with elements of Bavarian folk and synthpop. Good To Go has never been released officially but turned on the crowd at their sweaty gigs all over central Europe.

ICELAND: I Love Icelandic Music
4 Retro StefsonPapa Paulo III (Re-edit version)
Retro Stefson was founded in late 2006 by a group of eight teenagers, school friends from Austurbæjarskóli. They write catchy, semi-pop/semi-rock crossover songs and give great live performances. Last year the band released their debut album Montaña on the Icelandic Kimi Records label. The band’s principal songwriter is Unnsteinn Manual Stefánsson. The lyrics are in English, Spanish and Icelandic.

IRELAND: Nialler9
4 Super Extra Bonus PartyRadar
The first single from Super Extra Bonus Party’s second album Night Horses sees them joined by Cadence Weapon on a stomping live band/electro-hop crossover. It’s a good indication of a band who don’t like to stick to genres for too long. Night Horses also features pop, acoustic folk, instrumental rock and electronic goodness with guest vocals from Mr. Lif, R.S.A.G., May Kay of Fight Like Apes, Ann Scott and Heathers.

ITALY: Polaroid
4 Buzz AldrinSmall Bad Talk With Koala Friends
Obsessive rhythms, nagging guitars, alienated voices, dirty synths and strangely beautiful songs that are greater than the sum of their parts. Think of Liars, think of Wire, think of Pere Ubu, or don’t think: just dance. This young trio show a driving strength when on stage and they are improving with every gig.

MEXICO: Club Fonograma
4 Mr. RacoonFerry 3
Mr. Racoon is one of several projects by Roberto Polo, among them 60 Tigres and Fuck Her, Or The Terrorists Win. This is by far his most charming moment yet. His music unfolds the very best of a prolific songwriter that, as opposed to what his music may sound like, is a maximalist taking the lo-fi production and his shimmering voice to heroic amplitudes. Ferry 3 is a cut from his third album Katy, released earlier this year through the free storage music website Delhotel Records.

NEW ZEALAND: Counting The Beat
4 The Sing SongsPamphlet Baby
The Sing Songs sing songs, saccharine sweet pop songs. What gives them their staying power are the lyrics. Where you might expect girl loves boy, boy loves girl, instead you get the story of a woman dealing with the death of her baby by walking the streets with a pram, delivering pamphlets. To date the band don’t have any releases but this song has been included on a compilation issued by Real Groove magazine to celebrate New Zealand music month.

NORWAY: Eardrums
4 MaribelFlesh & Blood
Oslo-based Maribel released their long-awaited and brilliant debut Aesthetics only a few days ago, and the Norwegian critics gave them full scores in the reviews. The band play dreamy, noise-drenched, multi-layered shoegaze with almost psychedelic elements. There are obvious references in their sound to bands like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Spacemen 3, Pale Saints and even The Velvet Underground, but Maribel definitely do their own thing and they do it their own way. Maribel and Aesthetics is highly recommended, and will be this Norwegian blogger’s soundtrack to the spring of 2009.

PERU: SoTB
4 Diablos AzulesPorno Music
It is time for a classic night: trumpets, breaks, ska and contagious melodies that immerse people in the most insane of their intentions. It is perhaps no surprise the band are called Diablos Azules (“Blue Devils”). Porno Music is the best legacy of their existence – an old song which is still fresh and gets revived every time someone goes to a party in Lima.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
4 The TiMariaPretty Girls Are Pretty High
Last year, a man was organizing a gig with a three-band bill but had just two booked. When he was creating the poster, he made up the name TiMaria and included this fictitious group as the third act of the night. (Un)fortunately, he didn’t erase the name before the posters went to press and ended up with a stock of paper to throw away. However, he persuaded his friends, André Moinho and Nuno Rancho, who live in small villages around the city of Leiria, to form a band in 15 days so that he could use the posters and save the planet. And so, with the addition of Nuno’s younger brother, Luis Jerónimo, The TiMaria (“Aunt Maria”) was born. Their debut record will be released in September or October.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
4 SemiosisRecovery
Semiosis is the post-rock/ambient/electronic project of Seidiu Alexandru and Serban Ilicevici, two young guys from Craiova. They have just released their debut album, Pictural, and it has received a lot of positive feedback. Pictural is considered the first Romanian post-rock album and is available for free download here – it’s a must if you enjoy listening to this preview.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
4 BoycottsBeat On The Dancefloor
Boycotts have been in existence for barely a year but it’s still no surprise they’ve got people in Scotland very excited indeed. The Glasgow-based quartet’s edgy guitar-pop pushes all the right buttons, but the ace in the pack is their enchanting frontlady, Stina Twee, all youthful exhuberance and ‘don’t screw with me’ lyrics.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
4 The Fire FightFires At Night
The Fire Fight are an indie-rock band that have set the local scene on fire with their firebranded musicality and heartfelt lyrics. Fires At Night is the first track from their demo, The Green EP. Brandishing straight-up indie guitar rock that combines the intensity of Bloc Party and the poetic ebb and flow of The One AM Radio, Fires At Night draws the listener into its warmth and, like a slow burning furnace, purifies the experience. Perhaps the best thing about The Fire Fight is their lyrical optimism in a world spiraling into nihilism, as singer Josh Tan pleads that music is for “the hope that burns in your eyes”.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
4 Stretching Journey060
Post-punk band Stretching Journey put out a self-titled album on its own last month. The band is not afraid to blend a plethora of genres into their music and as a consequence of the lo-fi production, several of their songs ended up with a slight psychedelic edge. The album opens with 060, which has a progression and a beat influenced by Los Bunkers, whereas the style of the chorus is inspired by Korean dance-pop act Koyote.

SPAIN: La Página De La Nadadora
4 SundaeArte y Ensayo
The Field Mice, My Bloody Valentine, The Radio Dept. and The Cure are four good references for this band who have even been namechecked by the famous label Shelflife with their second demo. Sundae are like the best shoegaze pop inherited from Sarah Records, but this time from Seville.

SWEDEN: Swedesplease
4 Robert SvenssonI Was Summer, You Were
I can’t tell you one quaint biographical detail about Robert Svensson – he’s a mystery to me. But I am now an instant fan on the strength of “I Was Summer, You Were”. The song exists to share these two sets of lyrics: “I was summer and you were November” and “I was architecture and you were the wrecking ball”.

To download all 25 songs in one file click here.

{MP3} Masquer – Bang Bang (plus Hype Machine radio)

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Super lofi indie rock that reminds one of 1/3 Cure, 1/3 Siousxie Sioux, and 1/3 Madonna. Count Me In!! Masquer is the new side project of Kiki from Lowood/Idora and Pelle of Idora.

Bang Bang

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On a side note, before I left for L.A. I recorded an interview and picked a couple of tracks for Hype Radio wearing my Swedesplease hat. I’m in the beginning of the show after the Akron Family song.

New demos from DZR:P (riyl Beck, Eels)

Friday, May 8th, 2009

So I lied. Here’s my last post before vacation. How could I not post a link to the new song(s) from DZR:P? These guys are a little like the Eels before E got all that Shrek $$$ and sold out or like Beck before he thought he could be an electro funk r n b star. DZR:P is wonderfully odd and on these demos sings like he’s underwater or under a pile of used surgical gauze.

These demos are from an upcoming debut release from DZR:P.

Maybe Tonight
Simple Days For a Simple Man

Le C. et C.

Friday, May 8th, 2009

The problem with writing about unknown bands is that there is very little back story and very few places to hang your hat. Le C. et C. is one such band. I somehow stumbled on their unfinished demo of “Black Ballons” through Twitter and decided to get in touch.

I’m still as smitten with “Black Ballons” as the first time I heard it. I like how the band starts out with mandolin strumming and then adds electric guitars drums and bass. The singers voice displays just the right amount of vulnerability and emotion.

Befriend the band on MySpace here and keep an eye out for what could be a fantastic demo release.


Black Ballons

P.S. I’ll be on vacation for a week so this site won’t be updated for a bit. But if you miss me you can follow my adventures on Twitter.

P.P.S The Swedesplease T-shirts are flying out the door. If you want one better put your order in now.

{MP3} First single from The Deportees – Under The Pavement – The Beach

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

There are a bunch of reasons to post the new single from The Deportees. Of course there are all the obvious reasons like new album, they’re Swedish and I like them but then there are the less obvious reasons. Primary among them is the fact EMI Sweden has released this song to music bloggers. That’s quite a step from a major like EMI and hopefully it’ll loosen the floodgates a bit.

The Deportees remind me of a bunch of contemporary Swedish groups but they remind me the most of the cool blue eyed soul of Montt Mardie.

When They Come

New song/video collaboration between Elias and the Wizzkids and Handsomeboy Technique

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

I’m a big fan of Elias and the Wizz Kids. It turns out there’s sort of a new song from the group. It’s a collaboration with the Japanese artist known as Handsomeboy Technique. The song is called “Reach For Tomorrow” and while there’s not much going on in the video the song itself is glorious. It’s long for an indie pop song at 5:25 and in that time the song goes through a number of musical and thematic changes.

Emo/Screamo from “If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do”

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

“Intro” from the demo ep from If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do gave me an immediate headache right behind my ears. The second song “Our Home, Our Graveyard” extended that headache to my temporal lobes. I didn’t risk listening to the third track. But if you were a fan like of bands like Happy Flowers or even the noisiest Husker Dü tracks than you’ll want to check out this emo/screamo outfit out of Örebro.

Their 2008 demo ep is available for download here. They’ve got a choice opening gig for Suis La Lune in Stockholm on May 16.

Intro

Music Is The Weapon – Afrobeat inspired funk from Sweden (Funk Valley Records, Soon)

Monday, May 4th, 2009

I honestly thought I was one and done with the Swedish afrobeat stuff after my post on Afrobeat Movement. But turns out there’s another band from Sweden inspired by Fela Kuti. Music Is the Weapon is the band and they lay down a serious wall of funk.

The main difference between Music Is The Weapon and Afrobeat Movement is in the size and scope of the band. Music is the weapon adds to the guitar interplay put forth by Afrobeat Movement with organ, trumpet, sax, a full horn section, and a glorious organ. On “Copy Riot” they also employ some ska based rap in an interlude in the middle of the song.

Expect a full length album soon on Funk Valley Records.

Copy Riot

{MP3} Exclusive single from WeHaveLove featuring Shunda K

Friday, May 1st, 2009

I’ve read a thing here or there about music discovery. I’ve seen the “Top Ten Best…”, and the “Required Music Sites…”, and even “The 50 Best Music Blogs To…”. But I swear not once in the last 3 years have I visited any of those sites, services or blogs to find music for Swedesplease. Instead my music discovery system is a bleary-eyed, often unsuccessful stumble through a hodgepodge of Myspace sites, label blogs and Twitter friends. So I can’t honestly tell you how I came across WeHaveLove or why I’m lucky enough to score you their new single exclusively on Swedesplease but I am happy I am.

WeHaveLove is a trio from Stockholm consisting of Bethany and Anna on vocals and Per on software. The track “Dancing” features Shunda K as well. It’s relatively mild electro pop that shares some of the youthful energy of their Swedish peers Those Dancing Days except with beats and blips instead of guitars and drums. The mix of soothing Swedish female vocals on the chorus and a hardcore female rapper from the U.S. is a unique sound to say the very least.

Dancing (ft Shunda K)