Archive for June, 2009

Electronic pop from Things In My Pocket

Monday, June 29th, 2009

I’ve always been a fan of people mixing electronica with pop and that’s exactly what Anton Swärdhagen is attempting with his music. His solo project is called Things In My Pocket. Here’s his two most recent songs:

Distant

Savannah

P.S. It’s a beautiful day here in Chicago so I’m just going to leave it at that and enjoy the sun.

{MP3} MAKTHAVERSKAN – “German Boy”

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

I was stumbling around the net (Myspace in particular) and came across this band called MAKTHAVERSKAN. I have since learned they are signed to Luxury. Consider this your introduction to the new “it” band from Gothenburg. They are agitpop combined with postpunk and little bit of Joan Jett tunefulness.

German Boy

Does This Compute? (80′s retro disco from Gothenburg)

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Disco plain and simple a la Madonna or Annie Lennox via the band called Compute. Compute will be taking part in the big Cosy Den 5th anniversary party Landet in Stockholm on July 28 appearing with Honeydrips and Paddington DC.

All Walk By

Bonus

I Thought One Kiss

“Dance With Me” live (backed by Liechtenstein)

Jangletones (80′s/90′s redux – RIYL The Fall, The Damned, Gang Of Four)

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Suddenly I have a lot of music to share. For a second I didn’t know where to start, but then I followed my heart and my heart still resides in the 80′s with bands like The Damned, Sisters of Mercy, The Fall, Gang Of Four, and The Chameleons UK. So the decision was easy to write about Jangletones and their slightly heavy retro sound.

Hyperventilate

Swedish bluegrass from The Rockridge Brothers

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

It’s very rare when I get to combine my love of folk, bluegrass, and old timey music (as evidenced by my other blog Songs:Illinois) with my love of all things Swedish. But today is one of those days.

Like a lot of modern day newgrass bands from the states, the guys in The Rockridge Brothers came from the punk and indie world. At first they recorded an album (2003′s Straight Outta Rockridge) to accompany a film a friend was putting together but they’ve stayed together and in 2008 released the followup to that first record – Rockridge Hollerin’.

The band’s debut record is long since out of print but I have a few songs to share with you from that 2003 release. The new record is available at all yer finer cd stores or here through CDBaby.

Going Across The Sea

Down On My Knees

Been All Around this World

The Best Songs In the World (May Edition of M.A.P.)

Monday, June 15th, 2009

AMERICA: I Guess I’m Floating
4 Janelle MonaeSincerely, Jane
The name Janelle Monae might ring a bell – she has guested on several OutKast songs and recently signed to Diddy’s Bad Boy label. After seeing her energetic performance at Bonnaroo a few days ago I can say that she’ll be one to keep a close eye on. Even if Sincerely, Jane doesn’t do much for you, check out some live clips on YouTube to get the whole picture.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
4 Le MicrokosmosEs Un Hermoso Verano Lunar
Guillermo Beresñak and Pablo Retamero got together in January 2008 in Buenos Aires. From this union came Le Microkosmos, an electronic ensemble in constant search for new musical experiences with synths, programming, instruments, vocals and orchestral sampling. This quest led them to create their own cosmos from each sound, such as this acoustic-electronic ballad taken from their brand new album, Y Vas Donde Sonrisas Te Dan Esos Encapuchados De Un Mundo Nuevo.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
4 Dappled CitiesThe Price
One of Australia’s, if not the world’s, most exciting indie-rock bands, Dappled Cities are back with their third album, Zounds. It was written and recorded after an extensive period of touring their previous offering Granddance, a classic album in the minds of many critics. The Price is a fantastic taster for old and new fans alike, worthy of immediate playlisting.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
4 Júlia Says
Júlia Says have just released their second independent EP, Menos é Mais (“Less Is More”), in which the duo go deep inside electronica with some strong influences of dance-rock. The name of the band was taken from a children’s story and it’s a thing that helps us to connect to the fragile melancholy and beauty of Cá.

CANADA: I(Heart)Music
4 WildlifeSea Dreamer
How awesome is this song? So much so that when I saw them perform it during a soundcheck at a show in Ottawa recently, everyone in the room just watched in stunned silence and then exploded in wild cheers when it was done. To put that in context, that kind of thing never happens. But Sea Dreamer, in all its pounding, pulsing, marching-gleefully-into-the-apocalypse glory, is amazing enough to be the exception.

CHILE: Super 45
4 Valentina FelCirco Podrido
Full of aggressive beats, explosive sampling and social protest lyrics, Valentina Fel is the most logical evolution of a riot girl – punk almost in the realm of grime, do-it-yourself attitude with dancehall as a commodity and flamenco-injected defiance. Her long-awaited upcoming debut -to be release in the next few months – promises to be a massive earthquake in the dancefloor that nobody could anticipate.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
4 Vomit SupremeVersus Love
A new project by Mattis Jakobsen and Malte Hill of Straight To Your Face, Rock Hard Power Spray guitarist Frederik Valentin and recently joined by bassist Karsten D. Johansen (Strawberry Slaughterhouse), Vomit Supreme have long been an All Scandinavian favorite. Punk aggression spoon with pop hooks and with the mighty Versus Love spearheading their campaign, world domination should be nigh.

ENGLAND: The Daily Growl
4 FanfarloI’m A Pilot
I’m A Pilot, the opening track on Fanfarlo’s debut album Reservoir, sets the scene for what’s to follow. It’s a rich, heady brew of heavily orchestrated indie-pop which at times even feels like it’s pulling its punches. It’s the sound of a young band comfortable in their own grandiosity and as Reservoir carefully unfolds, it’s impossible not to be swept along. From now until July 4 you can download the album from the Fanfarlo website for just $1, so you’ve no excuse for not owning it.

FINLAND: Glue
4 TV OFFCar Is On Fire
What a summer hit song! Cool and sexy! Singer Sara delivers delicious pop melodies over Markku’s electro bits and sounds. This duo from Helsinki are putting the final touches to their debut album, but they have already gained attention around the world, playing in London and Tokyo. Soon TV OFF will take over the world.

FRANCE: ZikNation
4 Phoenix1901
For too long Phoenix have been overshadowed by Daft Punk and Air, but no more. Even though Phoenix are four albums into an increasingly fruitful career, 1901 is possibly the most immediate and loveable thing they’ve ever created. An anthem for indie kids, a dancefloor filler for disco dwellers. It’s for everyone really.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
4 High Voltage HumansLaser Symphony (Catastrophy)
High Voltage Humans are a Munich-based electronic duo. The featured song is heavily energetic and balances guitar riffs with synth melodies sounding a bit like 80s space electro. It’s a concrete four-to-the-floor flour-dust explosion.

ICELAND: I Love Icelandic Music
4 For A Minor ReflectionÓhljóð
For A Minor Reflection are a quartet from Reykjavík who play energetic, melodious, instrumental post-rock. They have earned comparisons to Explosions In The Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Óhljóð, which means “discordant noise”, is taken from their 2007 debut album Reistu Þig Við, Sólin Er Komin Á Loft… (“Rise and shine, the sun’s up…”) on Blippr.com. Guitarist Kjartan Holm’s older brother Georg plays bass in Sigur Rós, whom they supported on tour last year.

IRELAND: Nialler9
4 Sleep ThievesOsumi
Taken from It Was Only A Satellite, the debut EP from this Dublin three-piece, Osumi showcases the bleep-assisted electronic edge of their sound before diverting into heady post-rock guitar progressions, while singer Sorcha repeats a mantra atop like a prototype Natasha Khan. Their yearning indie-electronic-pop sound is reminiscent of Lali Puna, Broadcast and The Notwist.

ITALY: Polaroid
4 My Awesome MixtapeMe & The Washing Machine
I would have never expected to listen to an Italian band mix diverse sounds such as Anticon and The Postal Service, but when I heard My Awesome Mixtape I just had to change my mind. Infectious melodies and tight grooves, these young kids just seem to be unstoppable.

MEXICO: Club Fonograma
4 Los AmparitoPor Medio De La Lectura
Los Amparito is the mind-blowing, eccentric and absolutely sublime project of Carlos Pensina. He is relatively well known in Mexico’s indie scene for his more electronic act Pepepe, but Los Amparito have enormous potential to break into international boundaries. This sound is like a distorted Mexican mirror of traditional music mashed with its own repetition, flourishing vocals and colorful sequences resulting in something between Animal Collective, Amparo Ochoa and El Guincho.

NEW ZEALAND: Counting The Beat
4 Lisa CrawleyBrother
Lisa Crawley is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter who stands out from the crowd because of her voice and the playful arrangements of her folk-pop songs. Brother, from her second independently released EP Hello, Goodbye And Everything Inbetween, would be great on the basis of its plinky-plonk piano alone, but it’s the trombone that lifts it to another level.

NORWAY: Eardrums
4 Firetop MountainHow Can You Dance At A Time Like This?
Firetop Mountain are four boys and a girl from the Oslo area, who play indie-rock with a strong melodic focus. Just last week they released their debut album Indians Aren’t Afraid Of Heights on their own label. Their music is sometimes powerful and energetic – songs you want to jump around to – and other times more laid-back and sensitive. Good songwriting all the way.

PERU: SoTB
4 Mi Jardín SecretoYo No Quiero Bailar Esta Noche
Mi Jardín Secreto’s debut album, La Ciencia Y El Arte De La Falsificación, contains 11 songs that flit between new wave, alternative rock and the sound of modern bands. The theme of the lyrics is a mixture of the warmth and coldness of the city of Lima, with characters who have adventures in a place and climate familiar to us all.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
4 :papercutzA Secret Search
What started as Bruno Miguel’s music project is now a trio with female vocalist Marcela Freitas and multi-instrumentalist Francisco Bernardo. After appearances on various international compilations :papercutz are now signed to Montreal’s Apegenine label, who released their debut album Lylac in February. In April, they were winners of the ‘off the beaten track’ category in The People’s Music Awards in London.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
4 Luna AmaraFloodmoses
Luna Amara have been around for almost 10 years, during which they’ve managed to create an image and a name for themselves in Romania. From mellow alternative to angry metal sounds, their music is powerful and never fails to deliver its message. Floodmoses is taken from their recently released third album Don’t Let Your Dreams Fall Asleep.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
4 The Seventeenth CenturyTraffic
If Arcade Fire’s Wake Up moved you to your core then get ready to fall in love with Traffic. It has that soaring choral majesty, that sprawling orchestration and The Seventeenth Century clearly possess ambitions that are no less lofty. Having had a listen to the young Glasgow band’s forthcoming In The Place EP, we can say without hesitation that you’re looking at the best new band in Scotland.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
4 Concave ScreamFiction
We visit one of Singapore’s finest indie bands of the 90s with Concave Scream. Fiction, taken from their third album Three, hints at the flavors of DJ Shadow, The Cure, U2 and Butler-era Suede. It is a fine tune that could sum up the entire record with its use of ethereal vocals, otherworldly chorus-effected guitar lines and a blistering rhythm section. These days, Concave Scream are pushing the envelope of their musical whimsicality by releasing an instrumental fifth album that can be found on their website.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
4 The Plastic DayI Miss Me Myself
Post-punk/grunge trio The Plastic Day released their first full-length album, 30 Seconds Between The Dreamer And The Realist, only last month but already they’ve gotten unusually high coverage in Korea-related English language media online. With an intense rock sound paired with English lyrics, there’s no reason why they won’t get even further. I Miss Me Myself might be one of the softer songs on the album, but it’s one that instantly spawns an impulse to hit the repeat button.

SWEDEN: Swedesplease
4 Chuck MorganThe Best Of You
I don’t know if there’s a term for the sound of Chuck Morgan. The last post I did on this Gothenburg-based troubadour tried to peg him as “romantic indie-pop”. His new song, The Best Of You, continues that sound but adds even more electronic beeps and blips to the mix.

To download all 24 songs in one file click here.

New Video from Wailin’ Henry (Strayfolk)

Monday, June 15th, 2009

If you’re a fan of the Dylanesque folk blues of The Tallest Man On Earth (and by now who isn’t?) you should really check out Wailin’ Henry.

New songs from Andy Love (as featured on the Konstpiration mixtape Sweden Vs. France

Friday, June 12th, 2009


(only known photo of Andy/Anders)

There’s a new Sweden Vs. France mixtape online at the moment from Konstpiration. It features some well known Swedish bands battling against the cream of the crop from France, but it’s the underdogs on the Swedish side that I’m interested in. The last song on the mix is by Andy Love (no not that Andy Love). I did some extensive research on Andy and found one other blog post about his music. By Me!

So here’s a followup to that post about Andy Love. “Free Stress Test” is his newest song from 2009 and below that is “U.N.I.R.” which is featured on the Sweden Vs. France compilation. Both songs are decidedly lofi, yet both songs enlist the help of instruments like cello, flute, guitar, whistling and drums. The vocals on both are dreamy, slurred and soaked with emotion. As a result of both of these features Andy Love’s songs transcend the diy indie pop genre and become more akin to poetry set to music.

Stress Test

U.N.I.R.

New single from Elias And the Wizzkids

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

I think Elias and the Wizzkids is one of the most underrated indie bands in Sweden. If you can get past the slightly accented English you’ll find a pop band that plays sunny, catchy music.

“Mr Right Guy” is an upbeat song about the perfect guy – possibly Elias himself. Not sure if it’s ironic or on the up and up. Either way it’s incredibly catchy with an almost Caribbean infectiousness. Riyl Montt Maride, Billie the Vision and Dancers, and I’m From Barcelona.


Mr. Right Guy

“Mr. Right Guy”

A great new song from Gothenburg based troubadour Chuck Morgan

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

I don’t know if there’s a term for the sound of Chuck Morgan. The last post I did on this Gothenberg based troubadour tried to peg him as “romantic indie pop”. His new song, “The Best Of You”, continues that sound but adds even more electronic beeps and blips to the mix. So how about “romantica” for music that mixes emotion with electronics, love with bytes and feelings with 1′s and 0′s?

I don’t know about you but I love this kind of stuff. And Chuck Morgan needs a little love, so please, if you have a music blog, a twitter account, a facebook page, a tumbler, or a myspace please write about Chuck Morgan (feel free to steal my bandwidth and repost the link to his new song “The Best Of You”). Help out a truly “indie” artist and this truly “indie” blog and spread the word.

The Best Of You

Swedesplease exclusive – Swedish shoegaze from The Last Portray (Suzy Records, 3″ EP)

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

There is little in the world I find so refreshing as tiny Peruvian labels releasing limited edition 3″ cd’s complete with homemade artwork and of course containing Swedish indie pop. In this case it’s the startingly great shoegaze of The Last Portray.

“On The Brink Gazing In” is all distorted, slashing, wall of guitar noize eclipsed only by the droned vocals of the band’s lead singer. It’s operatic in its intensity and punk in its demeanor. Enjoy this Swedesplease exclusive and spread the word about the Last Portray and its Peruvian label Susy Records.

On The Brink Gazing In

Billie the Vision and Dancers in Spanish beer ad (complete song/video)(nsfw – bikinis, shower scene)

Monday, June 8th, 2009

128,000 hits and counting for Billie The Vision and Dancers music infomercial for Spanish beer maker Estrella in one week is a pretty good start at the world domination they deserve. It doesn’t hurt that the video is about a fantasy Spanish vacation complete with threesomes, bikinis, and girls showering al fresco. The band makes an appearance at the very end.

Sadly this will never show on US television. With the advent of You Tube and video on the web who the hell cares?!

Thanks to Alejandro for the tip.

STRiKE

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Carolina Wallin Pérez plays in or fronts literally half dozen groups in and around Stockholm. She has a solo record due out in the fall and a Kent cover available now as a single. But it’s her group with Kristin Amparo Sundberg called STRiKE that I’ve got for you today.

These demos are drum and bass, but not the techno version, it’s really just drum and bass (and vocals). I imagine when/if they get fleshed out a bit they’ll be a little more polished, but the energy is there and the song too. Enjoy!

It Would Do You Good

New record from Fredrik Stähl – “Universally Personal” (Frukt Records, June 3)

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

I find that the music released by netlabels is generally more touch than go. The exception to that rule may be the small netlabel based in Gothenberg called Frukt Records. I’ve loved many of their releases and I think I can say the same for the new record from Frederick Stähl. It’s called Universally Personal and is best summed up by this description from Fredrik:

“Mixing a bit of catchyness with a bit of subtleness. Pop with a splash of electronica. The bitter with a large chunk of sweet.”

and

“It’s filled to the brim with heartfelt, yet catchy tunes, straightforward, but always with a twist.”

Here’s the song “Biblical Parenting” which does all of the above and a bit more (sampling):

Biblical Parenting

New videos/song from Cleast Eastwood, Vit Päls, Lowood,

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Cleast Eastwood – “Get Related”

Vit Päls – “kärleken bryr sig inte”

Lowood – “Crash”

Infectious “R&B” from Mighty Mighty

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

“Hjorten Gal” is a slight but engaging bit of electronic funk by Mighty Mighty (aka Mathias Söderberg of Stockholm).

Hjorten Gal

Stunning demos from Australian/Swedish Duo Marble Sharps

Monday, June 1st, 2009

This post is a virtual shout out to the Australian music blog and my MAP cohort Who The bloody Hell Are They?. That’s because the band Marble Sharps are a half Swedish and half Australian band based in Melbourne. The band is quick to point out that these songs are just demos. But they are strong nonetheless. It’ll be interesting to hear what kind of treatment the final version will receive but I can easily imagine loose synth beats and an odd sample here or there.

I especially like the child like vocals of Linn Osterberg and the harmony vocals of Lin and Katy on these two songs:

Toxic Combination

No Mercy