Archive for October, 2009

Swedish Video Roundup (Magnus Weideskog, Boeoes Kaelstigen, Loney, Dear, Mattias Alkberg)

Friday, October 30th, 2009

New (old) song from Loney, Dear

Strange Announcement from Boeoes Kaelstigen

Magnus Weideskog – “20 år”

Mattias Alkberg – “Andra känner”

The Berndt

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The Berndt are feverishly working away at their new record. It was rumoured to be out in the spring of 2009 but no sight of it yet. So for now let’s listen to two tracks from their 2008 release.

8 Bits
Walked For The Future

Madamm

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

There was a lot of talk at this year’s CMJ conference about how to make it in the music business. Some very good points were made. First, the music should always come first (before any social media plans, business plans or merch sales). Also it was pointed out that the bands have to be passionate about what they do. Both points are pretty elementary but difficult to achieve. The Gothenburg based (mostly) girl group Madamm have done both.

I don’t have a lot of info about the band. I do know they are mixing 10 songs that will become their debut record. Also the band will become a solo act for most of November as Madamm joins Winter Took His Life and Cedarwell on a European tour. Tammy from the band sent me two songs to pick between. I chose the one that is more suited to the upcoming Halloween holiday. Enjoy.

Ornen

Punk rock from Göteborg’s Tyred Eyes

Monday, October 26th, 2009

A typical Tyred Eyes song says what it needs to say in just under 2 minutes. Their track “Cemetery Make Out” is no exception. It’s fast and loose with enough punk energy and actual guitar solos to qualify as some kind of punk/indie rock hybrid. This Götborg based trio have a couple upcoming shows, my guess is it’d be a rollicking good time.

Nov 6 2009 8:00P Stefan & Eriks 54-årsfest Göteborg
Nov 21 2009 8:00P Klubb Gås – w/Alpine Huts Stockholm

Cemetery Make Out

Recording video

Tyred Eyes from Tyred Eyes on Vimeo.

Mono Stereo debut EP Nov. 9

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

The Malmö based Mono Stereo is a group that fuses mop top 60′s with 90′s era shoegaze. The music off their upcoming debut EP is unpolished and raw. For me the rawer the better so I selected their song “You Better” to share with you. There’s not much to analyze here as the lyrics consist of the phrase “you better” and the music is a wall of sound rivaling the cacophony of My Bloody Valentine.

You Better

Retro dance music from This Vision plus info on Swedish Music at CMJ

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

I’m not the best multi tasker. So this week it will be hard to keep up the quality and quantity of posts. On Thursday I leave for New York and CMJ. Specifically the mini Swedish conference that happens within the confines of the CMJ conference. I’ll be on a panel Friday about the future of media (new trends and such). Should be fun. I’m really looking forward to Thursday night’s Swedish music showcase with Hajen (now Jaw Lesson?!?), Sofia Talvik, Francis and Moonbabies at the Norwood Club. Not sure who can attend but if you are in NYC on the 22nd you might want to try to sneak in. More info about the conference here.

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At first look/listen I though these guys were a joke but I like their retro Depeche Mode duo thing they’ve got going on. Check out the video for the first single from their upcoming album. The song is “Young Hearts”, the band This Vision.

34 Songs, 34 Countries – MAP – The Best Songs In The World

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
LipglossLand Of Lords
This band from Buenos Aires released their first EP a couple of months ago and Land Of Lords is our favorite song from it. Lipgloss sound like they’ve been listening to British rock all their life and you sure can feel the influence of bands like The Stone Roses at the end of the song, with the psychedelic guitars and all. If you like it, you can download the entire EP directly from this link.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Cloud ControlGold Canary
New music from the Blue Mountains! Only it sounds kinda like it originates from somewhere deep in America. Cloud Control always had an earthy, pastoral quality to their music but it sounds all the more temporally appropriate post-Fleet Foxes. Less jangle and more twang. Gold Canary is pulled from their debut album expected early 2010. It has some rootsy backing vocals and yelping, tambourine/handclap percussion, references to family members in the lyrics and then… a synth solo. This song is rad.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
ConstantinaSobe Ladeira
There is something special about Constantina that goes beyond their music. The absence of vocals never leaves you with a feeling of emptiness. It’s just the opposite. The instrumental songs are so deep and strong that lyrics would limit them to what we can express with words.

CANADA: I(Heart)Music
The BalconiesSerious Bedtime
It’s almost mind-boggling how good and how talented The Balconies are. They have two incredible lead singers (in brother and sister Jacquie and Steve Neville), both of whom are also astoundingly good songwriters, and they’re backed by one of the steadiest drummers I’ve ever seen. They’ve barely been around for more than a year but they’re generating a whole lot of buzz (their debut has just been released and it’s already charting nationally). Songs like Serious Bedtime make it easy to see why.

CHILE: Super 45
TonossepiaHappy Habibi Te Vez Mas Feliz
Tonossepia (Diego Vergara) is one of the most advanced musicians in the Chilean electronic scene. Constantly evolving in his way of creating music, this year he released his fourth album, Happy Habibi, an effort full of organic textures, warm harmonies and rhythmical variations. By mixing, almost to perfection, IDM and hip hop, Tonossepia has a lot of robot style and rap style.

CHINA: Wooozy
SilkflossMon Amour
Mylène Chan (Muxitu) and Quan Du formed Silkfloss at the start of this year in Beijing. They are electronica, they are trip-hop, they are everything that brings you softness and fills you with love. Mylène also collaborates with many local electronic producers as a vocalist.

COLOMBIA: Colombia Urbana
Jiggy DramaContra La Pared
Direct from San Andres Island, Heartan Lever – better known in the artistic scene as Jiggy D – comes loaded with cool rhymes and party beats. Jiggy mixes Antillean dancehall with old-school hip hop and Contra La Pared proves that when something is good, it doesn’t have to be forced. The combination of typical Colombian sounds (papayera in this case) makes him the perfect choice to represent the nation in MAP. Jiggy is currently working on his new album, Nerdside.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Sebastian LindStay
A pop natural and excellent singer, 20-year-old Sebastian Lind excites with an enticing mix of singer-songwriter acoustics and crackling electronica. He has just released his first single Stop These Feet, but here’s Stay – a strong contender when it comes time to select a second.

ENGLAND: The Daily Growl
The Voluntary Butler SchemeThe Eiffel Tower And The BT Tower
This month’s song comes from the English Midlands courtesy of awesome one-man-band Rob Jones aka The Voluntary Butler Scheme. He’s a little scruffy around the edges but he serves up a tasty dish of pure pop. Although probably best experienced live, his debut album At Breakfast, Dinner, Tea (how old-school English is that title?) is full of sprightly tunes, huge hooks and amusing lyrics and is well worth checking out.

ESTONIA: Popop
I’ll Hit HerNoise In Your Mind
There’s not much info about Estonian electro-poppers I’ll Hit Her and Googling that name will probably get you some quite disturbing results. Listing Aqua, 2 Unlimited and Joy Division as influences on their MySpace page, that’s really as diverse as you can get.

FINLAND: Glue
The Capital BeatFeel The Reggae
This is not the kind of song you would expect to hear from a Finnish band, but The Capital Beat phenomenally recreate the warm sounds of Jamaica on their first album, A Greater Fire. This eight-piece combo takes Jamaican music to a new latitude and there is only one condition – feel the reggae and do the ska.

FRANCE: ZikNation
Pascal ComeladeTwo Maniaco Depressive Beatnicks Squabbling Over A Jane Russell Mozarella’s Stereokini
Pascal Comelade is a really special musician. He mixes common instruments with some toys he found in a flea market. This way of working gives his music a unique tone and makes the listener feel the soul of his work. In some ways, his music reminds us of Yann Tiersen – nice piano, accordion and a lot of percussion. Two Maniaco…, with its happy leading saxophone and ringing xylophone, is a track dedicated to a happy life, which makes it a must-hear before beginning a day at work.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
Rhytm PoliceGhosttrain
Rhytm Police sound like they live in a metropolis as they reduce music to a strong bass line, synth sounds and sometimes quite snatchy vocals. However, they come from the rather rural Augsburg in western Bavaria. The only way to figure this out is by listening to their songs with German lyrics. But the featured song Ghosttrain shows their international attitude.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
CoinError 687
Coin draw their influences from the Manchester scene of the 80s and American grunge of the 90s. In their third studio album they shift their best qualities into different, equally dazzling guitar-pop shapes, sounding unclenched, enchanting and energetic. Popstitute is a beautifully balanced album filled with tremendously rich highs, unfailingly tuneful music, jagged guitars, drums and bass, which supply the rhythmic pulse and captivating hooks.

ICELAND: I Love Icelandic Music
FM BelfastSynthia
FM Belfast was formed in late 2005 by Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson (aka Árni Plúseinn) and Lóa Hlín Hjálmtýsdóttir. For the Iceland Airwaves festival in 2006, the band expanded into a live act with up to eight (or even more) members. The core of the band is now a quartet with Árni Vilhjálmsson (of Motherfuckers In The House) and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason (of Múm). Synthia is taken from their debut album, How To Make Friends, released on the band’s own World Champion Records label last year.

INDIA: Indiecision
Teddy Boy KillTonic
New Delhi’s Teddy Boy Kill represent the new Indian electronica soundscape – instantly international, slick and unrestrained by the need to reflect any inherent Indian-ness. This unsigned act from the country’s capital released their debut album, The Exit Plan, as a free download. Tonic is one of the highlights of the record – an immediately catchy dancefloor anthem that’s as temperate as it is energetic. Get ready to do something stupid.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
The Super Insurgent Group Of Intemperance TalentMoney Making
The Super Insurgent Group Of Intemperance Talent are the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in Indonesia. Their straight-to-the-point songs, killer hooks and good attitude has already seen them play some big venues and sell out concerts, which is very rare in Indonesia.

IRELAND: Nialler9
Trophy BoyfriendBlack Ship
Despite the silly moniker, Gregor Ruigrok aka Trophy Boyfriend still managed to impress us with his first self-titled EP. He’s still at the embyronic stages having not played live or formally released anything in Ireland yet, but judging by the electro-indie of Black Ship, we certainly hope he gets out there soon.

ITALY: Polaroid
Damien*Confidants
Play this song and fly back in time, to around the first half of the 90s, when Britpop was full of hope and strength. Well, this is just how Damien* are today. This young and promising band from Pesaro, on the Italian east coast, is able to mix a post-punk background with a more pop attitude. The incredibly catchy Confidants is taken from their second album, out this week on Suiteside.

JAPAN: JPOP Lover
HenrytennisValencia Raincoats
Another progressive band in the Tokyo music scene, Henrytennis feature instrumental dynamism influenced by post-rock, IDM, jam and progressive rock. Their members come from such outstanding Japanese bands as 4 Bonjour’s Parties, Hula Hooper, Kuruucrew, Oceanlane and Shugo Tokumaru. Their excellent second album R.U.R. is released on November 11.

MEXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa
RadaidShine
Shine is the opening track of L’Intent, the most recent record by Radaid. Hailing from Guadalajara, Jalisco, the eight talented musicians produce a peculiar mix of pop and original rhythms. That is why traces of Indian influences echo in Shine, while the vocals are by Sofía Orozco, who not only wrote the English lyrics but also invented the dialect which has nods to the phrasing of Hindu MCs.

NEW ZEALAND: Counting The Beat
O’LovelyA Different Day
O’Lovely are from Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island and they have a glistening, ringing guitar sound on this song that reminds me of some great bands from that city’s past such as Bailterspace and Loves Ugly Children. The band has morphed from the more poppy The O’Lovelys with singer and keyboardist Laura Lee remaining at the centre of the band. She’s joined by Perry Mahoney of Bang Bang Eche, whose guitar gives a darker, noisier feel than the earlier band. A Different Day comes from the five-track Lost Luck EP.

NORWAY: Eardrums
Firefly EffectNever By Your Side
Oslo quartet Firefly Effect recently released their brilliant debut album, Everything Is Beautiful And You Are The Reason, on Perfect Pop Records/Solerød Records. It is full of charming indie-pop songs with organs, boy/girl harmonies and jangly guitars. They call their style “retro-futuristic sunshine pop” which is a definition of their sound I can agree on. Perfect pop!

PERU: SoTB
Emergency BlanketNext Passenger
The music of Emergency Blanket is fully charged with life and energy, taking influences from rock classics from the 60s, 70s and 90s to achieve a vintage yet fresh and original sound. Emergency Blanket recently released their debut album, Combi + Nation, which includes songs in Spanish, English and even a combination of both languages. Next Passenger has taken them to the final of The People’s Music Awards and you can vote for the band here.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Real Combo LisbonenseOh!
Real Combo Lisbonense (Lisbon Real Combo) play music that takes us back to a time when everyone would dress up to dance to the sounds of an orchestra or a small ensemble. RCL is the band you would expect to hear in the casino lounge of an Ian Fleming novel. They remade some Portuguese and international popular classics of 50s and 60s and have become one of the pleasant surprises in the Portuguese indie scene this year. Shall we dance?

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Vive La NoizBird Song
Vive la Noiz could be seen as the usual alternative/indie band. Two girls and two boys starting a band in the finest DIY ethic. However, their eclectic influences and pure, melodic sound label them as post-everything because you can find anything there, genre-free. Dark Clouds And Silver Linings is regarded as one of this year’s most interesting EPs.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
MeursaultA Small Stretch Of Land
Edinburgh six-piece Meursault’s otherworldly, experimental folk seems almost tailor-made for the music blogging cognoscenti. But as A Small Stretch Of Land shows, Meursault (pronounced “mer-so”) also know when less is more, stripping the song to just acoustic guitar and vocal with crushingly beautiful effect. It’s no surprise Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison described A Small Stretch Of Land as “one of my favourite songs of last year, or indeed any year”. You can buy Meursault’s album, Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues, and other releases here.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Inch Chua Devotion In Reality
Like the wet leaves after a thunderstorm, Devotions In Reality bring a melancholic hope to past hurts, as the first step after grief into a new light. Inch Chua is more well known in Singapore as the little dynamo of a frontwoman with rock stalwarts Allura. Taking time off to record her solo EP, she brings to the forefront another facet of her versatility, especially on this number that is best described as a cross between Lisa Ekdahl and Stars.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Ameen HarronTechicoloured Oblivion
Ameen Harron is a force to be reckoned with in the South African music scene. He is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, and one of the country’s up-and-coming producers, who has worked with a range of the best local musicians, garnering national and international attention. Technicoloured Oblivion shows not only his skills as a producer but as an artist. He has strong ties to hip hop, which is evident as his combination of hip hop, punk and electro creates his own distinctive sound. The song has an almost soulful feel to it and wouldn’t be out of place on the international charts. Ameen Harron is set to take over. Watch out.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Julia HartKorean Girl’s Winter
Always delightful guitar-pop act Julia Hart decided it had been too many years since the release of their last album in 2007 and consequently released a digital single with a couple of new songs for people to hear last month. One of them, Korean Girl’s Winter, shows Julia Hart at their loveliest and is a perfect indie-pop piece well suited for repeated play hours on end.

SWEDEN: Swedesplease
Leaving Mornington CrescentSeventeen
From the sound of Seventeen, Leaving Mornington Crescent have ventured into new territory. Unlike the sunny 60s-inspired indie-pop of April Song from their Cloudberry split CD, Seventeen is a rather heavy, shoegaze number with buzzing and churning guitars and a solid backbeat. Still the vocals retain the cheeriness of April Song with a chorus of “I’m seventeen on the inside, the only difference is…”.

TURKEY: Reset!
Kim Ki OSerbest Kalp Dusmesi
Kim Ki O’s songs are self-written, self-played and self-sung in the name of self-pleasure and self-impulsion. Kim Ki O, which is the Turkish expression for “who is that anyway?”, is a name chosen for its phonetic beauty. The duo like to play with synthesizers and drum machines but do not to use computers in their music, preferring to create all the action live with enthusiasm and tension. The two members of the gang are former high school buddies who had been out of touch for years. Now they are back, clasped together, making great things.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
That GhostThe Red Bow
That Ghost is the musical moniker of one crazy kid from the coast of California. Ryan Schmale, a youthful 19-year-old, creates lo-fi pop that evokes the warmth of bedroom recordings. He has a new EP on the way titled Get It And Get Out that IGIF will certainly be writing more about in the near future.

VENEZUELA: Deaf Indie Elephants
Ulises HadjisLunes
The warm voice of Ulises Hadjis and his guitar are suddenly interrupted by a theremin, a trumpet from a gypsy story and a dialogue between Star Trek’s Captain Kirk and Zulu. These are some of the big surprises you’ll find in his debut album, Presente, which without doubt was one of the best debuts of 2008. His original indie-pop contains lyrics as melancholic as Bon Iver’s or Elliott Smith’s and a musical diversity that in its best moments resembles Beirut or Neutral Milk Hotel. On a Sunday morning this album will be your best company.

To download all 34 songs in one file click here

Swedish Video Roundup (Sofia Jannok, Original High Five, Tvärvägen, Jonathan Johansson, EP’s Trailer Park)

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Tvärvägen – Pingvinvärmen from Henrik Ohberg on Vimeo.

“Árvas” – Sofia Jannok

Original High Five – Never Going Back

Nestunes – Swedish Nintendo music cover band…yep!

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

I’ve written about my fair share of c64 style bliptunes and I like the genre but usually it’s propagated by solo artists with a laptop. So I was pleasantly surprised (and a little creeped out) when I came across the Swedish band Nestunes. They play actual instruments, create arrangements, perform live in costumes, and are generally a bunch of wacky swedes. But they are pretty serious about their music, which is a blend of prog rock and 8bit with a little loungy jazz thrown in.

Here are a couple songs from an upcoming album. Of course this is a Swedesplease exclusive – how could it not be, right?

Zelda
Pro Wrestling

Super Mario Medley

Old Lost John – “Faceless” (riyl Bon Iver, J Tilman, The Tallest Man On Earth)

Monday, October 5th, 2009

It’s been a couple of years (here) since my last post about the Swedish indie folk artist Old Lost John. Not much has changed. On the new record Faceless he still sings in a hushed and pained voice. Instrumentation remains quietly somber, a mix of traditional folk and maybe something a little more modern.

Order the new record directly from Old Lost John here.

Fairies and Fools
Broken

Bonus:

She Won’t Listen
The Boy With A Fever

RIP Popkonst (Stars In Coma, 50 Hertz, Lost Summer Kitten, Corduroy Utd., The Budgies, The Fermats, etc)

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

For all but your most obsessed Swedish music fans Popkonst would be a trivial asterisk in the indie label hall of fame. But count me as one of those that would add it on the first ballot. As you can see from the discography below Popkonst only released 17 cd’s. Mostly it was indie pop and twee they focused on.

I looked forward to each new release since there was always something redeeming to be found in the music. However it was more the potential that the label had that was cool to me. I really though they were going to make a go of it. I think I had to see that note above for more than a year before I realized they wouldn’t be back in a “couple of days” or at all. Here are a few things I rounded up from the Popkonst era.

POPK17 Lost Summer Kitten – Yeah oh wow (Pressrelease EN)
POPK16 Olle – Don’t Know How
POPK15 The Budgies – Summertime Obsessions
POPK14 Valentine Academy – Adam & Steve Religion Is Fiction
POPK12 V/A – Popkonst, Love & Understanding
POPK11 Stars in Coma – Gizmo Goes to War
POPK10 V/A – Efter regn kommer solsken
POPK09 Your Place or Mine – Atta Boy EP
POPK08 50hertz – Hemligheten är att lägga beslag på rubbet
POPK07 Handsome Train – This Engine Should Do
POPK06 Cat & Dog Dialogue – Cut’n Paste Me Out Of Place
POPK05 Nixon – Snow Day
POPK04 The Happy Birthdays – A Happy Birthday To You
POPK03 Nixon – Crazy, Sexy, Cool
POPK02 V/A – This Is Popkonst (And We Love You)
POPK01 V/A – Rundgång: Skinkmacka på teckenspråk

Four Wheels – The Fermats from POPK01 V/A – Rundgång: Skinkmacka på teckenspråk

The Pale Routine Of Hers – Corduroy UTD. from POPK01 V/A – Rundgång: Skinkmacka på teckenspråk

Bonus

In A Dream – Corduroy UTD.

I Was Born A Polar Bear – Javelins from Popkonst 002 This Is Popkonst (And We Love You

Sunshine -The Flu from Popkonst 002 This Is Popkonst (And We Love You

This Time The Girl (Is A Boy) Nixon

When My Broken Heart Was Modern Art – Erik Hallden from POPK12 V/A – Popkonst, Love & Understanding

I’m Better Off – Lost Summer Kitten

Lucky Sunday – The Budgies

Med En Sol – 50 Hertz

Revanche – Stars In Coma
A Lifetime Of Pent Up Sadness – Stars In Coma