Archive for November, 2009

Indie pop gem from Le Fever – “The Youth Blamed It All Over Me” (Self-released, Dec. 8)

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Fever Ray shouldn’t have the Swedish music market cornered in terms of bands with “fever” in their name. Much like Arcade Fire monopolized those words for the past few years (so much so that the band Theater Fire got grief for stealing the name despite the fact they formed before Arcade Fire), Fever Ray shouldn’t have a monopoly on the term “fever”. Anyway there should be room enough for two Swedish Fevers and Le Fever deserves a chance.

Le Fever is Tom Lagerman a 19 year old boy from Sweden. This summer he occupied his parents living room for three days and three nights to record some of his music. That session became the album The Youth Blamed It All Over Me which he plans to release in Stockholm next week. The songs share a sound with Loney, Dear even down to the airplane references. The music is an odd amalgram of indie pop, twee, and electronica with the occasional horn section thrown in for good measure. Since it’s Thanksgiving in the States the best analogy I can make is that Le Fever’s music is a cornucopia of all the best sounds of indie rock.

Le Fever needs our help to spread his music throughout the world. Let’s make this a social media experiment and see how far we can take him. For more info email Le Fever here – le_fever@yahoo.se.

Festival

Bonus:

Confessions and Airplanes

Stunning new ep from Symfoniorkestern – “Tänd eld på dig själv (för det du tror på)”

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

I literally just got an email from Symfoniorkestern announcing a new ep about a minute ago. Since I had neglected Swedesplease for most of the day today I ran downstairs to my desktop (the laptop upstairs is too wonky for such an important post) and started typing. What to say is the question? In the past I have compared them to Detektivbyrän and listening to track 3 – “Del 3″ – makes me think I was definitely on to something. But whereas Detektivbyrän are a one trick pony (an excellent one at that); Symfoniorkestern have more range – they add odd chanting vocals, bits of dissonance and some lovely harmonies.

There are 5 songs on the ep and each one is a revelation. They range in tempo and style from the pop flavored title track to the electronic undertones of “Elektron Kukéso” to the near cathartic frenzied/ominous synth sounds of “Del 3″. The new ep, Tänd eld på dig själv (för det du tror på), is available here for free in its awesome, spellbinding entirety. The band has spent a year and a half recording this ep, I only wish I could somehow give this review the same amount of care. I hope you download these tracks and enjoy them.

Tand Eld Pa Dig Sjalv

Bonus

Del 3

Video for “Tand Eld Pa Dig Sjalv”

Exclusive mp3 from Let’s Say We Did (Sebastian Fors)

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

I was never a very verbose guy anyway. But lately I’ve been really pressed for time. Luckily my musical friends from Sweden continue to fill my inbox with lovely treats. Sebatian Fors’ new band Let’s Say We Did is the latest to rock my little world. They’ve got a new ep coming out in early 2010 produced by Kramer (yes that Kramer – Galaxie 500, Daniel Johnston, Low etc).

I’ve got an exclusive sneak peak of a song from it. “Follow Me Down” has a bit of that Galaxie 500 sounds with distorted guitar, throbbing bass, and vocals put through a filter or two.

Follow Me Down

Swedish Video Roundup

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Dope Sack – “So Many Roads”

Outshine – “Love For The Music”

“120 Minutes” In Sweden (Stockholm) Pt 1 from 1990

“120 Minutes” In Sweden (Stockholm) Pt 2 from 1992

The Mary Onettes (interview)

Museum of Bellas Artes – “Who Do You Love”

Exclusive mp3 from The Berndt

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

After my last post about the band The Berndt have entrusted me with an exclusive from their upcoming album. That record will be called GBGBG and is due out January 27.

“Hurried Feathers” practically throbs and pulses with energy which is fitting from a band that loves doing live shows and getting folks up and dancing. The Berndt has gone the modern route by posting videos of the recording process, photos, and a diary so check out their website for more info about the new record.

Hurried Feathers

youngfuck (indiepop + shoegaze = cocteau twins inspired dream pop)

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

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The other day when I heard of the demise of the band The Bridal Shop I asked the rhetorical question, “who will save indie pop now?”. I may have found my answer in the Göteborg based group youngfuck. Youngfuck is brand new. Their music is still unpolished and rough around the edges. They played their first gig in late October, but they already have been mentioned on a couple indie pop blogs. Obviously they sound a bit like the Cocteau Twins but with a little added reverb and an occasional display of brute force. They are a trio with two of the members coming from the Swedish groups Second-Hand Furniture and Signed Papercuts. Here’s their song and video for the dreamy tune “Black Tulips”, as well as a video for their song “Red Wine Romance”.

Black Tulips

“Black Tulips”

“Red Wine Romance”

November MAP (AKA the best music in the world for November)

Monday, November 16th, 2009

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Entre RíosFrontera
Finally we get the chance to showcase this great indie-pop band from Buenos Aires on MAP. Entre Ríos is a musical project led by Sebastian Carreras (vocals, keyboards, guitar) that has been around since 1998. Their first albums were recorded with Isol as the main singer, but since her departure in 2005 they’ve featured different guest vocalists live and in the studio. Frontera is a MAP-exclusive premiere from their brand new EP that will be released in a couple of weeks, with Josefina Mac Loughlin on vocals.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Boy & BearMexican Mavis
Sydney singer-songwriter Dave Hosking has taken a slight change of direction with his new outfit Boy & Bear. Releasing his first EP Marmalade Hill late last year, Hosking has decided to abandon the songs from the album (which I was still rather fond of) and start fresh, writing towards a more mature and original sound. Producer of the first EP, Andrew Macken, has proven to be a great collaborator with his intricate and almost narrative-based approach to the arrangement and production.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
The NameCome Out Tonite
If I had to bet which Brazilian band could repeat the success of CSS on foreign lands it would be The Name. Assonance, their new well-produced EP, presents songs that could put them side by side with some of the greatest names of the post-punk revival of the 00s or the major bands of nu-rave scene. Come Out Tonite is here to prove it.

CANADA: I(Heart)Music
Magneta LaneLove And Greed
Magneta Lane were on the verge of world (well, Canadian) domination a few years ago, and then they suddenly vanished. They’re back now with a new album, Gambling With God, but you wouldn’t know it from the total lack of support the album is getting from both the band and their label. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty outstanding release, and as songs like Love And Greed show, Magneta Lane could still conquer the world… assuming, that is, they want to.

CHILE: Super 45
AstroRaifilter
Alongside electro-poppers Moustache, Astro (Andrés Nusser and Octavio Cavieres) is one of those noble bands cultivating the sound of acts such as MGMT or The Knife – just on the verge of the night spectrum of pop – acquiring a good combination of simplicity and a good dose of highly contagious fun for their debut album Le Disc Du Astrou. Following this trail, Raifilter is a song with a very special melody, the result of very intense arrangements as well excellent vocals courtesy of Nusser, who shapes a beach-like tune to give us a perfect excuse to have a neverending sound party.

CHINA: Wooozy
LoudspeakerI Will Be Back
Established in 1999, Loudspeaker is the hardcore pioneer in Shanghai. This song is from the I Will Be Back EP released in September. You can download the whole EP here. Loudspeaker’s new album will be ready at the beginning of 2010.

COLOMBIA: Colombia Urbana
Hety And ZamboProud
Hety And Zambo are a duo with the capacity to get you on your feet and dance. The Kings of Creole, as everyone knows them in the dancehall underground scene, came together six years ago in the island of San Andres with one objective – to create good music with their own rhythms, writings and language.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The KitesPlay
I stumbled across these guys on a MySpace cruise recently and was immediately charmed by their quite British-sounding pop-rock. The Kites may not be revolutionizing music, but less has been known to do it. Not least when it’s this infectious. Get Play exclusively via MAP and then head to their MySpace page and check out the equally excellent Balloons.

ENGLAND: The Daily Growl
Jeremy WarmsleyDancing With The Enemy
Rather than something new this month, here’s an old favourite from one of my favourite British singer-songwriters, Jeremy Warmsley. It’s from his How We Became album of last year. If you like this, he’s got a free acoustic EP available via his MySpace and he’s also fronting a new band Acres, Acres. Watch out for them.

ESTONIA: Popop
AntoninaItsuyorimo
When Helene Vetik started to write music, she played on the streets to get some pocket money, started a high school punk-band that didn’t last long and sang at cheesy corporate parties. However, it was when she began to record her old songs into lo-fi electro-pop that she teamed up with Zanduro (keyboard) and Mihkel Masso (guitar) to form Antonina.

FINLAND: Glue
Cleaning WomenAcross The Void
From planet Clinus 1 robots CW01, CW03 and CW04 (subbing for CW02 who was lost in action) create industrial avant garde music using a wide array of instruments, some rock lines, a few jazzy beats and a lot of funky grooves. The trio has just released its third album, U, which includes some futuristic tracks that could form the soundtrack of a Philip K Dick novel. One of them is the instrumental Across The Void, a good example of the spooky atmospheric music these hygienic robots make.

FRANCE: ZikNation
Kitsch DeviceIs This Home Now?
Kitsch Device is a group straight out of the Parisian scene who take us on a high. They first started playing as a hobby but they now scour concert rooms in Paris and are always a blast to watch for their style and professionalism. Is This Home Now? carries a folk-rock melody which will make you shake your head and tap the floor with your foot to the beat.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
Candelilla#13
Candelilla is a female four-piece based in Munich. Their impulsive sound fits into no existing scheme – it varies from Dresden Dolls to Sonic Youth, from punky grunge to vanguard indie. Straight drums accompany the piano, a whetted guitar accents murky basslines, all highlighted by the staccato voices. #13 is the first single from their debut reasonreasonreasonreason.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Giannis AggelakasVolta Sto Dasos
Psyhi Vathia is the soundtrack for a movie directed by Pantelis Voulgaris. It takes place in 1949 and tells the story of two brothers who fight in two different camps during the Greek civil war. Giannis Aggelakas, who was singer and songwriter of the legendary rock band Trypes, composes an emotionally compelling score drawing on traditional musical heritage. Sad, evocative instrumental melodies rich with contemporary elements coalesce with ethnic nuance that depict the era and echo the film’s mood. Volta Sto Dasos (“Walk In The Woods”) is a marvelous track that reflects the two elements of the movie – pain and hope – through the lament of violin and the serenity of the guitar.

ICELAND: I Love Icelandic Music
KimonoBlack
Kimono is an experimental rock trio hailing from Reykjavik and Halifax, Canada. They have released three full-length albums, the last one in collaboration with Icelandic producer Curver (of Ghostigital). Black will be on their upcoming fourth album, Easy Music For Difficult People.

INDIA: Indiecision
PinknoiseDream Dream
Pinknoise is an experimental rock act from Kolkata that takes nu-jazz sensibilities and combines them with angular, guitar-driven rock. Dream Dream comes from a soon-to-be-released live DVD. It’s the quintessential spacious, open jam that frontlady Jayashree Singh orchestrates with this band. With mid-song tempo changes and lazy atmospherics, it’s a fun five minutes through slacker town.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
SantamonicaBobsessed
Santamonica’s album Curiouser And Curiouser was praised by the media as an eclectic mixture of pop, bossa nova, electronic and classic waltz drawing influences from Astrud Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim and My Bloody Valentine to classic Disney soundtracks.

IRELAND: Nialler9
Band On An IslandBack Disco
The debut release from Kildare’s Band On An Island, The Sound Sweep, revels in the details of hometown life, taking in nights by the campfire, love, drinking, getting into trouble, picking yourself up again and this cute nightclub-themed song featuring the vocals of Claire Prendergast. Combine these myriad of issues with the music – a mix of country, folk, raucous guitar music and heartfelt ballads – and you’ve got the essence of Band On An Island.

ITALY: Polaroid
Annie HallMorning News
It would be too easy to describe the sound of the Annie Hall as a Beatles influence revised through a folk sensibility. But this way you would overlook the simple fact that these songs are truly touching in such an immediate way. Annie Hall just released their second album and are now ready to spend the next months touring the country non-stop, as they usually do.

JAPAN: JPOP Lover
Sebastian XTour Star People
Sebastian X are an impressive Tokyo-based outfit with indie-pop and punkish leanings. Their brilliant debut album Wonderful World was finally released last week. The band, who don’t use guitars, have catchy melodies driven by the cute pop vocal of Manatsu Nagahara.

MEXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa
Pepepe (feat. Cyane)Sleep With You
Here is a track from Pepepe’s latest album, Roba Orgón de Plantas y Animales, released on the Poni Republic label. Pepepe is one of the monikers of Pesina Siller, a 21-year-old electronic musician and visual artist who was ranked among the top 50 in Radiohead’s Reckoner remix contest. He’s the kid behind various projects that show the multiple faces to his mystic persona, with sounds that go from dubstep to psychedelic folk. This song is full of clicks, cuts, lots of aleatory processing and a beautiful collaboration with Guadalajara’s vocalist Cyane.

NEW ZEALAND: Counting The Beat
Psychic PowersWellington
Psychic Powers are an international duo – Nik Brinkman is a New Zealander and Alejandro Cohen is from Los Angeles. The two collaborate on songwriting from opposite sides of the world via the internet. This piece of very 80s sounding synth-pop is about Nik’s home town, New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington – bringing together the local and the global in a way that seems purpose made for the Music Alliance Pact. The song has been released on 7″ vinyl by US label Geographic North.

NORWAY: Eardrums
KråkesølvPrivat Regn
Kråkesølv is a quartet from Bodø, a town in the north of Norway. They sing in their dialect and their music can be put somewhere between pop, indie and post-rock. The band have received much acclaim for their lyrics and the reviews of their recently released debut, Trådnøsting, have been very positive.

PERU: SoTB
Los ProtonesSwinging Lima
Los Protones are an instrumental band formed in Lima in 2007 who play in a style that combines psychedelia, surf and garage-rock. Their self-titled debut CD was released in February 2009 by the Peruvian label Discos Gordos. It is an album where there are no words, although they’re not necessary – the guitar solos are the universal language and the titles of songs such as El Desvío paint pictures that could easily relate to the soundtrack of our experiences.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Casino RoyalCasino Royal Deluxe
Led by Pedro Janela, Casino Royal are a quintet from Figueira da Foz, a town known for its sandy beaches and its casino built in the 19th century. Casino Royal create music that takes us back to a certain living by the post-war European jetset. Would you like your cocktail shaken or stirred?

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Silent Strike27
Silent Strike (Ioan Titu) is a 27-year-old electronic music composer and sound designer from Bacau. He is influenced by Aphex Twin, Future Sound Of London, Orbital and opened for Faithless and Bonobo. 27 is a little gem of electronic sounds arranged in an acoustic manner and it was released for his birthday.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
The Unwinding HoursKnut
The Unwinding Hours have quietly risen from the ashes of the much-loved Aerogramme and the early evidence suggests they’re going to be every bit as wondrous as their former guise. All the ingredients are there – the gorgeously gentle pacing, the elegant orchestration, Craig B’s yearning vocals. Knut, taken from their self-titled debut album due out early next year on Chemikal Underground, is a MAP exclusive sanctioned by the band and their record label.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
LunarinAriel (File Under Easy Listening remix)
Singapore is a small country, so we’ve formed a rather close-knit bunch of musicians and friends. One such collaboration between friends happens to be The Lard Brothers’ remix of Lunarin’s Ariel. While a relatively new group, The Lard Brothers have been busy making waves spinning as a DJ group and religiously reworking many classic songs by Singaporean bands. Their efforts don’t go unrecognised with this trip-hop laced remix of Ariel by the melodic rock band, Lunarin, perfect for the monsoon season that’s hitting our shores just about now.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Die Heuwels FantastiesOur Heritage
Die Heuwels Fantasties are an Afrikaans group, incorporating elements of many genres, from hip-hop beats, flat out dance beats, to rap and rock sounds. Die Heuwels Fantasties teamed up with The Soweto Gospel Choir, HHP and JR to produce a song for Heritage Day. The song is called Our Heritage and features Pierre Greeff of Die Heuwels Fantasties singing in English. All in all, it’s a song with the message to celebrate our heritage and our unity as South Africans – artfully combining the many different cultural spheres into a feelgood track.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
PlaygirlHappy Mania
Female trio Playgirl emerged in September with a retro pop sound from a time when James Bond was still played by Sean Connery. Inspired by The Pipettes, equipped with identical outfits and cute dance moves, Playgirl is currently the most adorable act to come out of Korea.

SWEDEN: Swedesplease
MadammÖrnen
There’s very little info online about this mostly all-girl group from Gothenburg. I was struck by the band’s wanton energy and the loose nature of their songs. Örnen is a demo so who knows what its final shape may be, but I hope they retain the song’s raw energy.

TURKEY: Reset!
Bon ModChocolate Cheesecake
Chemistry is all there is to a band. After meeting about a year ago, the duo started working together instantly as Bon Mod. They take their love of partying and a reckless attitude to make indie, electro and disco-flavored songs. They are possibly the most exciting new band for the season ahead.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
People Eating PeopleAll The Hospitals
People Eating People is the solo work of Nouela Johnston, previously known for her work with Pacific Northwestern act Mon Frere. Her self-titled debut LP is a blending of Fiona Apple’s emotion with Regina Spektor’s penchant for melody. All The Hospitals is a catchy tune – we’ll see if Johnston can separate herself from the crowded female pack.

VENEZUELA: Barquisimeto Musical
Amigos InvisiblesMentiras
Amigos Invisibles (“Invisible Friends”) has been around the alternative/funk/pop local scene for many years. Their groovy rhythms and funny lyrics, filled with Venezuelan pop culture, made them legends in their country and finally got the attention of music lovers worlwide, touring Latin America, USA and Australia. They signed with David Byrne’s Luaka Pop label in 1996. To celebrate their Latin Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album, I have selected a song from that record, Comercial, called Mentiras.

To download all 34 songs in one file click here

Leaders Off new song “Sacred Mansion” (Urge Overkill meets The Posies)

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

I don’t like hard, heavy death metal. But boy if I did I’d have it made. There is so much Swedish death metal I would never have to worry about having music for a post. Add to that the Swedish hardcore and most embarrassingly the Swedish mascara emo and I’d be fine for posts through 2012 (or as we like to say “the apocolypse”).

With that said I do like music with crashing hooks and a slightly heavier sound like Urge Overkill meets The Posies type of thing. So it was easy for me to agree to post the new single by Leaders Off. The song has those elements above plus a pretty compelling chorus. Check out “Sacred Mansion” below.


Sacred Mansion

PS The band heads out on an extensive European tour in a week or two. Check out the dates:

Nov 24 2009 8:00P Kiel Germany
Nov 25 2009 8:00P Hamburg Germany
Nov 26 2009 8:00P Berlin Germany
Nov 27 2009 8:00P Dresden Germany
Nov 28 2009 8:00P TBA Germany
Nov 29 2009 8:00P Landau Germany
Nov 30 2009 8:00P TBA Austria
Dec 1 2009 8:00P Ljubljana Slovenia
Dec 2 2009 8:00P Cesena Italy
Dec 3 2009 8:00P Vicenza Italy
Dec 4 2009 8:00P Salzburg Austria
Dec 5 2009 8:00P Köbenhavn Denmark

RIP The Bridal Shop (now who will save indiepop?)

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

The Bridal Shop are like that tree that falls in the forest that no one hears. Did it really fall? If it didn’t impact millions of people does it really matter? If pop culture didn’t write about it, celebrate it and then toss it away did it happen? For me it did (does).

The Bridal Shop lasted 3 years and had a very small recorded output. Some of what they did record came out on the Peruvian label Plastina Records. Other releases were limited edition on Cloudberry. They were destined to commercial failure. But they affected me and countless others with their beautiful, soaring electronic flavored pop music. Here’s their last myspace message and then a video/mp3 of their song “The Ideal State” and a video of their last performance held last month in Stockholm.

And then — silence. No cards, no best wishes, no “I See You In Hell” comments… Why? Well, the world of “independent” pop music is probably glad to see one of its worst opponents, The Bridal Shop, the Knights of the Truth, sink into the sea of oblivion; finally everything can work smoothly again, and — never forget that things work like architecture — finally the misty lords of the industry can release loads of records which will all carry the BAU inscription (Business as usual); and when you go to a BAU concert, dressed like a five-year-old, you can finally listen to your heterosexual, banal, “seeensitiiiiive”, shit music, mostly sung by broken-hearted boys with cute hairdos, without being disturbed by, damn right, The Bridal Shop, the Knights of the Truth.

The band may be gone but they are not forgotten. Let’s hope the major players behind The Bridal Shop regroup and continue making lovely pop music.

“The Ideal State” (

The Ideal State
)

Last gig (Oct 24, 2009)

“Bay The Moon”

Bonus mp3

Violation

Marine Thing

Robert Church & The Holy Community

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

A cassette only release from a micro indie label in Michigan of a stellar band from Sweden is the raison d’être of Swedesplease so it’s a post I couldn’t refuse. I’ve written about the lofi wunderkin Robert Chuch & The Holy Community before and I love how their music has evolved from that first post. “1/10″ is the first song on the 8 song cassette and it can be taken as both a straight forward pop song and as an experimental diy lofi masterpiece with it’s odd percussion, shifting cadence, and disconcerting found sounds.

Order the cassette here via Fox Pop.

1/10

New record/video from Bakers At Dawn

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

I was shocked (shocked, I tell you!) to find out that the Malmö based band Bakers At Dawn have a new record out. It’s called You Must Hide Your Love Forever and is available as a free download from Peppermill Records here. I haven’t had a chance to absorb the whole thing, but as usual I’m fairly flabbergasted by the band’s consistently great experimental lofi pop.

After The War

Bonus:

Love

And the video for “Mesmophone”

Bakers at Dawn: Mesmophone from Cory Landels on Vimeo.

New songs from Masquer

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Here’s an update from Masquer who I wrote about first here. My original take was:

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.

But I’m going to adjust that and add 1/3 Kate Bush to the mix.

Two upcoming shows in Sweden with Asha Ali:

Nov 4 2009 8:00P MEJERIET supporting ASHA ALI Lund
Nov 5 2009 8:00P FÄNGELSET supporting ASHA ALI Göteborg

Stark Naked

Bonus:

Bang Bang

New video/song from Sarah MacDougall

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Here’s the new video from my favorite Swedish/Canadian indie alt-country artist Sarah Macdougall. I wrote about her release Across The Atlantic here. “Cry Wolf” is the new single from the record, the new video is below. And below that is the track “Ramblin” from the very same record. This is a very strong record that features great songs by Sarah, as well as nicely appointed music surrounding those songs.

“Cry Wolf”

Ramblin