Archive for March, 2010

A Skweelicious gift from Fort Fairmont

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

I’m on vacation in Florida but wanted to share with you this little bit of Skweee from Fort Fairfield. The band (just one dude) hails from Jönköping but now resides in Malmo. This song has the trademark skweee sound with slow beats and electronic blips and beeps.

Keflavik (Skweeeze It Like An Orange)

“Sounds Of Birds”

fort fairfield – sounds of birds from joshua rogers on Vimeo.

The Eyeshades – “In The Basement”

Friday, March 26th, 2010

I don’t know how I stumbled upon The Eyeshades from but I’m glad I did. The band is an odd combination of pop and rock with a little electronic sounds added to the mix. They play a wide assortment of instruments (jokingly referred to as: Drumomaphone, Bassomaphone, Guitaromaphone, Organomaphone, Analog Synthomaphone, Percussiomaphone, Xylomaphone, Fluteomaphone, Saxomaphone, Trumpetomaphone, Double Bassomophone and Vocalomaphone on their myspace page). It’s this diversity of sound as well as the (at times) unusual compositional structure that make the band interesting.

I’m unsure if they have any music you can purchase but the band did share with me the mp3 for their new song “In The Basement”.

In The Basement

“In The Basement” video

“Just Like Jonas” video

Kriget – “Synthsax Error!”

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

It’s been awhile since I heard a saxophone led band take a stab at punk mixed with new wave and experimental rock. I think the band Blurt was the one and only band to achieve any notoriety with such a combination. The Stockholm based band Kriget does their best on their new record to revive this sub sub sub genre. Here’s the band’s attitude about the recording:

Kriget will smash you up, probably in a good way, and if you don´t like, it doesn´t matter.

I like it guys. I really like it!

It Was Mighty, Now It’s Magic

PS The new record Synthsax Error will be available soon for free download from here.

Roi Höttur – Save Me Pt. 1 (14 minute psychedelic jam)

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

14 minutes of Swedish psychedelic improvisation by the band Roi Höttur = Perfection

Rói Höttur – Save Me pt.1 (live recording in Kall take 1) from Rói Höttur on Vimeo.

Video for Rena Rama’s “Klass 6B”

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

One of my favorite Swedish pop songs of the past 5 years finally has a video. Here’s the delightful (and hopefully viral) video for Rena Rama’s song “Klass 6B”.

Marching Band – “Pop Cycle” (U & L Records, Inc., May 18)

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Marching Band (from Linköping) have been making a fuss in the indie rock world since I first wrote about them back in 2006. I tend to like their simple indie pop. From what I’ve heard of the new record it’s a more layered and complex release (and the band admits a “darker” affair). Still I’ll reserve judgement until I hear the whole thing. This may be the first single – it’s certainly one of the more catchy songs I’ve heard.

The new record Pop Cycle is out in May on U & L Records, Inc.

Another Day

Lofi noize from Dinosaurs Are Still Alive

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

I haven’t really followed the no-wave lofi punk of bands like Waves or Jay Reatard (RIP) but I expect Dinosuars Are Still Alive fit neatly into that category. The band is just this one dude named A. FOR D. WIN L. STR from Stockholm. He’s got an EP called Northern Haze up for free download on Virb here. If you are anywhere near Göteborg on March 25 catch his set at KLUBB SVANEN.

Growing Up Going Down

Best Music In The World (M.A.P. March Edition)

Monday, March 15th, 2010

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
ModularFemme Fatale
Listening to Modular’s music is like a journey back to a time when lounge and space-age pop were present on almost every soundtrack and TV show. This track is their own rendition of the great song Femme Fatale by The Velvet Underground, taken from a recent free EP called Yoga Para Extraterrestres (which you can download from here). Don’t miss Requiem Para Robert Moog, another great track from this EP.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
OtoutoAstronauts
Exciting new trio Otouto from Melbourne have released a new single called Astronauts on their own artist collective label Two Bright Lakes. You may recognise singer Hazel Brown’s voice from Whitley’s song Killer. So catchy.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
EddieGafieira No Avenida
One of the founders of the mangue beat movement in northeast Brazil in the 90s, Eddie play a mixture of frevo (a kind of folk music usually related to carnival), rock and jazz. Gafieira No Avenida is taken from the band’s latest album, Carnaval No Inferno (“Carnival In Hell”) and highlights some of Eddie’s influences, such as Fela Kuti and Lee Perry.

CANADA: I(Heart)Music
Yukon BlondeRather Be With You
There are all kinds of great power-pop bands from decades past that could be referenced when talking about Yukon Blonde. But you know what? As songs like Rather Be With You show, Yukon Blonde are a lot more than their influences, and it’s not hard to imagine that it won’t be long before future bands are referencing them as an influence.

CHILE: Super 45
InvernessNubes
Inverness has its heart divided between Santiago and England. The band flirts a lot with shoegaze revivalism but succeeds in avoiding a lame emulation of the sound, instead delivering a rich, lyrical world full of dreamy scenes. Their second album Illuminaciones was inspired by the far-away landscapes of southern Chile and received massive critical acceptance last year. The band faces the challenge of doing it again for the release of their next album this year.

CHINA: Wooozy
PB33Dance With Me
Formed in 2005, PB33 independently released their first album Disco Boys & Girls Night Out. It’s about youth, happiness, love, life, friendship and party. They are a band with a punk attitude. Are you ready for them?

COLOMBIA: Colombia Urbana
ChocQuibTownEn Circulo (Sa Rissa)
ChocQuibTown is the most successful urban fusion group in Colombia with two Latin Grammy nominations. The band try to mix hip hop music with native sounds of the Pacific coast. Their new album Oro has just been released.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The Bronson BrothersAncient Land
Pop, decadence, France and the 1960s are keywords when it comes to Clyde and Ted Bronson’s musical universe. The excellent Ancient Land is taken from the duo’s freshly-released debut album The Melody Bronson, the title a nod to the 1971 concept album Histoire De Melody Nelson by Serge Gainsbourg, who is also found among The Bronson Brothers’ influences.

ENGLAND: The Daily Growl
Stairs To KoreaAll Of Your Friends
The awesome one-man band and king of the offbeat tweets, Stairs To Korea is a battery of lo-fi electronic effects, good tunes, wry lyrics and ace guitar solos. And behind his bushy beard there’s a reluctant rock god edging his way out. His new single All Of Your Friends, on the excellent Brainlove Records, is another in the gradual drip-feed of fine releases which should eventually see him with one of the best singles compilations of 2012.

ESTONIA: Popop
Honey PowerGet Country
This light, fresh and melodic indie tune from four-piece Honey Power carries a real country vibe and, as an early taste of the Tartu-based band’s long-anticipated second album, demonstrates good taste and an impeccable arrangement.

FINLAND: Glue
FlannelmouthSharp Paper
Sharp Paper gently opens Flannelmouth’s second album and leads the Helsinki indie band into a collection of intense and diverse pop songs, with intelligent arrangements and a good sense of melody, underlined by the dominant voice of vocalist Tuomo Kuusi. Rather than limiting themselves to the classic four or five-piece band template, Flannelmouth draw their songs with a diverse palette including subtle sounds of ukulele, pedal steel and a variety of other instruments to build an addictive romanticism.

FRANCE: ZikNation
SaycetEasy
Saycet is a French electronic artist made famous by his album One Day At Home in 2006. Pierre Lefeuvre, the man behind Saycet, is a daydream music specialist. His songs carry the listener away in a cocoon universe where nothing can hurt you and every little noise is a delight.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
KissogramRubber And Meat
The death of German indie labels continues. This month Berlin-based Louisville closed its doors, leaving a bunch of the most influential and significant German bands on their own. One of these is Kissogram, whose last album Rubber And Meat got a lot of positive reviews. To bid a fond farewell to Louisville, we are able to present its title track exclusively. Thanks for all the music!

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Electric LitanyFebruary
Preferring patience and restraint over explosive blasts of atmospheric wailing, Electric Litany slowly build up tunes that glimmer with hauntingly melodic ideas and climax with rhythms that capture the traditional musical heritage of Eastern European countries. Their debut album, How To Be A Child & Win The War, offers a sonically cinematic experience that will leave you feeling both elated and emotionally drained. Gorgeous sounds are pulled from within the deepest recesses of the human soul, while vocals full of intuitive swells and fades rise over piano, synths and tremolo guitars. A work of mesmerising beauty, like a tender touch on a sad day.

ICELAND: I Love Icelandic Music
SometimeHeart Of Spades
Sometime, a band formed by Icelandic music veterans, puts catchy dance-infused songs on the menu. Ingredients are the strong voice of frontwoman Diva De La Rosa plus the inventive drums of TheDanni, flavoured by turntable whizzkid DJ Moonshine and manipulated by Oculus. You can taste it while listening to the single Heart Of Spades from the album Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

INDIA: Indiecision
The CircusFOPS
The Circus are an alternative rock act from New Delhi. The band’s music is Incubus-inspired, effects-driven fuzz that makes no bones about what it is and where it finds its roots. FOPS (an abbreviation of Full On Party Scene) comes from soon-to-be-released debut album From Space. It’s wholesome, angular alternative music executed without much fuss. Turn it up, get your party started.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Sajama CutPaintings/Pantings
Sajama Cut are praised for their lyrics and unusual songs arrangements, with influences ranging from Echo & The Bunnymen, The Beach Boys, Guided By Voices, R.E.M. and tons of obscure singer-songwriters. Paintings/Pantings comes from their new album Manimals, a record which has a varied approach in songwriting, with most of the lyrics taken from Marcel Thee’s journal.

IRELAND: Nialler9
The Cast Of CheersDerp
The Cast Of Cheers came from nowhere last month and quickly became Nialler9′s favourite new band. Their downloadable album (get it for free here) is a fully-formed 33-minute blast of post-punk, looping post-rock, tightly-wound songs with echoes of Battles, Foals and Death From Above 1979.

ISRAEL: Metal Israel
Orphaned LandSapari
Orphaned Land’s latest album The Never Ending Way Of ORWarriOR is a sonic tapestry that flies a completely different path than the usual Western metal fare of Europe and the States, though there are common threads. The influence of acts such as Paradise Lost, Iron Maiden and The Beatles are evident, but Orphaned Land weave elements together that run the gamut from blacker-than-black demonic intensity to let-the-sunshine-in hippie flamboyance. The band categorizes itself as Middle Eastern progressive metal with dreams of instilling peace through their music.

ITALY: Polaroid
Heike Has The GigglesRobot
Before you ask, the name comes from a character in an English grammar book the band used to read at high school. Heike Has The Giggles are three young kids who play sharp and dry rock ‘n’ roll in the vein of PJ Harvey and early Gossip. They just released Sh!, their forceful debut album, and you can’t listen to it without starting to dance and play air guitar.

JAPAN: JPOP Lover
OmodakaKyoteizinc (Video Mix)
Known as an electro/techno artist, Soichi Terada teamed up with a few visual directors and has started the collaborative music project Omodaka. Omodaka’s sound is characterized by the seamless mixture of Japanese traditional Geisha songs and electro music. Omodaka will appear live at the Japan Nite showcase at this month’s SXSW and will also go on tour the US with Red Bacteria Vacuum and Okamoto’s.

MEXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa
Los MacuanosPueblo Muerto (feat. Scout Klas)
Is there such a thing as ethno-dubstep? London’s urban soundscape has been well charted by dubstep – how about Tijuana’s? Los Macuanos are a duo formed by Moises “Moih” Horta and Moises Lopez, and this is their nu-electronic post-nortec mix of blurry Mexican folkloric crumbs with cyclic dubstep. Pueblo Muerto was recorded by Moih and gloomy artist Scout Klas (from Sweden via Vietnam) in his recent visit to the Red Bull Music Academy in London. The song portraits the hypnotic fumes spreading from ghost town Tijuana to the whole stratosphere.

NETHERLANDS: Amsterdam Event Guide
The StuttersStarlight Love
Top musicians as well as first-class artists, this three-piece group have it all going for them in 2010: new songs, more gigs, screaming fans and some very fancy dancing. After the critically-acclaimed first EP back in 2008, their 2010 release Viva La Stutters has got a lot of people excited. First listens see the trio go for a slightly heavier feel than their previous singles but they still stay true to their indie-rock sensibilities, keeping it very rock ‘n’ roll and danceable. Make sure you catch them on their European tour scheduled for early June – we’ll be at the front!

NEW ZEALAND: Counting The Beat
An Emerald CitySeizuretron
An Emerald City’s first album Circa Scaria is the stuff of legend, being recorded in a cave on a storm-swept coast. Even without that back story their music is memorable for combining a traditional rock line-up with lute, violin, tablas, violin and sitar. Their songs start off quiet then build in scale and grandeur to create huge Eastern-influenced instrumental soundscapes. Surprisingly, Circa Scaria reached the New Zealand top 40. After a few months in Berlin, An Emerald City have released Seizuretron as a taster for their forthcoming second album.

NORWAY: Eardrums
Solvor VermeerFinal Hour
Three years ago, I stumbled upon Solvor Vermeer’s music. I was amazed by the delicate and fragile beauty she managed to create with only her voice and the piano as her tools. Since then, Vermeer has developed her sound. She has a rare gift for composing and can make something really complex become catchy and accessible. On her upcoming four-track debut EP, her sound is richer and more orchestrated, with her musician friends having added strings, horns, layered vocals, glockenspiel, etc. The EP will be released this spring on her own Bloksberg Music label in partnership with UK-based Lazy Acre Records.

PERU: SoTB
Pipe VillaranSinnerman
When members of the band Los Fuckin Sombreros went their separate ways, Pipe Villaran began to compose new songs, preparing for what would be his new project, called Long Player. His style is still rock ‘n’ roll, to which he has devoted his whole life, influenced by classic rock and some blues touches. Sinnerman is a preview of the direction his new band will take when their debut record is launched in May.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
PeltzerA Story To Tell Me
Peltzer used to be Rui Gaio’s one-man band. Today, there are more members but they continue with their electronic sound and cite the new wave movement, Mercury Rev and The Flaming Lips as their influences. They have released tracks digitally and on three Portuguese compilations. A Story To Tell Me, from their new Outdated EP, is an exclusive MAP download.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Hot CasandraChroma
Hot Casandra is a new project behind which we can find Paul Ballo (the drummer of last month’s featured band, Kumm). It’s a personal playground, where no compromises will be made and everything will sound as wanted. The first song, Chroma, is a dark electro track with beautiful, haunting vocals.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Admiral FallowSquealing Pigs
It’s hard to say what Admiral Fallow’s greatest strength is. It could be the luscious melodies which burst out of their songs, or the thick Scottish brogue that defines Louis Abbott’s strikingly unhurried delivery, or perhaps it’s the fact they have the sort of craft and invention their peers could only dream of. MAP exclusive download Squealing Pigs whisks through the speakers with a bundle of verve and is taken from the band’s forthcoming debut album Boots Met My Face, which at times sounds a lot like Elbow.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Sidd & His Self-EsteemOccupation
I’ve been informed that the frontman of Sidd & His Self-Esteem is a nervous individual, so much so that it inspired the naming of the band. Well, if Sidd finds his solace in the sheer gregariousness of his other band members, then this must surely be a case of strength in numbers. All inhibitions seemingly fall away as they deliver brilliantly on this stellar Led Zeppelin-esque track, with confidence swelling in each instrument and the vocals deliberate and full of conviction. Occupation pays homage to lo-fi garage rock, with the mix perfectly balanced for your ears to take in everything.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Will MonoSeks Vir Plesier
What Will Mono does when making music is slightly different to most – he collaborates with other artists by adding their vocals to his music. In this case Will Mono worked with Jan Joknie and Seks Vir Plesier was born. It is Afrikaans electro-pop at its best. Draw conclusions where you will with regards to the content but as for the song as a whole, it’s catchy electro genius.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
3rd Line ButterflyNine Days
3rd Line Butterfly has been one of the most loved Korean indie-rock bands since 2002, when their music became known through drama series Ruler Of Your Own World. Following the release of their third album in 2004, the band went on a long hiatus, returning only late last year. Earlier this month, their out-of-print albums were re-released in remastered versions, but Nine Days is a beautiful, melancholic Americana-style folk track from new EP Nine Days Or A Million.

SPAIN: Oscuro Magazine
The ClosersCome Down
The Closers are an industrial rock band from Zaragoza similar to Nine Inch Nails or Filter. Their first work was called The End and is a preview of four songs from their forthcoming debut album. It is a very catchy and addictive work that could make a real impact beyond our borders. Come Down has touches of Primal Scream, but the powerful guitars and killer choruses are more like the best works of Trent Reznor.

SWEDEN: Swedesplease
Holy FamilyWhatever There’s To Know
Holy Family is an electronica trio from Goteborg. The fuzzy beats and glowering vocals on their song Meathooks remind me of some of the heavy industrial music from the late 80s and early 90s, while the lighter, more accessible sounds on Whatever There’s To Know hint at a band that could expand their sound and possibly cross over.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
JavelinVibrationz
Javelin are an eclectic duo currently residing in Brooklyn by way of Providence, Rhode Island. Their electronic jams have been turning heads for quite some time, yet their upcoming LP, No Mas, and tour dates with Yeasayer will catapult this funky duo to the forefront of independent acclaim.

VENEZUELA: Barquisimento
Los ParanoiasNo Sueltes Al Murcielago
Los Paranoias have a sound that resembles the 80s post-punk and 60s Britpop scenes. No Sueltes Al Murcielago is the second single from their album Aqui Fue, which was inspired by the troubled times our country is going through. The song is a happy rock ‘n’ roll tune with a contagious rhythm – a symbol of Venezuelan optimism.

To download all 36 songs in one file click here

Lucas Dawson – “Another Way To Say Goodbye”

Friday, March 12th, 2010

It’s so rare that I get to do a post that fits on both Songs:Illinois and Swedesplease. I like to do them too because I can expose a worthy artist to both groups of readers. Lucas Dawson is certainly worthy. He is a native Australian who moved to Europe, then London, and now resides in Stockholm (thus the Swedesplease connection). His new CD Another Way To Say Goodbye is a slow burn of a record that hashes and rehashes a recent breakup. It’s bitter at times and features J Tilman-esque vocals and instrumentation with occasional blasts of electric guitar. That is to say Lucas has a mellow delivery that is contradicted at times with searing music. This combination helps portray his feelings of pain, hurt, disgust, resignation, and anger. To give you an idea of the theme of the record here are just a few of the song titles: “I’m So Miserable Without You”, “Ain’t Life Cruel”, “I Hate You”, “What Am I To Do”, and “We Were Too Young”.

“Four Catastrophic Years” is the first track on the album and it’s a good example of what I’m talking about. Easiest way to buy the record is here through CD Baby or through Bandcamp here.

Four Catastrophic Years

**SXSW Preview** – Francis

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

If you’ve learned anything over the last four years of reading Swedesplease it’s that I really, really, really like the band Francis. I can’t put my finger on the exact reason why. They somehow successfully mix punk, folk, cabaret and even jazz into a stew that is best served up live. These guys are going to light up SXSW and the town of Austin next week. I fully expect them to come out of SXSW with some serious and well deserved buzz. Good timing too since their debut record is due out in the spring of 2010.

Here’s a song from the new record. Check Francis out at any number of official and unofficial showcases next week in Austin (or in Washington DC on March 22nd).

Mar 17 2010 8:00P Music Gorilla @ Treasure Island Austin, Texas
Mar 18 2010 5:00P Musebox Presents @ Rusty Spurs Austin, Texas
Mar 18 2010 7:00P Band Promote @ Guero’s Outdoor Stage Austin, Texas
Mar 19 2010 4:30P Sonicbids @ Maggie Mae’s Austin, Texas
Mar 19 2010 9:00P SXSW Official Showcase @ Friends Bar Austin, Texas
Mar 20 2010 1:30P Sweden @ Antone’s Nightclub Austin, Texas

I Was Never Bored At All

Bonus:

Beat, Beat, Beat

Bad To The Bone

http://my.sxsw.com/events/eid/6179

The War Crimes – “Treatise”

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

The War Crimes are only nominally Swedish. In fact I don’t think there are any Swedish citizens in the band despite the fact that half the group lives in Stockholm. The band’s new single is “Treatise”. I liked it on first listen (especially because I’m a fan of The Fall and and had just listed to some Mark E. Smith earlier this morning).

The clincher to this song is the end bit where the lead singer speaks this line “Arthur Seaton is my witness and
Woody Guthrie is my grace” while in the background he moans this one “Oh, fuck yeah”. I guess you can download this track and the b-side here.

Treatise

Sunny/melancholy pop from Per Sahlström

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Sunny indie pop from Sweden. Yes, Please! Per Sahlström’s new record is available at a “pay what you want” price from Bandcamp. “Miles Away is melancholy and slightly cheerful at the same time. Conflicting emotions for sure but ones that I can relate to.

If you’re looking for a new Swedish indie pop crooner than you don’t have far to look today. Download Per’s new record Cross The Line here.

Miles Away

holy family

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Let’s take a break from Swedish SXSW coverage to get back to some undiscovered gems from Sweden. Holy Family is an electronica trio from Göteborg. Their fuzzy beats and glowering vocals on “Meathooks” remind me of some of the heavy industrial music from the late 80′s early 90′s. While the lighter, more accessible sounds on “Whatever There’s To Know” hints at a band that could expand their sound and possibly crossover. I don’t have any other info on the band besides what is on their MySpace page. Go there to hear their new song “Youth Cult”.

Meathooks

Whatever There’s To Know