Archive for December, 2010

New video/free album download from Klifton Filente

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Klifton Filente is one of the under appreciated, unsigned, and relatively unknown artists from Sweden that I am keeping my eye on. I have written in the past about his music here and here. This song/video is from the album Common Ground; download the album here.

It Takes A Thorn To Remove A Thorn

Video:

**Best of 2010 Repost Series** Ji Nilsson

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Yeah, it’s a bunch of Swedish girls in a row. So sue me! I love Ji Nilsson and hope that my continued support will help her achieve her dreams.

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What I like about Swedesplease (and of course I’m rather biased) is the variety. Over the last 3 or 4 posts we’ve showcased music that ranges from experimental noise to orchestrated pop to punk inspired rock to dj driven beats. Today we take it to the extreme with Disneyfied cabaret right out of the 40′s. This song “Lalalovesick” share with Twee its romantic innocence and love of cookies.

You can thank Ji Nilsson over at her MySpace page for providing such a lovely song this morning.

Lalalovesick

Bonus:

Good Boy Vs. Bad Boy

**Best of 2010 Repost Series** De Montevert (aka Ellinor Nilsson)

Monday, December 20th, 2010

If you’ve read this blog in the past and then listen to this song and/or watch the video than you’ll see why I had to highlight this again. Enjoy!

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Last week was quiet around here. I was actually waiting to get approval and a song from a particular artist I had emailed. Turns out I forgot to hit send. Once I got that resolved it was near impossible to select just one song by De Montevert (aka Ellinor Nilsson). Her style is all over the place from indie pop to indie folk to experimental electronica and everything in between. I chose the song “High On You” because it has the most accessible sound and has that indescribable indie pop naivity and purity.

I could honestly go on and on. But I’ll just say do yourself a favor and check out her MySpace page, listen to “DKT, “All Happy Endings”, “Both Human” and/or “Galpal”. And if you are in the Stockholm area in August check out De Montevert on Aug 7 Cosy Den 2010, Gula Villan (Stockholm, Haninge).

High On You

Bonus:

Skyll Pa Mig

As a bonus here’s a video for her song “Cat Jones”. Try to watch this video and not be enchanted by De Montevert. Watch as she try’s to keep from smiling as she describes the exploits of a cat named Jones, then be amazed at the beautiful voice she has, and then I dare you to try and not be charmed as she turns the song on its head at the end. If there was any justice in the world this song and video would have gone viral by now.


CAT JONES

de Montevert | MySpace Music Videos

**Best of 2010 Repost Series** – Big Fox

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

There’s still not much to go on when it comes to Big Fox. But her music and her potential stuck out this past year. This is one of probably 2 or 3 Swedish female singers that will be in this group of best music from Sweden in 2010. New songs here.

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It’s been 4 days since my last post. But I hope to have made up for my absence with the results from my scouring of the web for brilliant Swedish pop. I think I’ve found it in a piano playing singer-songwriter who goes by the name of Big Fox (aka Charlotta Perers). She accomplishes her sound mostly by herself playing all the instruments, and doing the production/arranging of the songs.

You would think that “Saturday” would be an uptempo pop song about partying from the title, but instead is a slightly melancholy (yet positive) song about being home alone on a Saturday night. Charlotta admits to being influenced by Feist, Regina Spektor, Frida Hyvönen, Jenny Wilson and Ane Brun but her sound stands out on its own at the same time. She is currently unsigned but I wouldn’t expect that to last long on the basis of the songs uploaded to her MySpace profile.

Saturday

Best Music From Around The World – December M.A.P. (35 songs from 35 countries)

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

To download all 35 songs in one file click here

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
NairobiMinerals
Nairobi is a dub band based in Buenos Aires. Approaching dub from a diverse perspective, they create vibrant climates and fresh interpretations of the genre. This song is the first single from their second album, Wet, which was mixed at Mad Professor’s studio in London and features Roberto Pettinato on saxophone.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
MiracleA Big Jet Plane
I recently discovered this 18-year-old rapper born in Ghana but now residing in western Sydney. The word is that he got signed to his label based on a song sampling Pete Murray’s Better Days, a track he made for his high school music assignment and eventually became his first single. Personally, I liked his version of Angus And Julia Stone’s hit Big Jet Plane better.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Diego e O SindicatoAmigo
Influenced by 70s Brazilian rock and tropicalism, amongst other musical styles such as psychedelic rock and even samba, Amigo is a great taster of Parte De Nós (“Part Of Us”), the first full-length record by Diego e O Sindicato, released last month. The album is available to download for free at Compacto.REC, a netlabel focused on independent Brazilian music.

CANADA: I(Heart)Music
Olenka & The Autumn LoversSparrow
Olenka & The Autumn Lovers’ newest album, And Now We Sing, is just about the finest folk-pop album you could ever ask for. It brilliantly blends together Eastern European-tinged folk, smoky jazz, country and a variety of other elements to create an album that’s easily one of the best to come out in 2010. Sparrow showcases Olenka’s Eastern European roots.

CHILE: Super 45
Los NadiehLisa y llanamente
Los Nadieh are members of Potoco Discos, the independent label that houses Como Asesinar a Felipes (an excellent jazz trio with a DJ and MC), who proclaim to play “the other kind of rap”. That claim also defines the approach of this band from Valparaíso, homesickly looking at the harbour city but showing their feelings by experimenting with the formal structures of hip hop. This scorn for risk is reflected on Desde El Último Lugar, their debut, backed up by local heavyweight Foex (ex-member of FDA and a contributor to the increasingly successful Ana Tijoux).

CHINA: Wooozy
Rainbow Danger ClubNeighbors On The Rooftops
With riveting, epic melodies that soar and patter along majestically, the Rainbow Danger Club manage to effortlessly skirt the line between beauty and ugliness, light and dark, innocence and depravity. One of the greatest bands to emerge from the Shanghai music scene lately, they never cease to amaze audiences with their grandiose musicality and adeptness at crafting songs that don’t seem to leave your head. Their debut EP, The New Atlantis, is not to be missed.

COLOMBIA: Colombia Urbana
CapzulaLo Dejamos Asi
Capzula have been the surprise of 2010 in the pop/rock scene of Colombia thanks to their popular single Rock. Big things are expected of them in 2011 and their new single Lo Dejamos Asi clearly shows they can rise to that responsibility.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Sleep Party PeopleA Dark God Heart
In late November, Danish label Vuf released the sixth in their renowned series of compilations titled The Vuf Compilation #6 – Back To Nature, sporting 12 tracks by established and upcoming Danish and Swedish artists, half working in alternative pop/rock and half in electronica. Among them is critically acclaimed one-man dreampop act Sleep Party People aka Brian Batz, whose hauntingly beautiful B-side A Dark God Heart is the final Danish MAP track of 2010. If you crave more, the compilation is available for free download here.

ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Fantastic Mr FoxBrandy – Angel In Disguise (Fantastic Mr Fox’s Nature Boy Rerub)
Stephen Gomberg alias Fantastic Mr Fox is one of the most in-demand dubstep producers and musicians around – The xx took him on tour with them to the States and Warpaint commissioned him to remix one of their tracks. His songs have been described as “digital symphonies” and result from painstakingly chopping up pieces of pre-existing music – sounds, melodies, handclaps and so on from his favourite urban tracks such as R&B queen Brandy’s Angel In Disguise, as featured here – and reassembling them in new shapes. In the Guardian’s New Band Of The Day column, Paul Lester hailed this as “abstract R&B arranged with a Cubist disregard for form”. Sheer futurist invention.

ESTONIA: Popop
Multiphonic RodentPrintsess & Page
Multiphonic Rodent is the nom de plume of multi-instrumentalist composer Erkki Hõbe. Mainly known as the founder member of Opium Flirt, he has been doing home recordings since 2005 and playing live as a one-man big band on guitars, percussion, keys and wind instruments since 2008. His multi-layered style is influenced by classical minimalism, avant-garde jazz and psychedelic rock, to name a few stylistic origins.

FINLAND: Glue
The FriendNew Berlin Wall
The Friend play melodic indie-rock music to make people dance, or, in their own words, they play “songs that are brisk, atmospheric, playful, three-and-a-half-minutes-long compact packages”. Take a listen to their first single, New Berlin Wall, while we wait for their first full-length to be released early next year.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
Dizzy ErrolPride
Dizzy Errol is the one and only Turkish beatnik in Germany. His name perfectly describes his fuzzy, straightforward sound. Pride is the most powerful song on the album Motherlamp from 2010. Dizzy Errol is part of the artist collective Kamerakino, who recently released a compilation named Infant Munich Hits Rock Bottom, which is quite a nice sample of the city’s underground music.

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Abbie GaleTerry Torry A List
Abbie Gale’s third studio album, No Inspiration, an impressive addition to their catalogue, showcases a sweeping collection of 11 songs that are at once riveting, dreamy and sonically lush, swelling and tranquil. Gripping melodies are embellished with whirling arrangements, spirited outbursts and Evira’s wide-ranging, emotive, splendidly affecting vocals. Terry Torry A List feels simultaneously familiar and challenging. It’s a compelling, intricate song in which to lose yourself. It gets under the skin and unfurls its majesty from the first play.

ICELAND: Icelandic Music Maffia
NóraOpin Fyrir Morði
Nóra started in a dark garage on the west side of Reykjavík. In 2006, brother and sister Egill and Auður, along with their friend Hrafn, started as a trio. In 2008, the band became a quintet when Bragi and Frank joined. They play honey-glazed indie-pop influenced by Radiohead, Bob Dylan, TV On The Radio, The Mars Volta, The Pixies, Roy Orbison and Neil Young. Opin Fyrir Morði is taken from their debut album, Er Einhver Að Hlusta? (“Is Anyone Listening?”), which was released in early summer.

INDIA: Indiecision
Tempo TantrickPsychoblabber
Tempo Tantrick is a trip hop duo from Bangalore. Their sound palette ranges from downtempo to pulsing EDM that finds a likely home in clubs open to both electronica and experimental. Psychoblabber falls squarely in the latter end of the Tempo Tantrick soundscape. The track features an irresistible, throbbing refrain reminiscent of Shiny Toy Guns.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Kelelawar MalamSuara Kegelapan
Kelelawar Malam means “Night Bat”; Suara Kegelapan means “Voice of Darkness”. The band name and song title already set a hint of horror, and their lyrics were written as though they were intended for horror B-movie scripts, with old Indonesian villages as the setting. The music is heavily influenced by The Misfits.

IRELAND: Nialler9
James Vincent McMorrowIf I Had A Boat
Having captivated Ireland with his falsetto folk ballads, McMorrow has signed to Vagrant Records in the US. A self-titled EP is currently acquainting itself with international ears and here’s your chance to do the same. If I Had A Boat is the first song from the EP and a perfect introduction to McMorrow’s oaky timbre.

ISRAEL: Metal Israel
WinterhordeThe Tenth Wave
Winterhorde is a blacker than the blackest black metal band from the north of Israel. Unfortunately, Israel’s north is pretty black right now itself with hundreds of acres of forest destroyed by the largest fire in the country’s history with a death toll of over 40. In any case, Winterhorde’s sonic path twists from symphonic melodies to sheer straight-up metal intensity, melding these two extremes with elegance and professionalism. Winterhorde will freeze your soul with its echoes of longing, darkness and unrelenting desperation. Good stuff created in a classic vein.

ITALY: Polaroid
(m+a)(we)
Michele and Alessandro (hence the name of the band) are two young, talented boys from the town of Forlì. That’s more or less all I know about this project. But then there are these amazing sounds: gloomy glitch electronica with a warm acoustic heart and a cool touch of fresh pop which goes from Radiohead to Plaid via Hot Chip, if you need some kind of weird recipe. This is a song from their incoming second album but you can download their first one for free at their website.

MEXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa
TrokerPlaneta Terror
Guadalajara-based ‘jazz vinyl’ band Troker was formed in 2005 by six conservative musicians and has developed into a powerful, danceable and naughty funk-rock sound – a groovy horn section, violent drums, a sexy piano and spicy scratches that make the turntables work as a roll ‘n’ roll instrument through a jazz-based structure. Planeta Terror is one of the delightfully sour tracks from their second album El Rey Del Camino.

NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
The BeneluxPet Needs Friends (Bear remix)
This Amsterdam indie quartet are fresh, frisky and dancefloor flammable. There are certainly retro guitar-pop elements at play here, such as their saucy bursts of swaggering guitar jangle. But any hints of classic garage rock are mixed with quirky synths and fun, big beat grooves. So much so that their Girl Singer EP is topped off with remixes by NON Records labelmates Palmbomen and Bear. The tracks lend themselves perfectly to dance-friendly interpretations – Soulwax come to mind in this sense – which is why we’ve chosen the Bear remix of Pet Needs Friends as a party-starting introduction.

NEW ZEALAND: Counting The Beat
PikachunesNervous
Miles Loveless’ commanding baritone strides atop his lofty synth lines and unrepentant drum machine tracks, riding a dance wave like that of LCD Soundsystem. On the bedroom producer’s song Nervous, a Knight Rider-esque bassline cavorts with a floating, flutey synth that comes in with Loveless’s emotionless, almost monotone voice providing a laconic environment for his social awkwardness to shine. Pikachunes released his debut self-titled album on Lil’ Chief Records last month, and he has a great video for the song Shout It Out.

NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
Uno MøllerYour Quiet Little House
Singer-songwriter Uno Møller plays beautiful minimalistic pop with just the sound of his fragile voice coupled with the playful tones of an acoustic guitar. His debut album was released a few months ago on the British label Lazy Acre Records. He’s also a part of Team Me, a promising band that has been praised both in and outside Norway. They’ve been booked to play at Øyafestivalen and by:Larm next year, but let’s hope Uno has more time for his solo project too.

PERU: SoTB
Kid SolanoSolano Swing
Think of a perfect party in a place where night is eternal and the collective dancing turns everyone into a jumping mass. Now imagine the perfect song to accompany those moments and the result would be something like Solano Swing. Make space in your record collection for the amazing lounge/breakbeat of Kid Solano.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Minta & The Brook TroutLarge Amounts
Minta is Francisca Cortesão – a talented singer, musician and composer who has been in other bands and works as a session and live musician. The Brook Trout are Mariana Ricardo, Manuel Dordio and José Vilão, friends of Minta who collaborated on her first album, Minta & The Brook Trout. Minta’s sound will please fans of the likes of Beth Orton or Belle & Sebastian.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Makunouchi BentoAnchorshaped Siren
Makunouchi Bento is an experimental project with influences from musique concrète to IDM. Their lunchbox has many more surprises than anyone could imagine. There are two main directions in their sound – the use of electronic gadgets (Spectrum, C64, Amiga, Atari) and sampling as the key for a haunting cinematic atmosphere. This could easily be the soundtrack of a David Lynch film or a rainy, gray Romanian December afternoon. Their album, Swimé, can be downloaded for free from Bandcamp.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Rachel SermanniEggshells
Rachel Sermanni is a talent worth swooning over. The 19-year-old from the Highlands cites her idols as Joni Mitchell and Eva Cassidy, which makes perfect sense when you find yourself enchanted by her pure, fragile vocals and poetic lyrics. A star in the making for sure.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
The Lard BrothersWish You’ll Never Leave Time (Ownself Remix)
The Lard Brothers have carved a niche for themselves remixing and reworking songs by other Singaporean bands, sometimes roping in outside collaborators in the process. Their approach ensures their work isn’t so much a rehash of existing material as it is a means of bringing the music community together, and giving us a fresh take on Singaporean music. Their latest release, the Bonsai Warriors EP, stays on the same track but fittingly leaves room at the end for a remix of themselves, a glorious uplifting on their 2008 original.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
ReburnOutta My Mind
Reburn is a five-piece alternative rock band whose mix of catchy beats and a quirky feel has seen them rise to the forefront of the local scene. Outta My Mind encompasses the band’s sound, which is distinctly British-influenced with its polished tone and a slight indie edge. Reburn’s motto is that the band was brought to life for no reason other than to make “music for pleasure” and that they do. Stylishly so.

SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
ImageEmpty Universe
Female singer-songwriter Image has already been active for more than a decade, but it wasn’t until fall this year that she presented her first digital EP, Metaphoricalizing. Determined to make music of veracity, Image combines both acoustic and electronic elements when giving life to the folk ethos she wishes to express. Empty Universe is the main track off Metaphoricalizing and will be recorded in an English version for her upcoming first CD album.

SPAIN: Musikorner
Odio ParísYa No Existes
We don’t have any reason to hate Paris, but apparently this five-piece band from Barcelona does. Odio París, who have supported The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, are influenced by shoegaze legends The Jesus And Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, but they also take inspiration from Spain’s biggest indie band, Los Planetas. Ya No Existes, their first single, is living proof of that as it recreates the characteristic distortion of the Andalusians’ early releases.

SWEDEN: Swedesplease
Le DaysRing Baby Ring
Le Days aka Daniel Hedin has announced the upcoming release of a debut album titled Dead People On Tape. The predominant instrument may be an acoustic guitar but this is by no means folk music. It’s a disturbing blend of over the top emo and confessional rock à la Jeff Buckely. The first single in all its tormented glory namedrops Judas, curses violently and lays its heart on its proverbial sleeve.

SWITZERLAND: 78s
The Bianca StoryComing Home
You thought Switzerland was neutral? It’s not. We’re totally asking you to take sides with our quest to bring better music to the world. Our weapon of mass seduction: The Bianca Story, a five-piece from Basel. Their sound is best described as “pop taken seriously” – you get the catchy tunes but with added layers of depth. Their latest single, Coming Home, is an appetizer to their second album due for release in 2011.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Painted PalmsAll Of Us
San Francisco’s Painted Palms aren’t the first experimental pop band to take cues from Animal Collective, but they’re perhaps the most unique of the bunch. Combining a wild assortment of genres from Afro-pop to krautrock to electro-pop, the tracks on their debut Canopy EP (free download here) are equally addictive as they are artful, bringing a smile to even the most jaded of listeners.

VENEZUELA: Barquisimento
ViniloversusRuleta Rusa
Viniloversus started rocking Caracas in 2004, both live and on record. One of the many reasons for their unique sound is the presence of two bassists in the band. Impeccable performances and sharp, strong notes hit the audience like thunder in their shows. Ruleta Rusa is taken from their Latin Grammy-nominated latest album Si No Nos Mata.

**Best of 2010 Repost Series** – Tim Schmidt & Jenny Björkvist

Monday, December 13th, 2010

“To Heal Your Wounds” by Jenny Björkqvist is one great song. It successfully straddles the worlds of indie and folk; the song would be as comfortable hanging out with Nick Drake or Jose Gonzalez as it would be spending time with Dylan or Guthrie. Friend Tim Schmidt contributes vocals as well on this track.

To Heal Your Wounds

I mentioned Tim Schmidt the other day in my post about Jenny Bjorkqvist and also back in May 2008. His debut solo record Slower Things is now finally available. It’s out now on the German label Analogsoul and can be purchased through iTunes or AMAZON here and here.

This song is a bonus track not on the album. Like the album title suggests these songs are meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Whether it’s just Tim and his acoustic guitar like on “Brighton Beach” or with a little more acompaniement like on “One Of Them Branches” the songs always unfold with quiet calm.

One Of Them Branches

“Brighton Beach” video

**Best of 2010 Repost Series** Francis – “I Was Never Bored At All”

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Since this isn’t a regular music blog we won’t be doing a regular top 10 list. Instead we’ll revisit some of the best music of the year by reposting what we loved the most. First up is something from Francis.

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I know it’s only Thursday but I can’t possibly hope for any more exclusive Swedish goodies so this will serve as the end of the week for Swedesplease. Here in all its glory is the new song from Francis. Not much info beyond that; this is off a forthcoming album recorded by Jakob Grundtman.

I like that this song combines the more torch song aspect of the band’s catalog with its more raucous careening live sound.

The band returns to North America in March:

Mar 10 2010 8:00P Canadian Music Fest Toronto, Ontario
Mar 17 2010 8:00P SXSW Austin, Texas

I Was Never Bored At All

Swedish Video Roundup – Swedish Rock Groups from the Sixties

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

This is a completely random overview of just some of the great 60′s rock from Sweden that by and large we missed here in America. Some of this crossed the channel and had an impact in the UK but by and large these groups seemed to stay in Sweden and were embraced by a rabid mod public.

The Shanes

Tages

Steampacket

The Hepstars

Ola & The Janglers

Sleepstones

The Mascots

New electronic music from Kriget and Harald Björk

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

I wrote about the odd sounds of Kriget back here.

The band has taken their original sound and made it even odder. Besides the drum kit nearly every instrument on the new record is distorted beyond recognition.

I Tried My Best But My Best Tried Not

Bonus:

If your tastes run a little bit more to standard electronica than the new ep from Harald Björk might be up your alley. Congratulations to Harald for his recent P3 Gold Award noimination! Here’s the title track plus the video for “Din”:

Bigfield

“Din” video

Harald Björk – Din from Harald Björk on Vimeo.

Mutual Friends – “The Cabin”

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

I think it’s great that this year’s version of Jose Gonzalez is The Tallest Man On Earth. Both artists deserved the small amount of fame and adulation they received. But at the same time I’m annoyed that we only have room in our hearts for one Swedish folk/roots act at a time.

I’m lucky that I don’t have any such restriction and that I can write about the new record The Cabin from Mutual Friends. “Dressed Up For Halloween” starts out as a folk song powered by banjo and harmonica. But when the singer takes over, with his deep baritone reminiscent of the dude from The National, all bets are off and this song goes in a number of different directions.

I’m told you can order The Cabin now on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon etc.

Dressed Up For Halloween