Archive for the ‘Swedish folk’ Category

Tim Scmidt – “Slower Things”

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

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

Shotgun Language (The Tallest Man On Earth meets Buddy Holly)

Monday, January 11th, 2010

This is d.i.y. all the way but like they say in the liner notes it’s strewn with emotions and a rough hewn honesty. Shotgun Language is Gustav Berry from Linköping.

This is not tight and this is not clean but it has something, it has nerve.
These songs don’t compile a record. This is a collection of work and songwriting, the first rough and honest expressions of songs – a couple of moments and feelings caught on tape.
This is nerve pt. I.

Through the use of home recording and a couple of nice retro guitars he is able to recreate that warm fuzzy sound of the 50′s. Here’s a nice sampling of his work. Look forward to the debut record from this exciting young swede.

Johnny Electric

I Ain’t Rough

P.S. Here are the technical details of the recording process for all you gearheads:

All things recorded at home on a Phillips Audio Visual D6920 tape recorder with the use of Fender Champion 600 amp, Berrycaster, Gretsch country gentleman, Hagström H45, Levin parlor 1933, Hagström kent tape echo, Hagström rymdklang reverb unit & Gold tone lapsteel

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



She Won’t Listen

The Boy With A Fever

Swedish Video Roundup (Peter Bjorn and John, Maia Hirasawa, Japan Air, Friday Bridge, SKWBN)

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Friday Bridge “There’s No Doubt You’d Get Killed”

Maia Hirasawa “South Again”

SKWBN “Europa”

Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Europa from Bo Mikael Hall on Vimeo.

Peter Bjorn and John “Nothing to Worry About”

Japan Air “Crack Of Dawn”

Wailin’ Henry (a song from the film “The Gun”) plus a big Christmas mix update with Jens Lekman, Sophie Rimheden, Sophie Talvik and TIAC)

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

One of the leaders (Wailin’ Henry) of the band Strayfolk has a song in an upcoming Swedish language film. I’m a big fan of Strayfolk so I was happy to hear of this new development. Here’s the song “The Water” from the film The Gun.

The Water


The big Swedish Christmas mix update is down at the bottom of this link.

Detektivbyrån’s Back!! New LP “Wermland” Available For Pre-Order Now!

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Detektivbyrån used to be the best under discovered band in Sweden. Anything this good (regardless of its lack of mass appeal, limited commercial potential or even the fact that it lacks lyrics) will find a place in the world. Whether this gets discovered through placement in advertisements, film soundtracks, or hopefully written about on countless blogs, Myspace profiles or Twitter updates (I’m looking at you James Gunn, and don’t try to hide Alexandra I can see you too) is up to you. All it should take is a little bump to put this band into the consciousness of the right people that will enable them to reach a broader audience.

I’ve been writing about the band for years, but amazingly their upcoming release, Wermland, is their debut LP. So this is not one of those bands that comes from nowhere only partially formed (Cold War Kids, Vampire Weekend). The songs on Wermland don’t stray far from what got them here. And that is a combination of traditional folk, gypsy, circus and world sounds combined with modern (and not so modern) electronics (often home rigged). It’s so hard not to compare this band’s music to film so I won’t bother restraining myself. “Om Du Moter Värg” starts out like music from the next Tim Burton production, but rather quickly becomes something you’d expect to hear in a Wim Wenders or Werner Herzog film. And that’s because it’s music of dreams. And dreams are what the films of those three visionaries are closest to.

A release date of September 3rd has been set for Wermland, but you can pre-order the record now here (Sweden) or here (Int’l).

Om Du Moter Värg

P.S. If you liked this there’s an ever so slight chance that you’ll be smitten with Kirsty McGee’s “vaudebilly” over at Songs:Illinois (sorry for the shameless cross promotion).

Swedish Music Roundup (The Radio Dept., Air France, The Lancaster Orchestra, Kissy Asplund, The Informations, and The Ruling Class)

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

(Illustration by Zohar Lazar)

Before we get to the music here’s some meta stuff about people that bring you the music:

It’s A Trap is nominated as best Swedish mp3 blog by Svenska Podradiopriset.

Discobelle is also nominated and was recently featured at the blog/label/licensing site rcrd lbl.

Now on to the music:

Burning World has something new from The Radio Dept.

Friction NYC has the glorious dream pop of Air France.

The Panic Manuel has Britpop by way of Sweden and the band The Ruling Class.

Nine Bulletts
linked to a couple of songs I haven’t by Sweden’s best americana group The Lancaster Orchestra.

The newish Dutch blog Angmoh has some unclassifiably great music from the Swedish/Japan group The Informations.

Undomondo has the neo soul of Sweden’s Kissy Asplund.

Chris Wigren & The Headaches

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

The folks at Hultsfred Festival have announced their rookie stage where they feature up and coming Swedish acts. Over the next two weeks I hope to be writing about some of these groups. Chris Wigren & The Headaches is one such band. Chris is a huge fan of Elliott Smith and you can hear that in his songs, but I think his vocals remind me more of Bob Mould at times, and it’s surely no coincidence that Bob Dylan is displayed so prominently in the photo above.

He’s just released a new EP and in May was invited to Washington DC to play House Of Sweden. These two songs are from a previous recording but the new songs are streaming on MySpace.

Bad Feeling

Grow Up

The Klezmer Sounds of Stockholm’s Davaj – Take That Gogol Bordello and DeVotchKa!! (plus two new videos from Detektivbyrän chronicling the recording process behind their upcoming record)

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

In my other life I write a lot about music inspired by the Balkans, by gypsys and even by American vaudeville. But on this Swedish site I rarely have linked to this type of folk music. Detektivbyrän plays a facsimile of this type of Eastern European folk, but they add so many other elements that it is an entirely new entity once they’re done with it.

So I was happy to discover the Stockholm based group Davaj the other day. The band is seven members and play this folk music in a lively manner encouraging concert goers and fans to dance and sing-along. These two songs are from the groups new demo which can only be purchased at one of their upcoming live shows. Check MySpace for dates in April.



Speaking of Detektivbyrän here’s parts 3 and 4 of their great video series on the making of the new album.

Part 3

Part 4

New song/video from Thomas Denver Jonsson, Live Jens Lekman show from Istanbul, and music from Kim Ki O

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Thomas Denver Jonsson’s
record The Lake Acts Like An Ocean was released in Sweden in September, but on March 22 it gets it’s European and UK release by Shellshock. I know I’ve written about this record before but I will do so again to encourage everyone in Europe to buy this today.

One Of My Blessings

The Border

New demo from the next record “Nansen”


Brand new video for “The Border”


Also the Australian travel writer Peter Moore contacted me about a live show from Istanbul up now on the Jens Lekman website. He’s also done a great interview with Jens Lekman here that combines Peter’s love of travel and his love of music.

Here’s the link to the whole concert.



The latest update on Jens’ site is from earlier this week and is an interview with the Istanbul based duo of Kim Ki O. Jens will be bringing them along for some dates on his European tour so I thought I could share that with you as well.


Kapali Kapali Kapali

The bluegrassfolkbluesgospel of Sweden’s “Blue Eyed Blondes”

Monday, February 25th, 2008

It seems strange that on the day I’m highlighting bluegrass/gospel inspired music on Songs:Illinois that I’d be doing the same on Swedesplease. But odder things have happened.

Blue Eyed Blondes are a country/folk/bluegrass duo from Sweden made up of Lina Lönnberg and Kristoffer Emanuelsson. No surprise then that their friends section on MySpace looks like a who’s who of this genre including folks like Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, Dan Tyminski, Lucinda Williams, and Nickel Creek.

“Would You Cry” is a beautiful song, Lina’s vocals are angelic which contrasts a bit with the song references to cocaine, death by train and dead dogs. Befriend the band here.

Would You Cry

New song from Old Lost John (riyl Richard Buckner, J Tillman)

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

I wrote about Old Lost John over a year ago. Since that time he’s released his 2007 release The Ghost Of Calder Mountain, which you can buy from CD Baby here. In the meantime Old Lost john has put up a beautiful new song. This is a song that J Tillman or Richard Buckner would have been thrilled to have written/performed.

She Won’t Listen

From The Ghost Of Calder Mountain

The Boy With a Fever