Archive for the ‘Swedish Indie Pop’ Category

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

Catchy shoegaze from the Swedish duo Leaving Mornington Crescent

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Elisabeth & Stefan form the duo Leaving Mornington Crescent from Malmö, Sweden. I’m pretty sure that’s them kissing in the photo above. They have a 3″ split cd available on Cloudberry. Their new record is on the Peruvian indie pop label Susy Records. It’s once again a 3″ cdr but this time there are 6 new songs. Buy it now from Susy – it’s a limited edition consisting of 100 numbered copies.

From the sound of “Seventeen” the band ventured into new territory. Unlike the sunny 60′s inspired indie pop of “April Song” from the 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…”.

Seventeen

Bonus track from the Cloudberry 3″ cd:

April Song

A great new song from Gothenburg based troubadour Chuck Morgan

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

I don’t know if there’s a term for the sound of Chuck Morgan. The last post I did on this Gothenberg based troubadour tried to peg him as “romantic indie pop”. His new song, “The Best Of You”, continues that sound but adds even more electronic beeps and blips to the mix. So how about “romantica” for music that mixes emotion with electronics, love with bytes and feelings with 1′s and 0′s?

I don’t know about you but I love this kind of stuff. And Chuck Morgan needs a little love, so please, if you have a music blog, a twitter account, a facebook page, a tumbler, or a myspace please write about Chuck Morgan (feel free to steal my bandwidth and repost the link to his new song “The Best Of You”). Help out a truly “indie” artist and this truly “indie” blog and spread the word.

The Best Of You

SXSW Preview (Swedish Style) – Marching Band

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

I hope there are some marching bands at SXSW. Here in Chicago we have a couple of great bands including Mucca Pazza and Black Bear Ensemble. These guys have the name but not the corresponding sound. Instead Marching Band make a type of lush quiet pop. Makes for a nice listen but not sure if it translates live.

You can see for yourself when they play St. David’s Church on Saturday. More info here.

Make No Plans

P.S. For some reason I don’t seem to mention Swedish music enough. It’s not that I don’t write a ton about Swedish music, it’s just that I don’t actually write the words “Swedish music” enough. I did a Google search and Swedeplease doesn’t turn up on any of the first three pages of results. So to improve my Google ranking for the phrase “Swedish music” I intend to write about even more Swedish music in the months to come. There, that should do it!

P.P.S. I won’t be updating this site til Monday but you can follow me on Twitter here during SXSW.

Leffe P’s irresistible indie pop

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

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I haven’t written about a single Swedish act with any sizeable U.S. following for weeks if not months. You can do a search of Swedesplease and find no mention of Loney Dear, SKWBN, Lykke Li or anything on Labrador for that matter. I think that’s pretty astounding (and it’s taking a toll on my readership). But I got into this to write about lesser known Swedish acts and will continue on that path `til I quit.

Leffe P is one such band creating music that is catchy and fun loving. The band’s bio goes something like this (via Google Translate):

For some peace of the soul a washing machine
For some infidelity is a dishwasher with the cord in
For some people are happy not happy at all special
For some people happiness is a glass cone with chocolate
For some, everything is nothing and nothing is everything
It spins around in the world, is starting to feel cold.

My childhood waiting, no one knows what it is waiting for.

As you can probably tell by now I like my Swedish indie rock to have a horns, accordion, Glockenspiel, piano, odd percussion and singable harmonies. You’ll find all these in the songs of Jeffe P. Especially the song below and the video for “Alla vill ha öl men ingen vill dö”. “Njutanger” is from the band’s new EP Pensionatsbacken. Enjoy. And don’t evah say I was a sellout.

Njutanger

——–
“Alla vill ha öl men ingen vill dö”


“Alla vill ha öl men ingen vill dö” by Leffe P from Nisse Axman on Vimeo.

Niels Nielsen – “It’s All In My Head” (plus a Hari and Aino b-side)

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Here’s a sneak preview of Niels Nielsen’s upcoming single “It’s all In My Head”. Niels does a lofi one man band kinda thing that reminds me a little of Pet Politics.

It’s All In My Head

———
The Stockholm based indie pop duo (with 5 members) of Hari and Aino have a single coming out on Cloudberry in February. Here’s the lovely b-side called “Maple”.

Maple

{MP3} “Teenage Love” Part Deux

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

The other day I went off on aging pop stars attempting to connect with teens through music that is base and exploitative. The post revolved around a song/video by Oh No Miriam! called “Teenage Love”. Well now here’s another song by a teenager entitled “Teenage Love”. The band in question is basically a 16 year old Stockholm kid that goes by the name of Sandstream. This is the first single by the group (the Myspace page went live 4 days ago) and it is a duet with a mysterious female singer.

The song starts out with a robotic introduction but this is not Daft Punk electro trash. Instead it’s melodious electro-pop with its roots in English dance pop of the 80′s and 90′s (Depeche Mode, Cure, Echo and the Bunneymen etc etc). The duet is one of the elements of the song that sets it apart, the other is the earnest vocals of the male lead singer. Let me know what you think of this in the comments…I’m going to leave this post up for a day or two to let this settle in.

Teenage Love

Oh No Miriam!

Monday, January 19th, 2009

It’s funny that teens look to singers years, if not decades, older than them for guidance. How, for instance, has Madonna and her team of aging songwriters anything of relevance to say to young people. Even the American idol teen sensations have a team of managers, agents, and assistants around them at all time stifling any type of normal teenage life.

On the other hand you have Oh no Miriam! documenting the real trials and tribulations of growing up. I wrote about Miriam’s music here first. And now “Teenage Love” now comes with a nice little lofi video.


Teenage Love
(via Letters Have No Arms)

“Teenage Love” video

{MP3} Perfect Indie Pop from The San Marinos

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

The San Marinos wrote the other day with an update and 2 new songs. They’re to be looking for a cheap place to record their lofi songs in a slightly more hifi way. So if you know of a great cheap studio in the Stockholm area give them a jingle on their MySpace page but let me just say I love them them just the way they are. Of course, if they had true production values I could easily see their music coming out in a nice The Beautiful South shape.

Anyway these two songs are perfect twee pop: the lilting vocals, wistful themes, simple beats and romantic ideas all add up to form the ideal indie pop tune.

I’ll give you one of these new songs today. But if you beg and plead in the comments section I’ll add the second one tomorrow.

On Our Way

P.S. Songs:Illinois has had three great days of music with posts about Willie Nelson, Ramblin Jack Elliott and Phil Lee.

First Single from The Bridal Shop’s upcoming mini album “In Fragments” (Plastilina Records, February 2009)

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

When you write 600 or so music blog posts a year it’s sometimes hard to find a way to single one out as something special. Luckily I have another platform or two when I think something is truly deserving. So today’s band/song will both appear on Songs:Illinois and be part of this month’s upcoming M.A.P. post. I can’t say enough good things about the Swedish pop band The Bridal Shop. I think they perfectly meld the sounds of electronic pop of the 80′s with shoegaze of the 90′s and indie from the 00′s. In other words they’re the complete package.

Their Peruvian label (I know that’s kind of a weird locale for a Swedish group) deserves kudos as well for releasing some of the best indie pop this side of Cloudberry. This song is from the band’s Plastilina Records mini album called In Fragments coming out in February of 2009.

The Ideal State (originally released on a Happy Robots’ compilation)

Bonus

Violation
Marine Thing

New music from Christoper Sander and Tam Tapir via Vesper Records

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Besides the very basics (pop songs in Swedish) I’m at a loss to describe these two new songs released by Stockholm based Vesper Records. The record label itself is an enigma to me with a hodgepodge of styles represented on their roster including singer-songwriter and Swedish reggae. So it’s hard for me to get a handle of these songs for that reason, as well as that both are sung in Swedish. Both songs are soaring pop and both are from the artist’s debut records due out in early 2009.

Neon by Tam Tapir

Caroline by Christopher Sander

Montt Mardie – B-Side to the “Modesty Blaise” single (Ruffa Lane)

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

I’m a big fan of Montt Mardie. But since he’s been signed to the English label Ruffa Lane I haven’t been writing as much about him since the BBC and NME and countless blogs have confirmed what I originally wrote about him years ago. And that is that he is a pop phenomena that could, with the right help, ascend the charts. His new single is called “Modesty Blaise”, but that’s been written about elsewhere so I asked to write about and link to the b-side “Come On Eileen”.

If there’s one thing I know about Montt Mardie (from his music, blog postings, and all around persona) is that he feels things very deeply. In the song “Come On Eileen” he doesn’t so much sing about his troubles as he does moan about them. It’s just this the over the top emotionalism and wearing his feelings on his sleeve that I love about Montt Mardie.


(single cover art)

Come On Eileen

Followup interview with Hajen

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

I hoped that last week’s post of the music of Amanda Bergman (known as Hajen) would stir some interest with other music bloggers on the internet. While there hasn’t been a cascade of coverage some other people were as impressed with her as I was and followed up on my post (a particularly thorough piece here via Scratchy Buckles).

I was so taken with Hajen that I immediately sent her a set of questions I had about her music. Before you read further though check out another of Hajen’s songs; her theme song called “Sharks”:

Sharks

1. I guess first, and it’s probably a question you get or will get a lot. Why the name Hajen? What does it mean?

My name doesn’t mean anything. Perhaps I just wanted to defuse my music with an ugly and childish name. I don’t know. But in some way I guess it reflects my person and the way I subconsciously think of my own music. I mean ugly, stupid, raw, immature, ironic, humorous but at the same time very beautiful, honest, fragile, solemn and above all warm hearted. For me it was clear that I didn’t want to go by my real name, as many other females artist do. I find that boring and very impersonal. I just grabbed something. Hajen means the shark in Swedish. Sharks are great animals.

2. There are some immediate comparisons between your music and some of that from Laleh or Regina Spektor or even Tori Amos. Do you hear that as well? You also list Bob Dylan and Neil Young on your Myspace. How do they influence your piano based songs?

I can see why people make those comparisons. I mean, it all comes from the same roots. But my own references are mainly from Bob Dylan and Chan Marshall, and then everything behind them. I guess my music is, as everybody else’s, a genuine mixture of all music I ever consumed. I see no real reason to define it other than emotionally. I mean, it’s hard to be revolutionary these days. It is what it is.

3. You are playing Hultsfred soon, what do you think that will be like and who do you think you’ll see perform?

Yes, I’ll be playing at Rookie Saturday. Actually I have no idea what it will be like. Hopefully peaceful. I’m gonna stroll around and see every single band, for the sake of good manners. And for fun. I look forward to Johnossi and RamDiDam in particular.

4. Some people who follow Swedish music think of Goteborg as some sort of central spot for indie pop. You live there. Do you feel that way?

Yes, I guess there’s some truth in that. Gothenburg is more raw, rainy and more dilapidated than Stockholm and I guess that makes up good for Indie rock. Stockholm is more beautiful and stiffer and has nothing more than weekend decadence. That’s good for electro pop. Well, no. This is just an assumption. I don’t really know anything about what’s going on in “the Capital of Scandinavia”. But it’s clear that there are lots of musicians in Gothenburg, and the climate is friendly. No backstabbing. People are helping each other out, and by that more music reaches a broader mass.

5. I’m going to be discussing Swedish music in NYC this week. Have you anything to add about the scene in Sweden? Any trends that people might be interested in?

I have few things to add about the Swedish music scene. If anything going on is special for the Swedish scene, it is hard for me to tell. The only thing I know is that my generation is a very dissillusioned one, and that most young people are involved in some kind of creative self-actualization. People have time to worry too much about themselves. It’s one downside of a stable society.

6. I see that you are signed to Knoppar Records. When might you be releasing your first record?

I don’t know when or if I might release my first record. I’m not sure. Maybe I will release an EP this spring.

7. Do you have any other thoughts about your music?

I am filled with doubt considering whether or not I want to put my poor heart into making music for real. For me it’s just a hobby and a way to channel, and I like it best that way. But it is also overwhelming to get any kind of positive response about your work and you feel you want to give something back. Like a cookie. So I probably will release something quite soon. I’m gonna think about it over Christmas.

8. What about the song “Scapegoat”?

This song, “Scapegoat”, is about how stupid one can tend to act if one bear a broken heart. Also how it’s easy to blame the one who had courage.

Absolutely gorgeous piano pop from Hajen (The Shark)(RIYL Regina Spektor, Tori Amos, Laleh)

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Of course the comparisons of Hajen’s music to that of Regina Spektor, Tori Amos, Laleh and nearly any other piano based songstress are apt. And I’m sure those are fair comparisons. But they’re just a jumping off point in this instance. Everyone’s DNA is so slightly different. So, like there are no two identical snowflakes, there are also no two identical singers. On the song “Scapegoat” there is a certain something in the way Hajen’s voice fluctuates and soars, something about her turns of phrase (“put down that shield”) and a certain something special when she growls out her lyrics that separates and elevates her from the pack.

However, it’ll probably be difficult for Hajen to break though all the clutter. She doesn’t have the big, dance beats of Lykke Li (and the incessant remixes, multiple videos and constant barrage of press) or the publicity machine of Robyn or even the big US label push behind someone like Frida Hyvönen. But from her three songs on her MySpace page and especially from her biting and bitter song “Scapegoat” Hajen deserves all the success these other Swedish imports have received.

Hajen is one of the four artists on the extremely promising upstart label called Knoppar.

Hajen will be performing this weekend at the Rookie 08 put on by RockParty in Hultsfred.

Scapegoat

Orphan Songs

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Is the work of one man from Kalmar, Sweden. It’s lovely, reserved, thoughtful pop. The chorus to Americs (“America is lost”) is more accurate than perhaps Orphan Songs will ever know).

There is a new record out on Oct 8. Email orders@popsiclerecordings.com to get your copy.

America

The final installment of the Swedish version of “Hail To The Smiths” week with Twig

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Twig’s debut record on the Peruvian indie pop label Plastina Records is out now. The record is entitled Life After Ridge and combines new songs with songs that have been bouncing around for awhile. This continues and evolves out of the romantic guitar pop sound the band first introduced through homemade cdr’s and then 7″ on Cloudberry.

If you hear any literary references it shouldn’t come as a surprise since the lead singer is a librarian and is surrounded by great books all day long.

Helen Of Troy

“Ciau Ciau Bomb” live at the Stockholm Public Library

More of “Hail To The Smiths” week with Cocoanut Groove

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

I’m going to continue my Swedish “Hail To The Smiths” week with a new song from the London based Swedish artist known as Cocoanut Groove. I know this sounds a bit more like the summer of love somewhere along the California coast but I’m committed to my theme and I’m not turning back. I’m sure if you listen close you can hear a little Moz in this soaring pop.

Cocoanut Groove is Olav Antonsson from the band Everyday Mistakes.

Midsummer’s Dream

Björv The Band (The start of “Hail to The Smiths” week)

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

This may be the start of “Hail to The Smiths” week here on Swedesplease. Bjorv the Band’s song “Many But Lonely” has all the requisite requirements to start the week off (mainly charm, longing, self loathing, etc, etc,). Besides Morrissey and The Smiths, this band lists its influences as The Beatles, Jonathan Richman and The Beach Boys.

Man I like these guys from Göteborg.

Many But Lonely

The Social Services first single an indictment of Sweden

Monday, September 15th, 2008

The Social Services first single off their forthcoming LP was released today via their London based label Stereo Test Kit. It’s an pretty stark indictment of Swedish society. The song is called The Baltic Sea and it compares the Swedish people to that cold barren sea, while at the same time complimenting the country on it’s “furniture and storage solutions”.

I’ve written about “Baltic Sea” before so I also include the album track “The Final Countdown” below. The new record is called It’s Nothing Personal, It’s National Security and is out Oct. 6.

The Baltic Sea

Bonus:

The Final Countdown

The Best (Charmingest) Swedish Song of the Year (plus something new from Pinto, and a remix of Marit Bergman by Monster Bobby)

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Shit! How do you say that in Swedish? Busy, busy, busy, and things are falling through the virtual cracks. Here’s an update with more reader recommendations. Goddamn I think I like this new format.

Erik Hallden has listened to a ton of British pop. I hear so much of Jazz Butcher that it’s uncanny. Erik’s new song “If I Ever Get Married” somehow name drops John Cale, Lou Reed and Harry Bellefonte (somehow rhyming Bellefonte with Del Monte and John Cale with cocktail). I haven’t heard a better indie pop song all year, how `bout you? RIYL Pelle Carlberg, Jonathan Richman, Jens Lekman and/or even The Smiths.

If I Ever Get Married

Lofi early stuff from Erik Hallden

Do The Right Thing
When My Broken Heart Was Modern Art
The Jungle

Barely SFW video of “If I Ever Get Married”

—-

Pinto sent over his new song and it’s a lovely spinoff of “Little Drummer Boy” called “Restless Heart”.

Restless Heart

——

UK artist Monster Bobby sent us his remix of “Out On The Pier” by Marit Bergman. He’ll be appearing in Sweden. Here are the dates:

Landet in Stockholm on the 18th
Nationernas Hus in Linkoping on the 19th
Debaser in Malmo on the 20th

Out On The Piss (Remix)