The amazing vocals of miss Lykke Li layered with the sounds of tropical drums, the chorus of Sweden’s indie rock soul outfit Deportees and heavy harmonies in a new collab tune just revealed on the songstress twitter. “A New Name to Go By” expresses the brilliance of Swedish music right now.
(and with it’s breezy beats how much we long for summer.)
I love Swedish imports. Their meatballs are taste great, their furniture is cheap, and their women are always blonde and gorgeous.
In addition to chocolate and cheap clothing, Sweden excels at music. Now, if you aren’t an obsessive music nerd like me, your knowledge of Swedish music may be limited to:
However, in the last 10 or so year, Swedish music has become more and more culturally relevant in America, particularly in the “indie” scene. The following is a list of 10 Swedish musicians and bands that you may not have heard of but are totally worth your time:
Okay, stay with me here….Team Rockit is a Swedish rap group named after the villains of the Pokemon television show… Still there? Good. Despite the irrational hatred that may already be burning inside you for this band, Team Rockit is fucking awesome. Their debut LP 1988 was released on Sincerely Yours, a Swedish label who seem to put out consistently good artists, may of whom will be featured here. The album was produced by Joakim Benon, one half of label-mates jj. Like their name, the album seems inspired by Japanese pop culture. Opener ‘Ouvertyr” incorporates the mellow string plucks of a Koto with heavy synth shrieks, while closer “1988” takes place on the battlefield during a Samurai showdown.
If you don’t speak Swedish, you’re not going to understand what these guys are saying. However, their delivery is versatile and smooth and comes off as passionate and direct, even if all they’re doing is giving a recipe for chicken-soup. Also, I’m pretty sure at one point they actually start shouting “swag”. Fuck yes.
You may still hate them, but only because of how cool they are. Listen to “Vit Magi” below:
I don’t know much about Rebecca and Fiona, except that they make awesome poppy dance music and reinforce my theory that all Swedes are hot. Their album I Love You Man came out late last year, and I can safely say that each song could be a radio hit, none more so than “Bullets”. If you like that song, you’ll be happy with the album.
You may not know her name, but you probably know her voice. Remember the 2006 hit “Young Folks” by Peter, Bjorn, and John? No? Okay, how about “that whistling song”?
Well, the girl featured in that tune was none other than Ms. Bergsman. But that’s not her only claim to fame. She was also the lead singer of Swedish indie group The Concretes, and currently fronts a solo project called Taken By Trees. Her last album, 2009’s East of Eden was recorded in Pakistan and features Noah Lennox of Animal Collective doing backing vocals on the beautiful “Anna”, as well of a cover of AC’s “My Girls”, appropriately changed to “My Boys”.
Listen to “Anna” below:
Yes, I know, Lykke Li isn’t exactly “unknown.” But surprisingly, despite her music being featured in movie trailers and on MTV, Li is still fairly unknown, which is a shame because she’s goddamn amazing.
Seriously, her music is great and her voice topnotch. Whether she’s shaking the very bedrock under your feet with “I Follow Rivers”, or barely delivering an audible whisper on “I Know Places”, Lykke Li is able to hold her own with the likes of Feist and even Adele.
I took the above photo at the Korallreven show in DC. I was originally hesitant about going because in my experience, bands that sound great on record but rely heavily on laptop sounds usually don’t translate to much live other than a bunch of dudes standing around on stage looking bored while I slowly loose the feeling in my feet.
Luckily, Korallreven used a combination of live instruments and beautiful video projections to enhance their live experience in a very positive way.
Their first LP “An Album By Korallreven” incorporates Baeleric (go look it up) beats with hazy, tender vocals from lead singer Marcus Joon and guest Victoria Bergsmen, and would be the perfect soundtrack for sitting on a desert island drinking margaritas while seagulls coast lazily in the sky. And stuff.
Anyway, check out Sa Sa Samoa:
Check back later for the rest of the list!