Sunday, 20 January 2008

Sweden Saves Music?!

Sweden is one of the most prolific yet overlooked countries in the world when it comes to music, modestly producing some of the best bands around with the likes of The Hives, The Knife, The Sounds, I'm From Barcelona, Taken By Trees, Love Is All, Lo-Fi-Fnk, Shout Out Louds, Mando Diao, Peter Bjorn and John, and The Concretes leading the way in recent years. Here are some that have slipped through the net for most... until now.

pic by Mjukstart

Stockholm songstress Firefox AK otherwise known as Andrea Kellerman is a former member of UK trip-hop collective Anamorphic, she decided to go it alone in 2005 released her debut EP through her own label, having since signed to Razzia Records and released debut album Madame, Madame in 2006.

The follow-up to which, If I Were A Melody is due for Swedish release in February, with no details of an international release just
yet. Winter Rose is the first single to be released. Featuring fellow Swedes and husband Rasmus' band TGR LOU, and also mixed by Matt Didemus of Junior Boys, it a beautifully crafted blend of soulful vocals with delicate synths and Bonde Do Role-esque beats.

After performing alone with nothing but her voice and an iPod in the earliest stages of Firefox AK, she is now joined by Ulrica Brunner (synthesizers), and Andreas Hogby (bass guitar) when performing live, she has toured with previously mentioned TGR LOU and Junior Boys, with more dates soon to be announced.

Firefox AK - White Rose (Assid Remix)
Firefox AK on Razzia Download Store

Q: What's Swedish for Fight Club?
A: Slagsmålsklubben

Formed in 2000, Slagsmålsklubben have released three albums to date; Den svenske disco (2003), Sagan om konungens årsinkomst (2004) and last year's Boss For Leader through EMI.

Essentially a six-man, six analogue synth behemoth, Slagsmålsklubben's style comes across as being heavily influenced by Kraftwerk, and while at times sounding like Happy Hardcore on acid, they can also conjure up all sorts of weird and wonderful rhythms and breakdowns.

About to tour the UK with Late of the Pier of all people, it seems the world is slowly catching on the the wonders of Slagsmålsklubben aka SMK. I've got a sneaking suspicion that these guys are going to steal some of the limelight from their tour mates come February.

Slagsmålsklubben - Sponsored By Destiny
Slagsmålsklubben Webshop

Somewhere between Emily Haines and Emmy the Great is 32 year old Stockholm resident Marit Bergman.

With three successful albums under her belt, Marit is well known and very successful in her home nation, gaining five Swedish Grammis nominations and two awards for "Composer of the Year" and "Female Artist of the Year".

A D.I.Y. success story, the former member of Swedish punk band Candysuck released her debut album 3.00AM Serenades on her own label in 2002, before re-releasing it through Sony BMG in 2003.

She has released two albums since, Baby Dry Your Eye in 2004 and I Think It's a Rainbow in 2006. She recently played at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen in November, with no news on furter releases.

Marit Bergman - No Party (Piano Version)
Buy I Think It's a Rainbow on Amazon


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