It seems the world can't get enough of Swedish music — and of course we want to give you more. So, enjoy a selection of music videos from some of the best Swedish indie artists and bands right now.
No need to introduce Jay-Jay Johanson. With seven albums and fifteen years of prolific career behind him he has toured internationally and collaborated with artists such as Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins, the German group Funkstörung and the film director Ilan Cohen. A singer of quirky style, delicate voice and melancholic lyrics, Johanson’s often sensual music oscillates between jazz, trip hop, electronic and experimental.
Anna Järvinen started her solo career back in 2007. Of Finnish origins she uses her angelic voice to sing elegant lyrics to delicate melodies in Swedish. Her two albums Jag fick feeling (I got a feeling) and, more recently, Man var bland molnen (One Was Among the Clouds) had significant successes with both public and critics alike in Sweden. The producer of her work is Gustav Ejstes, the man behind the psychedelic group Dungen. The result is a mixture of orchestral chamber pop and ballad tinged with piano and rock guitar — a crystal clear voice soaring over psych/folk/rock music.
Prince of Assyria
With his first album Missing Note, Prince of Assyria has revealed a pure jewel, a bitter-sweet album filled with intensely dark songs, twinkling in the half-light. Beneath the Prince’s costume hides the deep voice and talented songwriting of Ninos Dankha. Born in Baghdad and raised in Sweden, Prince of Assyria draws his inspiration as much from Western music (Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Nick Drake…) as from the oriental narrative culture.
Nina Kinert released her album Red Leader Dream in November 2010. In her own words, this album is an audio script for a seventh Star Wars saga, a possible sequel to “Episode VI Return of the Jedi,” which takes place on the desert planet of Tatooine. The result is synthesized, atmospheric and rhythm-driven dream-pop, reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins, Enya and Stevie Nicks.
Bye Bye Bicycle
The first album from Bye Bye Bicycle gives us an elegant pop accented with catchy disco beats. Conceived in the depths of a tiny Swedish west coast village, Compass is however focused on the theme of traveling, each song suggesting a new destination — 10 tracks, 10 places, 10 emotions. Since their initial attempt 10 years ago, when the youngest member of the group was only 11 years old, the “Little Bicycles” have now become ambitious and perfectionist, creating a real suspense surrounding their long-awaited first album.
A dandy of sensual tones, Nicolai Dunger is also a prolific artist with no less than 16 albums to his name. His latest album, Play, released at the beginning of 2010, is considered to be his most accomplished so far. Originally cast from the mold of American folk singer/songwriters and following in the footsteps of Ray LaMontagne and Ryan Adams, this multi-talented man has since varied his collaborations — from jazz trios to string quartets or even projects with rock tycoons of the caliber of Mercury Rev and Calexico.
Frida Hyvönen has kept a low profile after the tour that followed her 2008 album Silence is Wild. Highly acclaimed by the public and press, her music hovers somewhere between melodramatic sensitivity and provocative delicacy. Her compositions echo those of Carole King or even Anthony and the Johnsons. In her lyrics, Hyvönen mixes elements of fiction and autobiographical facts, sophisticated language and crude expressions.
Anna von Hausswolff
The strong undercurrents of Anna von Hausswolff’s pop music have already seduced the Swedish press. Since the release of her first album Singing from the Grave, the young Swede has kept receiving glowing accolades. Her voice — compared with the voices of Kate Bush and PJ Harvey — is particularly remarkable for its husky and ethereal qualities. Fredrik Strage, music critic at Sweden’s main daily, Dagens Nyheter, has said that her music can be compared with alarming lullabies that transcends our very souls.
The Concretes makes a sensational return with a profoundly subtle album of indie/pop rhythm. Since their early days in 1995, the group has earned the reputation of representing the best of Swedish pop, with highly orchestrated melodies carried by the female voices in the group, situating themselves somewhere between The Velvet Underground, Belle & Sebastian and Stereolab. With fewer guitars, more keyboards, some groove and a smattering of percussion, the new album WYWH (Wish You Were Here) is a new lease of life, but most importantly is a change of direction towards disco.
Pacific! feat. Sarah Assbring
The first album, Reveries, by Pacific! — Björn Synneby and Daniel Högberg — was a skillful mix of baroque arrangements, refreshing melodies and a Daft Punk-style production. Conceived as a live performance to accompany a modern dance ballet, their new album, Narcissus, draws is inspired by Greek mythology’s moralistic tale of vanity, unrequited love and unspoken truth. Narcissus sees the band progress into a world of delicately drawn scenes in sound, songwriting narrative and moving pop symphony. Sarah Assbring from El Perro del Mar has also joined the project.
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