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The Swedes Yet Again

October 16, 2008

What is it about the Swedish that propels them to produce so much music- short winter nights and they have to find something to do? Well if that is the case, I for one wish that the winters could be longer for them. I don’t think I would be able to keep up with their output though since hardly a day goes by without finding another new Swedish group as it is- so much excellent music and in all different genres!

I have been thinking of a trip to Sweden based on the music alone- there just has to be some tangible reason why there are so many quality acts from there. So anyway, from this week alone…

Pallers– not much information on them at all but check them out over at Pitchfork– melodic dance with a great vibe. Not quite The Knife with the darkness that I love but damn good.

Fredrik– another one from Rcrd Lbl where they have a couple of tracks. Their official site is pretty damn cool- a couple of downloads and you can stream their entire album!

The blurb for Fredrik…and for once I agree with it…

Fredrik is a new remarkable music sensation, casually capturing the spirit of classic storybook drama through a unique brand of experimental pop. What started out as a side project to The LK by the two pop visionaries Fredrik and Lindefelt, pretty soon grew to become a six piece featuring members of some of the very finest of the Swedish pop and experimental underground.

Drawing on traditional european folk influences like The Fairport Convention or Bo Hansson, crooning songwriters as well as a host of eclectic references like Moondog, Steve Reich, Jim O’Rourke, Maja Ratke or Barbara Morgenstern, Fredrik forges a sound that is as daring and eclectic as it is homecomingly soothing.

Some of the peaks of the debut album “Na Na Ni” evoke a very primal feeling of being ten years old again, lost in a dark, threatening forest with only a faint, humming voice leading you to safety. But apart from the sheer escapism the music carries a considerable emotional heft. Themes of light versus darkness, good versus evil as well as daylight and seasonal changes are painted in rough but colourful strokes, leaving just enough room for us to fill in the blanks. The lyrics and vocal expression, although sketchy and subdued, also manage to punctuate the episodes of the record with remarkable clarity. This is apparent in the low key narration of Evil and I: “we could analyze what has caused me so much pain, i didn’t mean it” or the slammer “noble blood will nobly die” from the album opener “Black Fur”.

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