Posts Tagged ‘The Swedes’

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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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Last.fm And The Addictive Problem Of Similar Artists

August 18, 2008

I have only recently started using Last.fm…as with most things I sign up to stuff then need the nudge to actually start using it.  I have to say it is one of the better sites out there for finding independent/obscure artists and their ‘Similar Artists’ links can sometimes be right on the button- and herein lies the problem!   I have always been one to follow links…which is why I nearly time myself when I go into Imdb since it could easily be a few hours before I come out of that site.

I recently checked out some of the similar artists to the fabulous Ane Brun…a click brought me to Anna Ternheim…one more for Hello Saferide…at which stage I don’t which way I clicked but all of a sudden I was inundated with some other great artists:  Stina Nordenstam, Emiliana Torrini, El Perro Del Mar, Anja Garabek, Frida Hyvönen and Britta Persson.

There was actually a lot more clicking going on since I have only listed the ones I liked…quite a few more that weren’t but you don’t know until you check them out!  (Will post on some of them when I get the time)  Clicking on the Recommended link can also bring the clicking addiction on but thankfully whenever I do click there I have heard of most of the groups so I don’t spend too long there.

The scrobbling feature on LastFm is quite nifty as well since you can set up a plugin to let the site know what you have been playing and display it for all and sundry to see.  Unfortunately this only shows what I have been listening to on the laptop in Windows Media Player and not what I have been streaming from blogs/MySpace/YouTube,  the tunes from the Mp3 player or the computer in work, and lastly the outdated  technology of the hi-fi!  So just to get my RSI screaming at me- you can follow the links of what your friends have been listening to and if you click on the ‘Neighbors’ link you can find other users with similar musical tastes and see what they have been listening to as well!

I do have a few techie quibles with Last.fm- I can never seem to stream the music from the online players for the artist, any emails over whatever specified buffer will auto-reply without you typing anything, and the scrobbler sometimes has problems connecting with the site.

However the whole premise of the site in all its clickified glory is a great tool in finding new music and finding other people with similar tastes.  So get clicking!

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