Hello all! There’s a slight change in format to the roundup this week as you’ll see when you scroll down but be assured, we’ve still got ten great tracks (not all are Swedish!) for your listening pleasure.
First up this weekend are Swedish trio Digalaux with Bizzare. With a dirty electro ambiance flowing through the track’s veins, it turns that sound on its head with a classy Euro electro vocal sample swopping with the vocodored male vocals to give the song an aura of sophisticated hedonism. Think Daft Punk meeting Kraftwerk in a louche but sophisticated Paris nightclub, then you’ve got Bizzare.
We stay in Sweden next with Comet Tails from Filthy Kitsch. A solo project of Joe Shackleton, he says the music was born in the aftermath of having to leave his previous indie band for health reasons. He slowly began to make music again but found his muse and physical limitations led him in a more electronic direction. The result is a track that fuses the grandeur of Muse with indie and futurepop nuances on a track that is both intimate and expansive. You’ll enjoy this one.
Berlin based Vincent Marlice has been a musician for some years but is only now releasing his debut single. Der Traum is a lovely musical melange – with subtle undercurrents of techno and trance, the dance elements of the track are intertwined with vocals that have a dark, almost rock element to them. With hints of electropop and indie also present in the track’s DNA, Der Traum is a real party piece. Check out his Soundcloud page for downloading and streaming details.
Dull Knife by American musician Badtooth (aka Arden Fisher) successfully subverts trip hop and electronica tropes. With the song opening with ominously pitch-shifted vocals, giving a dark undertow, it eases the tension with fresh and airy female vocals that float on top of a sea of synths and edgy guitars. It has an almost Industrial edge to it at times, moody and slightly dangerous in its shadows and uneasy reverie.
It’s back to Berlin and Sweden again, this time with The Ghost of Helags who we featured early last year. John Alexander Ericson (music) and Teresa Woischiski (vocals) have again excelled on Anthem (We Came From The Stars), with Woischiski’s vocals similarity to Frida Sundemo and Robyn, giving the track a mournful and open sound. The song feels like it is going to break out in to a big room drop, but instead goes the other way, with the stirring strings and soft arrangement keeping things on a very personal note, something that is also down to the touching lyrics.
After leaving The Vaccines in June 2016, drummer and vocalist Pete Robertson built a studio and locked himself away to create new music. The result was that 50 pieces were written and recorded in what he calls a “controlled explosion” of ideas; pieces that ranged, according to Robertson, from “minimalist string quartets to maximalist 80s-style prog pop”. His new project Sunan has distilled all that down and the first release Faster is an impressive debut – indie anthem chords collide with Beach Boys/Hall and Oates style vocals and euphoric synths to create a track that is bound to be a festival favourite!
Chicago-based producer Show Clothes and vocalist Gavriella made quite an impression with their 2016 track Pool Party, and it’s something they’re sure to repeat with new track In My Dreams. The vocals are a delight from start to finish – echoing the velvet tones of 50s torch singers – and the string-laden arrangement lends the track a lushly decadent air as the melody drifts along like a summer afternoon, seductive in its siren call to languid daydreams.
Continuing my Swedish obsession this week, next up is Mona with Did I Lose You? Beautiful and simple, the soft and emotive arrangement allows the vocals to unfold around the listener like a comforting embrace in a time of loss, while the gospel like harmonies lend the track a sense of quiet reassurance. Mona says the track reflects a difficult time: ‘The song is about losing someone very close to you, to mental illness. That person takes distance and isolates herself. The hardest thing is to see someone you love fade away, with being able to do anything about it. You just cannot save them’. The track features on Mona’s Au EP which is currently streaming on Spotify.
Takykardia are a trip-soul quartet from Copenhagen, with a sound that catalyses influences from neo-soul, hip hop, trip hop, and jazz. The result is a sound that lives and breathes an effortless class, with percussion pouring over the classically suffused strings and piano with a hard, almost rock, sensibility. The vocals take on an almost haunting air, lending the track a sultry sense of dissolute awe. It’s one of two tracks from their eponymous EP – the other being Arrhythmia – that appear in the soundtrack for Sundance Festival featured film Holiday.
Though the track may be familiar to some, Simmer Down by the wonderful ionnalee is finally getting a release on her new album EVERYONE AFRAID TO BE FORGOTTEN which is due out Feb 16th. It’s yet another stirring electro anthem from the Swedish singer who never ceases to amaze with her breath-taking approach to affecting electronica. You can find out more about ordering the album and its accompanying film here, and there’s also a Kickstarter to tie in with her upcoming European tour. It’s not to be missed, as anyone has seen her live performances with Röyksopp will attest!
Hope you liked what you heard and read, at this rate it won’t be long before I’m applying for a Swedish passport. Be sure to check out more of the music by the featured artists and show them some love. Until next week then!