Tag archives for swedish music
When it comes to fashion icons, Sweden might be best known for old Hollywood glamour queens like Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman. At the moment though, Sweden’s female music artists are not only making a splash internationally with their edgy music, but also with their strong imagery.
In some ways, Sweden has been producing interesting liaisons between fashion and music for some time. I’m not talking about ABBA, but of female artists such as Neneh Cherry, who was born and grew up in Sweden, or her half-sister Titiyo – both of them have an extensive Azzedine Alaïa collection to prove it. Being part of London’s buffalo scene, Neneh Cherry was also crucial in creating a look that still inspires more than 20 years later, even popularising it with the mega hit Buffalo Stance.
Today the names have changed. Robyn, Fever Ray and Lykke Li are all pop stars who are well loved by the international fashion crowd, and in a way they continue this proud tradition of fiercely independent and original women.
Fever Ray intrigues with her dark and mysterious videos like When I Grow Up or If I Had a Heart, but also bests Lady Gaga with weird gala outfits. Lady Gaga even seems to borrow from her sometimes (original/copy).
Robyn has also been a champion for interesting Swedish independent designers, wearing a Patrik Söderstam jacket on the cover for her eponymously named 2005 album – but she’s no stranger to working with other nationalities either, just have a look at the incredible tube dress by Australian “body architect” Lucy McRae in the video for Indestructible.
Lykke Li, who has just released her album Wounded Rhymes is next in line to be interviewed and featured by the international fashion press – just yesterday I read about her in the new issue of Another Magazine. Her style is more goth than anything else, but there is power in her look, a raw sexuality that is totally on her terms, as seen in the first video from the album, Get Some.
Looking at this I have a feeling Sweden produces unique artists who are not afraid to make strong fashion statements. They all seem to be women. On this day, the International Women’s Day, I can honestly say it is something that makes me proud.
I’ve already talked a bit about Nina Kinert as she played at the ÅÄÖ festival in Paris few weeks ago. But I wanted to get back on her new album as it really worth the trip!
I say trip as Red Leader Dream, her fourth album, is an epic travel.
Far from her folk debut recordings, Nina Kinert has played with layers and dense arrangements to build a soundtrack for a 7th Star Wars movie.
Helped by rising drums and strings, the emotional and mystical power of her voice has never been that sharp.
An album like a journey.
Get on board of the “Red Leader Dream” spaceship!
I never showed these two polaroids of Peter Von Poehl that I’ve made at home in studio lights without any purpose else than personnal studies.
I know Peter since a while. We made numbers of shootings together in 6 years.
He’s from Malmö but lives between Paris, Berlin and Sweden where he records his (and, as a producer, few of other people’s) albums. Mainly at AGM Studios with its owner the musician (in Brainpool) and producer/engineer (of too many bands to name!) Christopher Lundquist. An analogical studio hidden in the Scanian countryside.
Peter writes melodies that only talent can make so obvious. Pure pop songs that stay in your brain.
His two albums, “Going to where the tee trees are” and “Mayday” are made like timeless classicals.
When I listen to his songs a feeling comes to me, something like not being home, in a foreign place, standing by the sea shore, closed eyes, a gentle breeze on the face. All this is surely pretty personnal, like every feeling I guess, but something close to fullness, having a break wherever you are. Probably, simply what people can expect from… good music!
I met the psychedelic and cerebral band Ikons, signed on the great label Service (Jens Lekman, The Embassy, The Whitest Boy Alive,…), last september for the Stockholm issue of the french but itinerant magazine I Heart…
Before their show at Debaser Slussen the 7 band members from Göteborg (6 musicians and a videast) allowed me a tidy shooting. I should say “very tidy” especially when you know that shooting more than 3 buddies together usually turns into a beautiful mess!
Few hours after that, they were on stage performing songs from their first eponymous album.
Songs made of electronic and organic waves. Foggy and raw guitar motifs, rough drums and rounded bass. All this wrapped in sparkling arrangements.
Ikons are pretty promising. And regarding how much pictures come to your mind while listening to their music, their name finds all its meaning!
Like a delicate smile and a soft whisper in your ear.
That’s what Mai’s music makes me think about.
Mai is Johanna Wedin (or the contrary) a friendly Swedish/Parisian (since many years now). And after a first album in 2007, Johanna is back with “Silent seduction”, a pretty good title that fits well to her last and brillant EP.
Five tracks alternating between light and shadow, blue skies and fog. And even, english and french! The last track called “Si Tu Dois Partir” is based on an adaptation from the british band Fairport Convention of the Bob Dylan’s “If You Gotta Go, Go Now”. But before that, have a special listening to the opening song “Our Ghost”. An EP like a pearl of light in a tunnel that makes us wait until the album! Hurry hurry Johanna!
Karolina Komstedt and Johan Angergård are Club 8. With a 15 years old carreer, the duet is an inspired and inspiring band. They released their first album on a Spannish label. Maybe because they always looked up to put a bit of sun in their recordings! Trying to reinvent their music on each record by adding clever influences in their pop such as bossa-nova or caribbean arrangements on the last one.
Listen to the opening track, “Western Hospitality” from their last album “People’s record” and just dance (with the “mentality ill”) !!
While talking about their record, the occasion is good to say few words about their label: Labrador Records. Probably one of the most respected Swedish indie label with bands like The Radio Dept., The Mary Onettes, Pelle Carlberg or Sambassadeur to name a very few. The whole catalogue is a pleasure for ears!
And as every thing of good quality is always related, guess who’s in charge of Labrador records? A certain Johan A.
Back at Le Point Ephémère for the last evening of the festival. Two last but not least concerts!
First with The Concretes who gave us their disco-pop songs on high heels. A compact and efficient set.
Then Pacific! has arrived in their black hoodies supported by Sarah Assbring (El Perro Del Mar) on vocals. A great symbiosis of the band and their singer for a show that take us progressively to climb up their dark blue waves. A great end for these five days of concerts.
Finally, a great second edition of this ÅÄÖ festival! Balanced with newcomers like Prince of Assyria and Anna Von Hausswolff or confirmed talents such as Frida Hyvönen or Jay Jay Johanson. The good times spent on stage was also on the crowd as all the artists were obviously happy to play and to share this pleasure with the Parisian audience. Already finished!? We want more!!
Another freezing night in Paris but inside Le Point Ephémère Yaya Herman Dune, Nina Kinert and Bye Bye Bicycle have made the evening turns everything but cold!
Up in smoke, the Bye Bye Biclycle opened the heaters with their powerfull disco-new wave sounds and the venue was already crowded to listen to the young band.
A second show for Nina Kinert and a second success with a different setlist from the evening before. Adding strenght to the delicate features of her songs.
And then, as a regular in this great venue, Yaya Herman Dune has played his songs from his last solo album like at home. Putting aside his folk guitar for the raw power of electricity and “american classic rock-like” tunes for his always clever, bright and sharp story-telling.
Going to the Swedish institute in Paris is always a pleasure, and not (only) because you can sometimes taste the national Swedish Glögg, but because it’s a place where you can hear much of the greatest Swedish bands.
And that’s where Nina Kinert was playing for the 2nd day of the ÅÄÖ Festival.
The cellist Linnea Olsson opened the evening with three songs and showed us how amazing she is to fill up space and make you travel with just her cello and her wonderfull voice.
Nina Kinert and her musicians in black tunics entered the stage to play most of her new songs from “Red Leader Dream”. A profusion of slender sounds and melodies like coming from another world. A soundtrack like a wonderfull patchwork for your own movie. And her “old” songs lke “I shot my man” or “Combat Lover” find another way of life. A piece of art as a piece of heart.
Go and get her new album and see her on stage!
Like tomorrow at Le Point Ephémère for instance!!