Posts Tagged ‘atomic swing’

Luke’s Scandinavian Pop Sampler Volume 10! (December 2009)

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Click here to download a zipped file containing all 20 mp3 files and the front and back cover artwork.

1. The Genuine Fakes: I Don’t Want It (Five Audio Commercials EP, 2009)
Johan Bergqvist’s two solo albums have been long-time favourites here at Popsicle HQ, and his collaborative project The Genuine Fakes is producing some of the best power pop to come out of Sweden in a long time.

2. A-ha: Foot Of The Mountain (Foot Of The Mountain, 2009)
Norway’s favourite sons have announced that the tour to support this album will be their last, and they are to split up late next year. All this on the heels of their best album in almost ten years.

3. A Camp: Stronger Than Jesus (Colonia, 2009)
When Nina Persson isn’t making records with The Cardigans she can be found recording and touring under the A Camp banner with her American husband Nathan Larson (Shudder To Think) and genius Swedish producer/guitarist and Atomic Swing founder Niclas Frisk.

4. Moonbabies: Take Me to the Ballroom (Rufus Remix) (net release, 2009)
This showed up in my inbox a few months back. Japanese DJ Rufus took this sublime slice of Swedish indiepop and made it sound like Life-era Cardigans. A-B it with the original Moonbabies track…it’s amazing what this guy did with this song.

5. Annie: I know Your Girlfriend Hates Me (Don’t Stop, 2009)
Norwegian DJ/pop diva Annie’s 2004 debut Anniemal was a tongue-in-cheek bubblegum pop classic, and after some extensive record label nightmares, the follow-up album “Don’t Stop” came out independently in October.

6. John Me: Run (I Am John, 2009)
The Motorhomes were one of my favourite bands of recent years, so I kept my eye on the various members when the band split up in 2004, and I set up a myspace page for them when their website disappeared ( I certainly wasn’t expecting singer Mattias Edlund to show up this year signed to Epic Records under the moniker John Me. The album doesn’t appear to have made much of a splash, but it has some great tracks on it.

7. The Sounds: No One Sleeps When I’m Awake (Crossing The Rubicon, 2009)
The Sounds weren’t really on my radar prior to this album. I saw their name around but just wasn’t getting into much of the 80’s retro sounds of bands like them and The Killers. Then I heard this single from their last album and it blew me away. This is one of the best choruses I’ve heard in years.

8. The Men: Pack Up Your Memories (Four Good Men and True, 2010)
This just showed up last week. The Men are Southern Swedish maximum R&B purists whose authentic mid-60’s sound is honed in the studio by genius producer Christoffer Lundquist at his all-analogue Aerosol Grey Machine studio. This track is taken from their third album, due for release in February 2010.

9. Envelope: Open Window (Open Roads Lonely Trains, 2008)
I was a big fan of this Danish band’s 2001 indie debut album ‘Stay’ and I stumbled upon the follow-up earlier this year. It turns out it’s pretty much a solo venture by Copenhagen singer/songwriter Christoffer Hoyer, and this latest album has some killer tracks on it, like this one.

10. Buffalo: All I Wanna Do (single, 2009)
Anyone who follows my samplers knows that Norway’s Costar are one of my favourite bands. They were based in London for many years, but a move to Australia has found the band’s frontman and songwriter Jorgen Landhaug re-inventing himself in a couple of different musical guises, including this brand new one, which is quite excellent.

11. Atomic Swing: The Flasher (The Broken Habanas, 2006)
It blows my mind that even in the information age I can still not hear about a new album release by a favourite Swedish pop band. Case in point, I only just found out that Niclas Frisk reunited Atomic Swing three years ago and put out this phenomenal album.

12. Spencer: Screw The World Police (The Big Politician EP, 2006)
Spencer’s Regular De Luxe stands as one of the most underrated Swedish pop albums of the 90’s. I had thought they’d disappeared altogether until earlier this year when they found me on myspace and I was delighted to learn that they hadn’t split up at all. They haven’t exactly been prolific, but there’s a three track EP from three years ago which you can download for free from their website, and this is one of those tracks.

13. Peter and the Penguins: She Took Me By Surprise (How To Choose a Sweetheart, 2009)
Norway’s Peter and the Penguins have been on my radar for some time, so this full-length album release earlier this year was much anticipated. What The Men do for the sounds of London circa 1965, Peter and Co. do for the sounds of Liverpool with their Rickenbacker-fuelled Beatlesesque harmonies.

14. Per Gessle: Doesn’t Make Sense (Live in London – May, 2009)
Here’s a treat. I was in London earlier this year and caught this concert by Roxette dude Per Gessle and his band. This song from Per’s last album Party Crasher was a real highlight, especially with the mellifluous Helena Josefsson of Sandy Mouche on backing vocals and the build at the end which is just magic. The show was being recorded for broadcast on Sirius XM radio, so I stole this snippet from the broadcast for this sampler. There’s plenty more like this on Per’s new ‘Gessle Over Europe’ live album.

15. Dylan Mondegreen: We Cannot Falter (The World Spins On, 2009)
Børge Sildnes’ second album under the name Dylan Mondegreen is as delightful a ray of indiepop sunshine as his 2007 debut While I Walk You Home which holds the record as the best selling CD at my Popsicle Webshop. I dance my nine month old daughter to sleep to this album. She has impeccable taste in music, of course.

16. Citizen K: She Says (Somewhere Up North, 2009)
Citizen K is the vehicle of Swedish singer/songwriter Klas Qvist whose bio amusingly suggests he’s not sure who his father is because his Mother had brief affairs with George Harrison, Brian Jones, Syd Barrett, Keith Moon, Dennis Wilson and Frank Zappa in November 1965. In reality what we have here is a display of phenomenal song-craft which grows on you with each listen.

17. Jay-Jay Johanson: Wonder Wonders (Self-Portrait, 2009)
Jay-Jay Johanson has made some of the most interesting music to come out of Sweden for the last ten years. With his falsetto croon and trip-hop beats, he sounds like no one else. Self-Portrait is his seventh album and by far his darkest and most impenetrable work. Perfect music for grey winter days.

18. Röyksopp featuring Robyn: The Girl And The Robot (Junior, 2009)
‘Junior’ is a return to form after the mildly disappointing 2005 effort ‘The Understanding’ from this Norwegian electronica duo. The album benefits from a bunch of female guest vocalists, including The Knife’s Karin Dreijer Andersson, Lykke Li, the sublime Anneli Drecker and this track featuring the brilliant Robyn.

19. Moi Caprice: The Town & The City (The Past Is A Foreign Country, 2009)
Another of our favourite bands at Popsicle Heights is Denmark’s Moi Caprice. Their newest release is a double CD set in a fold-out digipack. Disc one is entitled ‘All We Fear Is Love’ and features 14 of their best tracks plus two new songs. Disc two is called ‘The Past Is A Foreign Country’ and features newly recorded re-workings of some of their best tracks, all of which are vastly different from the originals. A great introduction to this fascinating band.

20. Kings of Convenience: Me in You (Declaration of Dependence, 2009)
There’s something effortless about this new Kings Of Convenience album. Even on a first listen it’s like greeting an old friend. This Norwegian duo have gone back to basics, dispensing with the drums and returning to the core of their sound…two acoustic guitars and two beautiful voices singing in harmony. Perfection.