Click here to download a zipped file containing all 22 mp3 files and the front and back cover artwork.
1. Magnet: Let It Snow (Minus EP, 2004)
We open the sampler by going back a few years and sampling what is as close to “Christmas cheer” as one might expect to hear from our favourite morose Norwegian, Even Johansen AKA Magnet.
2. Luke Jackson: Come Tomorrow (…And Then Some, 2008)
OK, I’m not Swedish, but everyone else on my new record is. Count ‘em…12 Swedes! And me.
3. Billie The Vision & The Dancers: Someday Somehow (I Used to Wander These Streets, 2008)
Billie are in my bad books for sending me damaged CDs and not responding when I complained. I won’t be stocking their CDs again, so if you’ve ever wanted to buy their CDs, now’s the time! It breaks my heart…I love them, but I’m trying to run a business here dammit
4. Frank Hammersland: Don’t Wanna Bring You Down (So Easily Distracted, 2007)
This might just be my favourite album from Frank…solo, Popium, Pogo Pops or otherwise. It’s THAT good.
5. Tim Christensen: Love Is A Matter Of… (Secrets On Parade, 2000)
I discovered Tim Christensen earlier this year and his first two albums are phenomenal. They’re also REALLY hard to get a hold of, so here are two of his best songs to help you decide if it’s worth the trek to Copenhagen (it is).
6. Moi Caprice: Rising And Falling Points Of Dust (We Had Faces Then, 2008)
A new Moi Caprice album is an event here at Popsicle HQ, and their fourth effort builds on the remarkable foundation they have established since their 2003 debut.
7. Orphan Songs: Epitaphs (Orphan Songs, 2008)
Essentially a solo project for Carl-Otto Johansson who reflects here (amongst other things) on the break-up of his former band Eyedrop by assembling the “Orphan Songs” the break-up left behind.
8. Rhys Marsh And The Autumn Ghost: Can’t Stop The Dreaming (The Fragile State Of Inbetween, 2008)
Pieced together in studios around the world, this Norwegian Brit released the dreamiest slice of progressive pop I’ve heard in ages. Much of it wouldn’t be out of place on the first Duncan Sheik album which is one of my all-time favourites.
9. Artisokka: Seabed (Seabed, 2008)
This Finnish band weave elements of jazz, lounge and pop folk into their delicate songs. Quite otherworldly.
10. Labrador: Can Not Say You’re Out (Caleidoscope Aeroplane, 2008)
Flemming Borby traveled to a studio in Cuba to record his new album and played with a bunch of local musicians there. The results are self-evident…possibly his finest work to date.
11. Vibeke Saugestad: Meant To Be With You (The World Famous Hat Trick, 2008)
Oslo’s first lady of power pop goes indie (with back-up from The Yum Yums) and delivers the bubblegum record of the year.
12. The Charade: Keeping Up Appearances (Keeping Up Appearances, 2008)
The Charade go from strength to strength with this, their third album in as many years.
13. Private Jets: Investigate (Jet Sounds, 2008)
Stockholm’s Private Jets took six years to follow up their debut EP with an album that Beach Boys and Jellyfish fans will love.
14. Carpark North: Human (All Things To All People, 2005)
Another Danish album that’s impossible to find. The video for this single is possibly my favourite of recent times: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTYJgyCZ0nQ
15. Michael Møller: This Little Lady (Every Streetcar’s Got A Name – An Album About Sex And Desire, 2007)
Released last year, this was the debut solo album from the lead singer of Moi Caprice, and it’s a brooding and ambitious song cycle on the nature of love and sex which clearly worships at the altar of Leonard Cohen. Great stuff.
16. Annabella: Rogue Waves (Say Goodnight, 2008)
One of Popsicle’s few concessions to non-Scandinavian artists, this Texan husband and wife duo might just have produced their masterpiece.
17. Jay-Jay Johanson: She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (The Long Term Physical Effects Are Not Yet Known, 2007)
Sweden’s finest trip-hop crooner bounces back from 2005’s lackluster “Rush” with his finest effort since “Tattoo”.
18. Tim Christensen: Surfing The Surface (Honeyburst, 2003)
Here’s another track from Tim Christensen. Denmark’s answer to Jeff Buckley? He just might be.
19. Orphan Songs: America (Orphan Songs, 2008)
I love this album so much I decided to feature it twice.
20. Luke Jackson: A Little Voice (…And Then Some, 2008)
I thought it only right to showcase the flipside of my new album with a ballad. Strings arranged and conducted by Robert Kirby (Nick Drake, Elvis Costello, John Cale etc.)
21. Twin Piloda: Not Invented (Brother Jona, 2009)
The third album from Sweden’s Måns Wieslander is a sublime collection of pop songs, realized by producer Ola Frick of the Moonbabies. Not available yet, this is a teaser for the release next year.
22. Vibeke Saugestad: Christmas Is Calling Me Home (From All Of Me Christmas EP, 2008)
A beautiful cut from Vibeke’s new Christmas EP to round out the sampler. Killer.