Nordic Adventures: Edition #4
As is my habit I'll begin by saying that it's been a great month for Nordic music, which should come as no surprise if you've been reading the past couple of columns. Personally the most exciting news this month was the announcement that the Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson is releasing his third record in June. Matsson is known as The Tallest Man on Earth and There's No Leaving Now will be released on June 11 in the UK and June 12 in the US, via Dead Oceans. So far we haven't been treated with anything from the album, but the first single should hit the internet within a few weeks, and considering the extremely high quality of his previous releases I have no doubt it'll be one of the best records released this year.
For the past two columns I've included something from Niki & The Dove, and that's not about to change as the Swedish pop duo are approaching the release of their debut album Instinct. Instinct is set to be released on May 14 and the duo have kept themselves busy the past month by releasing a new video for their latest single 'Tomorrow', unveiling an album sampler which includes five tracks – two previously unheard ones in 'Somebody' and 'Love To The Test'), recording a session for Swedish radio, as well as releasing the first track from their debut mixtape; 'Hot Summer'. Watch the video for 'Tomorrow' below, it's a good watch and it features Niki & The Dove's Malin Dahlström as an astronaut.
Back in the first installment of this column in January I mentioned Badlands, the new project from Catharina Jaunviksna and Niklas Tjäder, and their excellent debut track 'Never Dry Out'. 'Never Dry Out' is taken from their debut EP Battles Within which was released earlier this month via Temporary Secretary Recordings and it certainly lives up to the promises of 'Never Dry Out'. Battles Within is without a doubt one of the strongest releases among Nordic electronic releases this year. Listen to the full thing below, and head over to their Bandcamp site to get your very own copy.
Besides the aforementioned Battles Within, April saw the release of another excellent electronic EP from Sweden; this one from Östersund's World Tour. The last column included the title cut from the EP, 'Believe', and following its April 10 release on Cascine, the full EP is available for listening. Just imagine taking the best of Swedish indie and Balearic from the past couple of years and mix it all together. What you get it is World Tour's Believe. Excellent stuff, give it a listen below.
In the spirit of showing more than just the electronic pop side of Nordic and Swedish music in this column – plus the fact that their new album is excellent – we've got the quartet Barr from Stockholm and Finspång. Barr released their debut album Skogsbo Is The Place back in 2008 for the follow-up Atlantic Ocean Blues they've moved away from the acid folk influences of the debut to a more country rock inspired sound. To showcase their talents we've got 'The End Of The Road', the opening track of Atlantic Ocean Blues, available for listening below – it's a great little psychedelic country rock number.
To round things up this week we've got two more videos; the first one from Sweden's Norra Kust. Norra Kust translates to 'Northern Coast' and the band comes from the city of Luleå, which just happens to be located on the northern coast of Sweden. The band will release their self-titled debut record on May 9 and so far they've only shared their debut track, the beautiful and hypnotic 'Valley'. We've also got a video from the Danish act Sleep Party People for their single 'Chin', which is taken from their debut record We Were Drifting On A Sad Song. Watch both videos below.
That's it for this month, check back at the end of May for your next monthly dose of Nordic goodness…
As I mentioned last time, May was looking pretty good for Nordic music and it certainly hasn't disappointed – quite the opposite. Again I blame my being Swedish for the lack of non-Swedish music in this column, maybe it should just be re-named Swedish Adventures? Or maybe not. [read more]
For the past month, much of my time (and I assume the time of many other music-interested Scandinavians as well) has been devoted to festivals, and there's been more than a few memorable gigs. A personal highlight for me was during the Way Out West festival in Gothenburg when I had the privilege to see one of the finest Nordic artists right now, Jens Lekman, perform an intimate set in his backyard where he showcased material from his upcoming record I Know What Love Isn't. [read more]