In its premise, By:Larm Festival is my ideal festival. The festival, which has been running since 1998, has a simple aim to showcase the best of emerging Scandinavian music (and beyond) in the beautiful city of Oslo; what could be better than that?

While the concept to "represent the highlights of the current Nordic music scene" combined with an international conference certainly isn't unique, the sheer quality of artists and attention to detail is impressive. This year sees over 120 acts perform over the 4 days, ranging from more established, international artists such as Rae Morris, 405 favourite East India Youth and BBC Sound Of nominee Novelist to brand new Nordic acts, whittled from over 1500 acts that apply to play.

Having been to Scandinavia several times and witnessed their music scene first hand, I've always been impressed with the sheer quality of their musical output. Not only in terms of export acts such but purely in terms of the incredibly high standard in which it operates. Not only are the majority of the artists extremely proficient, tight and dedicated, there is a huge amount of emphasis put on thoughtful curation, great sound and interesting venues. Here, for your benefit, is a shortcut to the best artists at By:Larm.


Top 5 Artists to Look Out For at By:Larm

Emilie Nicolas

Although not strictly a new artist, Oslo native Emilie Nicolas is a recent Scandinavian export that has really stood out. Since releasing her spell-binding track Pstereo (a cover of a Norwegian song which she translated to English), Emilie has been consistently releasing perfect angular electronic-tinged pop music. Owing much to the tradition of Scandinavian female pop, Emilie has created a world of infectious melodies with an ethereal backdrop.


Communions

Danish four-piece Communions' brand of slick, scuzzy indie-rock have exploded out of the DIY punk-scene coming out of Copenhagen. What differentiates Communions however is their undeniable raw energy and melodic sensibility.


XOV

It's rare to be hooked by a backstory before you've even heard the music, but that's exactly what happened with Stockholm-based XOV. Escaping shotgun-wielding gangs in his native Iran, Damian Ardestani escaped to Sweden where he began crafting infectious dark-pop songs that have gone on to earn him the respect of Lorde, Max Martin and a worldwide deal with Sony.


Rytmeklubben

It's difficult to pin down exactly what Rytmeklubben are. One part live band, production-team and DJ-crew, Rytmeklubben was born out of running a club night in their native Trondheim, Norway. Following several high profile remixes, they've gone on to release music that is equally accomplished and slick as it is playful - it's just a shame it's impossible to pronounce.


Aurora

Over the past few years, Aurora Aksnes has picked up substantial acclaim in her native Norwegian. Now since signing with Glassnote Records (Chvrches, Mumford and Sons) the 18-year-old's success is surely set to spread internationally. Combining layers of bitter-sweet melodies with her idiosyncratic vocals, Aurora produces music that is as addictive as it is bold.


Other worthy mentions include Hinds, GEoRGia, Slutface, Tor Miller, Kid Astray, Andre Bratten.