CURRENT FAVORITES / SEPTEMBER 2011
MONTHLY SPOTIFY PLAYLIST / SEPTEMBER 2011
[ Get playlist ]
01 Belle & Sebastian – Mary Jo
02 Alex Turner – Glass in the Park
03 Young Dreams – Young Dreams
04 Badly Drawn Boy – A Minor Incident
05 Popterror – Som i en dagdröm
06 Kathleen Edwards – I Can’t Give You Up
07 Taken By Trees – Lost and Found
08 Glenn Campbell – Grow Old With Me
09 Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – O Mary Don’t You Weep
10 The Soundtrack of Our Lives – We’ll Get By
There is something so completely and utterly heartbreaking and heartwarming about so many of Belle & Sebastian’s songs. “Mary Jo” is something of a warm knife slowly pushing through the chest. Just listen to the flute in the intro and tell me you don’t understand… This song is pretty much the only song I need at the moment.
I haven’t gotten around to see “Submarine” yet but having heard Alex Turner’s soundtrack song “Glass in the Park” makes this movie a must-see. I’ve liked a lot of the stuff he did with Arctic Monkeys and The Last Shadow Puppets, but this… This is like a young Paul McCartney borrowing Nick Drake’s guitar and Elliot Smith’s darkness.
I can’t wait to see Young Dreams live again. I saw a show in Stockholm a couple of weeks ago and had emptied way too many bottles prior to the show but they still managed to get through to me. Great show and one of the best Scandinavian newcomers this year.
I’ve seen “About a Boy” too many times by now but never manage to get sick of the soundtrack. I still think it’s the best work Badly Drawn Boy has done to date and this song is his outstanding crown jewel. “And if the chance should happen that I never see you again / Just remember that I’ll always love you”… Sometimes a bearded englishman in a knitted hat with simple songs is the best cure there is.
Popterror is both friends and family and I’ve tried before to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes me love them so much. I think it’s the way they make me feel like I’m listening to a younger brother singing about stuff that only he and I knows about. There’s so many people playing pop music right now, and many singing in Swedish, but this really gets to me on a personal level. The debut album is being recorded as we speak (working title: “Svartåsen”) and – without having heard it yet – I can promise you that this will be a very important record for me in 2012.
A friend and I witnessed a show with Kathleen Edwards at Debaser Slussen in Stockholm a few years ago. I hadn’t heard any of her songs before but we were both completely floored. There she was, just her and a guitar and these songs that takes you by the hand – puts you on on the bedside, makes a cup of tea and just listen. That’s what Kathleen Edwards is all about – songs that listen.
I lost track of The Concretes a long time ago but Victoria Bergsman’s voice still haunts me. Almost like a weak yet fierce force of nature making you carefully listen to each syllable and breathtake pouring down.
I refuse to call Glenn Campbell’s “Grow Old With Me” a guilty pleasure. It might be cheesy as hell but I don’t care. I love every second of it.
You won’t get into a lot of bar fights saying that the Seeger sessions isn’t the best work Springsteen has done. “O Mary Don’t You Weep” is, however, right now the only Bruce melodrama I need.
TSOOL is one of the best rock bands Sweden will ever see, and they - very much like their Norwegian soulmates Motorpsycho – manage to belt out timeless and epic rock classics and with equally fine result stripping it all down to a lifeaffirming two minute gospel. “We’ll get by – from time to time”… Thank you.
CURRENT FAVORITES / AUGUST 2011
01 Jens Stoltenberg (Prime Minister)
02 “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop” (documentary)
03 Bored to Death Season 3 teaser #1 (trailer)
04 Michael Collins “Carrying the Fire” (book)
05 Cold Mailman “Time is of the Essence” (video of the year)
MONTHLY SPOTIFY PLAYLIST / AUGUST 2011
[ Get playlist ]
01 Fred Åkerström – Oslo
02 Asobi Seksu – Thursday
03 Buffalo Tom – She’s Not Your Thing
04 Magnus Ekelund & Stålet + Jakob Hellman – Utan er
05 Kajsa Grytt – Men ge upp!
06 22-Pistepirkko – Sunny Days
07 Grande Roses – Go Home
08 Beezewax – She’d Be a Diamond
09 Birgit Bidder – Psalm From a Heart
10 My Morning Jacket – Movin’ Away
There’s only one song that could have started this list properly and, in days like these, I wonder if anyone has ever sung anything nearly as beautiful as Fred Åkerström in the closing line of his “Oslo”: “Oslo, ta min sång – jag älskar dig!”.
One of the best songs I’ve heard in a long time – Asobi Seksu’s “Thursday” – sounds like Camera Obscura breaking up with The Pains of Being Pure At Heart at the end of a Sofia Coppola movie. I haven’t found the time to listen to any of their albums but if the rest is anywhere close to this single it’s going to be almost sensational.
I’m glad they’re back and in good form. Legendary Buffalo Tom’s second latest album “Three Easy Pieces” was a minor supernova and I’m currently evaluating their latest effort “Skins”. Lead single “She’s Not Your Thing” is just that type of short, jangly, powerchord opted, Alex Chilton-esque song that is the last type of music to ever leave my liking.
I can’t help but being both shaken and moved by Magnus Ekelund & Stålets debut single “Utan er” and I’ve actually had shivers down my back several times when I’ve heard it. It echoes that northern inland harshness of any given cold and drunken october night and is so easy to relate to that I almost feel paranoid listening to it. There are many great lines to choose between but I think my favorite has got to be “Jag är nåjdens slag på trumman” (and I challenge you to Google translate that one). I’m diving into the debut album “Svart Flagg” as soon as I finish typing this.
Seems like Kajsa Grytt is having her big breakthrough amongst the wider audience in Sweden. At least I really hope so. A truly brilliant artist and the album that this song is lifted from – “En kvinna under påverkan” – is definitely going to top a lot of end-of-the-year lists.
While visiting Helsinki for a few hours I felt that I had to buy a domestic album and chose 22-Pistepirkko’s “Lime Green Delorean”. I was very surprised by the captivating fusion of simplicity and weirdness these old gentlemen still manage to upbring. The whole album sounds a bit like Jeff Mangum rocking out with the Muppets in a run-down kindergarden outside Helsinki (just listen to “So Much Snow”). “Sunny Days”, however, is the band at their most straight-forwarded and accessable. I’d say that they’re Finland’s best band. Any objections?
The reason I find Grande Roses brilliant has nothing to do with the fact that they are friends of mine. They manage to pack epic stories into three minute whirlwinds in a way no other Swedish bands does. A furious energy, dirty guitar solos and a howling fuzz bass – J. Mascis would bend over backwards if he heard this song. Their “Hide” EP is due in late August.
I know very little about Swedish soon-to-be-superstar Birgit Bidder more than that a) she’s brilliant onstage b) this song is the best thing I have found this summer. I am putting her debut album “The Life Home” on my must-have list.
I have always hailed Beezewax as the greatest power pop group to ever have emerged from Scandinavia and I’m going to stick to that. However, having considered “Who To Salute” as their best album to date I am willing to say that the prequel “Oh, Tahoe” is equally great, if not even better. Doesn’t matter really, all their albums are fantastic and I could have picked nearly any song off of “Oh, Tahoe” but finally chose this one. That amazing guitar solo at the end comes flying through my head every now and then. Just brilliant.
There are no excuses whatsoever but My Morning Jacket has, up until now, passed me by almost completely unnoticed. I can not understand why since both their latest albums contain so much mind-twisting beauty, and I imagine that this song – “Movin’ Away” – is what it would have sounded like if John Lennon had teamed up with Wilco during “Mind Games”.