Tag: Stockholm Sweden

Live Footage: Oslo’s Dark Times Performs “Give” at Tapetown Sessions’ Spot Festival Special

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about Aarhus, Denmark-based recording studio Tapetown Studios and their longtime partnership with Sound of Aarhus. Together, the studio and the website have invited national, regional and internationally recognized touring bands to stop by Tapetown for a live session, which they film and then distribute to all of your favorite social media and streaming sites. During the live series’ history, they’ve invited British indie rockers Ulrika Spacek, Gothenburg, Sweden-based trio Pale Honey, the Bay Area-based JOVM mainstay Tim Cohen and his The Fresh & Onlys, renowned British psych rockers The Telescopes,  Malmo, Sweden-based punk rock act Sista Bossen, Copenhagen, Denmark-based indie rock quartet ONBC, up-and-coming, Los Angeles-based post punk rock act Moaning and Stockholm, Sweden’s Les Big Byrd among a growing list of others.  

Tapetown Studios recently teamed up with Drowned in Sound and the folks at Spot Festival for another series of live sessions in which three internationally touring acts were invited to Tapetown to perform. One of the invited acts was the Oslo, Norway-based trio Dark Times. Comprised of Ann Kristen Traaen (guitar, vocals), Sebastian Rusten (baritone guitar) and Rikke Fjell Jørgensen (drums), the Norwegian act quickly amassed a profile within their hometown’s underground scene for crafting a unique blend of punk, noise rock and fuzzy guitar pop. Since their formation, the band has been praised by the likes of NME and BrooklynVegan for their live shows — and interestingly, they became the first Norwegian act to be profiled in Maximum Rocknroll. 

Building upon a growing profile the act’s 2014 full-length debut Give, which was released through Sheep Chase Records was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy (Spellemannprisen). They also played SXSW back in 2017 and released their sophomore full-length album in 2018. 

The members of the acclaimed Norwegian indie act played a 10 song, 30 minute set — but the recently released video for the sessions is the feral and blistering “Give.” Centered around fuzzy power chords, thunderous drumming and howled vocals, the song will remind some listeners of Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs and classic 90s grunge. Play this one as loud as possible. 

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New Video: Stockholm’s Birthday Girl Releases a Brooding Visual for “I Came to Eat”

Comprised of Merseyside, UK-born twin siblings Martin Baxter (drums) and Fran Baxter (vocals, guitar) along with Lincoln,UK-born James Corden (bass), the up-and-coming Stockholm, Sweden-based indie rock act Birthday Girl can trace its origins back to 2016 when its founding trio relocated to Stockholm. At the time the trio were living in a single room with one folding down bed and were DJ’ing for pocket change when they started the band. Swedish-born and-based Joakim Sandegård joined the band shortly after and the members of the newly constituted quartet began focusing on creating music that combined raw aggression and noise with gentle melodies and harmonies. 

The up-and-coming Stockholm-based band released their debut single “Welcome Home Frank Bastard” through British label Hide and Seek Records in 2017 — and the song, which is about a lonely man, who takes his frustrations out on his pet cat eventually caught the attention of Iggy Pop, who featured the song on his BBC6 Radio show. And as a result of the growing buzz surrounding the band, they started playing shows around the Stockholm area. 

After DJ’ing at a local bar, the members of the and found a lost credit card, which happened to belong to Glasvegas’ lead vocalist James Allan, and upon returning his credit card, they struck up a friendship, which lead to Allan inviting Birthday Girl to open for his band during their 2018 UK tour. Following their UK tour, the members of Birthday Girl opened for The Underground Youth during their Swedish tour before heading to the studio last winter to start working on their full-length debut. In the meantime, the up-and-coming Swedish band’s latest single “I Came Here to Eat” is a mid-tempo track centered around a chugging bass line, atmospheric, swirling blasts of feedback-driven guitar, Fran Baxter’s plaintive falsetto and a soaring hook. And while the song finds the band meshing 90s alt rock — thanks to an alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure — and 80s post-punk, the track possesses a murky and menacing air. Interestingly, the band’s Francis Baxter wrote the song about the feeling of “wanting to completely devour someone to the point of cannibalism.” 

Directed by Sebastian Paez, the recently released video was filmed at Stockholm’s Scalateatern and while emphasizing shadow and dim lighting, the video focuses on the act of performance — both as something incredibly phony and artificial and as an interpretation of human behavior and character. 

I’ve written quite a bit about the acclaimed, Swedish Grammy-winning,  Gothenburg, Sweden-based singer/songwriter Sarah Klang, and as you may recall, with the release of “Sleep,” and “Strangers,” Klang received praise across the blogosphere for crafting heartbreaking and achingly sad material that meshed Americana, country and pop and was frequently compared to  Roy Orbison and Jeff Buckley.

Building upon a growing profile, Klang released her critically applauded full-length debut Love In The Milky Way last year, which she supported with touring across Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the US. Adding to a breakthrough year for her, she also played sold-out shows at Gothenburg Concert Hall and Stockholm’Södra Teatern.

The Gothenburg-based singer/songwriter and JOVM mainstays highly-anticipated, forthcoming sophomore album is slated for release later this year and the album was written and recorded during what was arguably one of the busiest years of her young career. The album’s slow-burning and swooning, Dolly Parton meets Carole King-like first single “Call Me,” was centered around twinkling piano, a shimmering string arrangement and Klang’s achingly tender vocals — and as the Swedish JOVM mainstay explained in press notes, the song was “about the love that only happens once. It might not last for long, but you’ll remember it forever.” The album’s second single, the slow-burning and spectral “Endless Sadness” was centered around shimmering and twangy bursts of steel pedal guitar, twinkling organ and a soaring hook, which made it the perfect setting for what I think is one of the most gorgeous and heartbreakingly saddest voices I’ve come across in recent memory.

The album’s third and latest single “New Day Coming” effortlessly meshes 70s troubadour pop and AM Rock with Dolly Parton-like country as it features an uncannily period specific arrangement consisting of a shimmering stringiest arrangement, twinkling piano, strummed guitar and a soaring hook, and it’s roomy enough for Klang’s aching vocals to express hope that in the fact the most difficult and darkest periods don’t last forever — that a bright new day and a new start are often just over the horizon. While continuing a spectacular run of gorgeous singles, Klang’s latest single may actually be the most hopeful of her growing catalog — while rooted in hard-fought, lived-in experience.

 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Swedish Psych Rock Act Phogg Releases a Surreal and Post Apocalyptic Visual for “Three Shirts”

With the release of last year’s full-length debut Slices, the Stockholm, Sweden-based indie act Phogg quickly emerged into the Swedish psych rock scene with a sound that’s been compared to the likes of Ariel Pink and Unknown Mortal Orchestra — and as a result. they’ve received airplay on Sweden’s P3, and praise from the likes of HYMN, Nordik Simit and Born Music Online among others. 

Building upon a growing national profile, the up-and-coming Swedish psych rock act’s sophomore album Mofeto: Mashine Adamkosh is slated for a fall release through Ouyee Bayou Records. Mofeto: Mashine Adamkosh’s trippy, first single “Three Shirts” is centered around a motorik groove reminiscent of Join the Dots-era TOY, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream and Flamingods’ forthcoming Levitation paired with jangling guitars, blasts of shimmering synths, a rousingly anthemic hook and some blazing guitar solos. Interestingly, the recently released video for “Three Shirts” is a surrealistic romp that owes a debt to 60s and 70s promotional videos, as it features the members the band in a post-apocalyptic quarry. It begins with the lead singer, showing up to an old computer with a cup of coffee, as though he’s going to work. We see the other bandmates riding around on motorcycles; at points his bandmates interrupt the frame or do some other odd thing to disrupt the goings on. There’s no rhyme or reason for anything — and yet it’s trippy and pretty hilarious. 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Swedish Pop Artist Molly Hammar Releases a Sultry Visual for New Banger “Words”

Born Elly Natalia Pettersson Hammar, the up-and-coming, 23 year-old, Stockholm, Sweden-born and-raised pop singer/songwriter Molly Hammar can trace the origins of her music career to when she participated on the eighth season of TV4’s talent show Idol, where she reached the final four. 

In 2015, Hammar participated in the Swedish music competition Melodifestivalen, in which the winning song and performer win their country’s slot in the annual Eurovision contest. Her song “I’ll be Fine” finished sixth in the semi-final and although it didn’t reach the finals, it peaked at #65 on the Swedish Singles Chart and at #6 on the Swedish Download Charts ahead of that year’s winner Andra Chansen.  

Hammar competed in 2016’s Melodifestivalen with “Hunger,” which lost in the second semi-final to Andra Chasen; however, she also co-wrote the Maltese entry in Eurovision 2016 “Walk on Water,” performed by Ira Losco. (Hammar joined Losco as a backing vocalist during that year’s Eurovision.) However, it was her debut EP SEX, which she released while still as a teenager that put her on the national map, garnering attention for bold songwriting and a rebellious pop with a lust for life. At the time, Hammer explained that she wrote the EP because she “wanted to tell my own story, to discuss sex from my perspective and my own experience.” 

Building upon a growing national profile, Hammar went on to perform on the Swedish Grammies; but over the past few years, the young, up-and-coming pop artist has spent the time focusing on writing new material, including “There’s No Place Like Me,” a collaboration with Big Narstie, which is ultimately about when you truly feel yourself. Interestingly, her latest single “Words” will further establish her reputation for crafting bangers, centered around anthemic hooks, earnest songwriting and sleek, club-banging production — in this case, a looped, twinkling piano sample, tweeter and woofer rocking beats. 

“‘Words’ is a song that I’ve been wanting to release ever sine that hot summer’s day in the studio in 2017,” Hammer explains in press notes. “It’s about a very common subject . . . how we very seldom dare to be open and honest with each other and how we sometimes just don’t talk with one another. I hope that this song will make people open up their hearts and open up to each other, too.” 

Directed by Jonathan Wendt and Hamza Sultan, the recently released video is imbued with sensuality, longing and confusion over the direction of a romantic relationship. 

New Video: The Sultry and Cinematic Visuals for Winona Oak’s “He Don’t Love Me”

Born Johanna Ekmark, Winona Oak is an up-and-coming Solleron, Sweden-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and pop artist. Oak has had one of the most unique backstories I’ve come across in some time. Growing up on the small Swedish island known as the Island of the Sun, the Solleron-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and pop artist grew up encountering more animals than people; in fact she grew up as a trained horse acrobat — and because she grew up in a musical home, she was encouraged to pursue creative endeavors as much as possible: she began playing violin when she was 5, piano when she was 9 and she wrote poetry and songs at a very young age.

Ekmark eventually moved to Stockholm to pursue her passion in music; but a leap of faith to attend a Neon Gold Records writing retreat in the Nicaraguan jungle led to her to meet Australian-born and based hit making producer and pop artist What So Not. From this seemingly serendipitous meeting, she went on to co-write “Better” and “Stuck In Orbit,” before stepping out into the spotlight as both the writer and featured artist on the Aussie producer and pop artist’s “Beautiful,” which was released last year.

Adding to a busy 2018, the Solleron-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and pop artist covered HAIM’s “Don’t Save Me” for Neon Gold Records’ 10th anniversary compilation, NGX: Ten Years of Neon Gold. She closed out the year with a co-write and vocal contribution to The Chainsmokers viral hit “Hope,” a track that has amassed over 250 million streams across all digital platforms globally — including over 100 million streams on Spotify. And as a result of a rapidly growing profile, Oak signed to Warner-Chappell Music Publishing and to Neon Gold/Atlantic Records.

Oak’s long-awaited debut single “He Don’t Love Me” is centered by sleek, trap meets electro pop production featuring twinkling and arpeggiated synths and keys, stuttering tweeter and woofer rocking beats, and the Solleron-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and pop artist’s ethereal yet sultry vocals — and while revealing an ambitious songwriter, who can write a sultry and infectious hook, the song has an achingly bittersweet air. “We’re all capable of falling for people who don’t value us, grasping for a leaving hand. But we must understand that we’re just as capable of realizing that our worth does not lay in those heavy hands,” Oak says of her debut single.

Directed by Andreas Öhman, the sultry and recently released video for “He Don’t Love Me” pairs cinematic black and white footage with brief bursts of animation, the use of prisms, gender-bending doppelgängers to create a visual that’s captivating yet imbued with heartache.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written a bit about the acclaimed  Gothenburg, Sweden-based singer/songwriter Sarah Klang. With the release of “Sleep,” and “Strangers,” Klang received praise across the blogosphere for crafting aching and heartbreakingly sad material that some critics compared to the likes of  Roy Orbison and Jeff Buckley — although interestingly enough, the Gothenburg-based singer/songwriter has publicly cited Barbra Streisand and ambient electronica as major influences on her work.

Building upon a growing profile, Klang released her critically applauded full-length debut Love In The Milky Way last year, which she supposed with tours across the US, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Adding to breakthrough year, Klang played a sold-out shows at Gothenburg Concert Hall and Stockholm’Södra Teatern — and she won a Swedish Grammy.

Written and recorded during one of the busiest year’s of Klang’s young career, her forthcoming sophomore full-length album is slated for release later this year. Now, as you may recall, “Call Me,” the album’s slow-burning, Dolly Parton meets Carole King-like first single was centered around twinkling piano, shimmering strings and Klang’s achingly tender vocals — and as Klang explained in press notes, the song was “about the love that only happens once. It might not last for long, but you’ll remember it forever.” And as a result, the song’s narrator expressed a bitter and swooning despair and begrudging acceptance over the loss of her love.

Continuing in a similar vein as its predecessor, the album’s second and latest single “Endless Sadness” is centered around a slow-burning and hauntingly spectral arrangement featuring bursts of steel pedal, twinkling organ and a soaring hook is a perfect setting for one of the most unique and saddest voices in contemporary indie music. And much like its immediate predecessor, the song is infused with a deeply bitter sense of despair and loss.

 

 

Over the past few years I’ve written a bit about acclaimed Stockholm, Sweden-based indie rock act  Honeymilk, and as you may recall the act which was formed as a quartet featuring founding members Marcus Admund (vocals) and Albin Wesley (bass), along with Nikki Nyberg (guitar) and Erik Fritz (drums), could trace their origins to the formation and breakup of an earlier band Urmas Planet, which also featured several members of the band’s initial lineup.

With the release of the Linus Larsson-produced single  “It Might Be,” the band quickly received both praise across the blogosphere and radio airplay on several radio stations including Amazing Radio and Oxford College Radio. However, after “It Might Be,” the members of Honeymilk decided to go the DIY route, recording their critically applauded full-length debut effort Lean on the Sun. After the release of their Brit Pop meets classic psych rock-like “A Scene in Between,” and subsequent releases, the band went through a massive lineup change that resulted in the band becoming a duo featuring co-founder Admund and Nyberg. As a result of the lineup change, the band experienced a radical and perhaps necessary change in sonic direction, as you’d hear on the breezy,  Vampire Weekend-like synth-based single “Time Will Kill You,” which received attention across the blogosphere and amassed over 140,000 streams on Spotify.

Admund and Nyberg released I Want You To Be Very Happy, the highly-anticipated follow up to Lean on the Sun. The album which featured album singles “The Nothing New,” “Time Will Kill You,” and “Trip” managed to receive praise from a number of major media outlets including Clash Magazine, BBC Fresh On The Net and Jajaja Music as well as airplay on Sweden’s P3, Amazing Radio, Germany’s Flux FM, Norway’s NRK P13 and Finland’s YLE Soumi.

Interestingly, the band’s latest single “It’s All In My Hands” was written and recorded during the I Want You To Be Very Happy sessions but wasn’t finished and was subsequently cut from the album. Sonically speaking, the song will further cement the Swedish act’s reputation for crafting material that effortlessly meshes psych rock and Brit pop with rousingly anthemic hooks; but with subtle elements of 70s disco. As the band mentions in press notes, the song is actually one of their first politically charged songs. “We wanted to take ourselves seriously and write about the tiresome right-wing, life-coach cliché that everything is possible just as long as you give everything,” the  members of Honeymilk say in press notes. “Basically leaving them with no other responsibility for people’s lives except cashing their cheques. To take down the cynism a bit we added some disco-feel to it. It’s recorded a couple of years ago in our former studio at Odenplan,  Stockholm, from which we got kicked out threatened to be sued for 100 000 kronor. We never got to release ‘It’s All In My Hands.’ We forgot about [it]. And now – we happened to fall in love with it again.”

 

 

 

 

New Video: Acclaimed Swedish Singer Songwriter Sarah Klang Releases Swooning and Sensual Visuals for “Call Me”

With the release of “Sleep,” and “Strangers,” the Gothenburg, Sweden-based singer/songwriter Sarah Klang began receiving praise across the blogosphere for crafting heartbreakingly sad material that some critics compared favorably to the likes of Roy Orbison and Jeff Buckley, and others — although interestingly enough, Klang has publicly cited Barbra Streisand and ambient electronica as major influences on her work. Building upon a growing national and international profile, Klang released her critically applauded full-length debut Love In The Milky Way last year, which she supported with a tours across the US, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Adding to a breakthrough year, Klang played a sold-out hometown show at the Gothenburg Concert Hall and three sold-out nights at Stockholm’s Södra Teatern — and she nominated for a Swedish Grammy for Alternative Pop Album and P3 Guld Award for Best Live Act.

Slated for a Fall 2019 release, Klang’s forthcoming (and still untitled) sophomore, Kevin Andersson-produced full-length album was written and recorded during an extremely busy year — and the first single from those recording sessions is the slow-burning and heartbreaking single “Call Me.” Centered around an arrangement featuring twinkling piano, a shimmering string section, a soaring hook and Klang’s aching vocals, the song manages to recall both 70s AM rock and Dolly Parton ballads simultaneously, the song as Klang explains in press notes “is about the love that only happens once. It might not last for long, but you’ll remember it forever. ” And as a result, the song’s narrator expresses a swooning despair and bitter acceptance over the loss of her love, mixed with a bit of hope that she’ll know that feeling once again.

The recently released video made by Nadim Elazzeh and Mathilda Adolfsson Näslundis is shot with a hazy, dream-like and old-timey  quality while further emphasizing swooning and sensual Romanticism of the song with Klang looking lost in a nostalgic reverie. 

With the release of “Sleep,” and “Strangers,” the Gothenburg, Sweden-based singer/songwriter Sarah Klang began receiving praise across the blogosphere for crafting heartbreakingly sad material that some critics compared favorably to the likes of Roy Orbison and Jeff Buckley, and others — although interestingly enough, Klang has publicly cited Barbra Streisand and ambient electronica as major influences on her work. Building upon a growing national and international profile, Klang released her critically applauded full-length debut Love In The Milky Way last year, which she supported with a tours across the US, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Adding to a breakthrough year, Klang played a sold-out hometown show at the Gothenburg Concert Hall and three sold-out nights at Stockholm’s Södra Teatern — and she nominated for a Swedish Grammy for Alternative Pop Album and P3 Guld Award for Best Live Act.

Slated for a Fall 2019 release, Klang’s forthcoming (and still untitled) sophomore, Kevin Andersson-produced full-length album was written and recorded during an extremely busy year — and the first single from those recording sessions is the slow-burning and heartbreaking single “Call Me.” Centered around an arrangement featuring twinkling piano, a shimmering string section, a soaring hook and Klang’s aching vocals, the song manages to recall both 70s AM rock and Dolly Parton ballads simultaneously, the song as Klang explains in press notes “is about the love that only happens once. It might not last for long, but you’ll remember it forever. ” And as a result, the song’s narrator expresses a swooning despair and bitter acceptance over the loss of her love, mixed with a bit of hope that she’ll know that feeling once again.