Tag: Stockholm Sweden

With the release of their debut single “Visions of You,” feat. Electric Youth, the up-and-coming Stockholm and Los Angeles-based electronic production and electronic music artist duo ROOM8 — Ezra Reich and Nic Johns — quickly established a reputation for crafting a sound that draws from electro pop, electronic dance music and film soundtracks. Building upon a growing profile, the duo produced, wrote and/or cowrote a series of attention-grabbing singles including Electric Youth‘s “Without You” which was praised by NPR, as well as “No Hard Feelings,” feat. King Deco and “This Place Again,” feat. Polina, which received praise form Neon Gold, Huffington Post, Noisey, Blackbook, Flaunt and elsewhere. “Better Than Music,” a collaboration with acclaimed British electro pop artist Little Boots premiered on Billboard.

Now, as you may recall, this year has been an incredibly busy and productive year for the duo: they produced the score for the forthcoming motion picture Cuck and their latest album Transduction is slated for an October 11, 2019 release. Earlier this year, I wrote about the atmospheric and slow-burning “Only You.” Transduction‘s latest single is the shimmering and nostalgic “Jasmine Nights.” Centered around pulsating mini-moog basslines, shimmering synths and Jesika Miller’s delicate vocals and a soaring hook, the uptempo song manages to be cinematic while nodding at Stevie Nicks’Stand Back” — but at its core is an expression of devotion to a loved one in there time of need.

“‘Jasmine Night,’ was written at a time when a family member was battling a serious illness. Sometimes in Los Angeles, while you sit out at night, there is an incredible scent of jasmine that drifts through the air and canyons,” the duo explains.

 

 

 

 

 

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New Video: Up-and-Coming Swedish-born Singer Songwriter BERG Releases Haunting Visuals for Shimmering and Brooding “What If”

Born in Stockholm to a Swedish father and American mother, the London-based Swedish-American singer/songwriterAlexandra Berglöf, a.k.a BERG grew up on a houseboat on the Swedish island of Djurgården. When Berglöf turned five, she began intensive piano lessons under the strict supervision of a Romanian concert pianist. And by the time she was 13, Berglöf was performing all over Stockholm. While studying to join a piano conservatory, she was simultaneously scouted by pop producers for her vocals; however, after a family tragedy, Berglöf left Sweden and music behind for some time. 

As an adult,. Berglöf relocated to London, where she used music as both a form of escape and as a coping mechanism. She also met her producer and collaborator The Horrors’ Faris Badwan. And with Badwan’s help Berglöf began to explore the disguises and facades we wear and the various sides of ourselves that we die from ourselves and others. Starting off as internal dialogue, BERG’s lyrics are rooted in honest moments of self-reflection. Through her music she hopes to create a world and soundscape that invites listeners to unlock and face the stories that they’ve buried. 

Berglöf’s BERG debut album Fake Love was released earlier this year, and the album pairs Padwans’ ethereal and dream-like production with Berglöf’s gorgeous vocals. Thematically the album’s material explores our international conversations and the constant battles and crises we have within ourselves. “I tend to only show my light to others. I hide my flaws, mistakes and falls, then beat myself up about it,” Berglöf says in press notes. “Maybe by exposing some of those truths, I can stop others from feeling so alone in their darkness.”

Interestingly, “What If,” BERG’s debut single and the album’s first is a sparsely arranged  , Mazzy Star-like track centered around shimmering guitars, gently padded drums and Berglöf’s gorgeous and ethereal vocals. But at the core of the song is a sense of regret over missed chances from cowardice, stupidity, self-doubt and bad timing — including unspoken love. And in some way the song asks the listener an important question: what if you weren’t bound by fear and could reveal how you really feel, would you be where you are right now? How would your life be different?  

Directed by Connor Carver-Carter, the recently released video follows a couple frozen in time at various points in their history together with each particular scene referencing a painting. Each person within the relationship are suffering through an internal struggle, which impacts themselves and their relationships — and throughout you can see the unease, uncertainty and despair as seen through their lack of contact and communication. 

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

Now, as you may recall, the Stockholm-based psych rock act’s sophomore album Mofeto: Mashine Adamkosh is slated for a fall release through Ouyee Bayou Reckords, and the album’s first single was the motorik groove-driven “Three Shirts.” The album’s second and latest single is “Pearls,” a mind altering and expansive track that’s one part explosive psych rock freak out and one part melodic and jangling guitar pop held together by a sinuous and propulsive groove. And unlike its predecessor, it may arguably be the most lysergic of their growing catalog to date.

 

New Video: Winona Oak Releases Feverish Visuals for Soaring Ballad “Break My Broken Heart”

Earlier this year, I wrote about the up-and-coming, Solleron, Sweden-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and pop artist Winona Oak. And as you may recall, Oak who was born Johanna Ekmark has a rather unique backstory: Growing up  on the small, Swedish island known to Swedes as the Island of the Sun, the up-and-coming Solleron-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and pop artist spent much of her childhood encountering more animals than people. As the story goes, 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: Ekmark began playing violin when she was 5, piano when she was 9, and she wrote poetry and songs at an extremely young age. 

Ekmark eventually moved to Stockholm to pursue a career in music, but a leap of faith that had her 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. And from this 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, Ekmark covered HAIM‘s “Don’t Save Me” for Neon Gold Records’ 10th anniversary compilation, NGX: Ten Years of Neon Gold. She then closed out the year with a co-write and vocal contribution of 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” revealed an ambitious songwriter, who has an uncanny knack for a sultry and infectious hook paired with a sleek, hyper modern production and an achingly bittersweet air. Her latest single “Break My Broken Heart” is a slow-burning and anthemic ballad featuring shimmering and arpeggiated synths, Oak’s yearning vocals and a soaring hook. And while the track sonically manages to recall the atmospherics of JOVM mainstay ACES, it’ll also further cement Oak’s reputation for crafting earnest pop with enormous hooks. “You have to be brave to love someone with all of your heart,” Oak says. “But the biggest risk is not to take any risks at all. As long as we’re breathing, what’s one more scar?”

Directed by Andres Ohman, the recently released video for “Break My Broken Heart” continues their ongoing collaboration, it continues a bit in the vein as its predecessor — cinematically shot but while evoking a feverish dream. 

With the release of their debut single “Visions of You,” feat. Electric Youth, the up-and-coming Stockholm and Los Angeles-based electronic production and electronic music artist duo ROOM8 — Ezra Reich and Nic Johns — quickly established a reputation for crafting a sound that draws from electro pop, electronic dance music and film soundtracks. Building upon a growing profile, the duo produced, wrote and/or cowrote a series of attention-grabbing singles including Electric Youth‘s “Without You” which was praised by NPR, as well as “No Hard Feelings,” feat. King Deco and “This Place Again,” feat. Polina, which received praise form Neon Gold, Huffington Post, Noisey, Blackbook, Flaunt and elsewhere. “Better Than Music,” a collaboration with acclaimed British electro pop artist Little Boots premiered on Billboard.

This year has been an incredibly busy and productive year for the duo. They’ve produced the score for the forthcoming motion picture Cuck — and their latest album, Transduction is slated for an October 11, 2019 release. The album’s latest single is the slow-burning and atmospheric ballad “Only You.” Centered around shimmering synths, trembling beats, the achingly plaintive vocals of The Sound of Arrows and a soaring hook, the song manages to sound as though it could easily be on the soundtrack of at least a dozen different 80s films, while also recalling JOVM mainstays ACES and others. But at its core. the song is a contented sigh — the sort that comes when you’ve discovered that one person, who understands everything about you, when you feel the most out of place and misunderstood.

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. 

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.