Tag: Stockholm Sweden

Stockholm-based psych pop/dream pop duo Astral Brain — Einar Ekström (production, composition) an Siri af Buren (vocals, lyrics) — can trace their origins back to the breakup of Ekström’s previous band Le Futur Pompiste. Although the band split up, Ekström continued writing new music with the hopes of eventually teaming up with a new vocalist.

Back in 2015, Ekström was introduced to af Buren, who is also a member of Malmö-based act Testblid!, an act that Ekstrom was a fan of for years. The pair bonded over mutual influences, and they decided to work together: af Buran began writing lyrics and melodies for the arrangements that Ekström had written years before.

Over the past two years, Astral Brain released a couple of singles while working on their forthcoming full-length debut album, The Bewildered Mind, which is slated for an October 15, 2021 release through Shelflife Records. Sonically, the album reportedly find the pair drawing from and blending elements of cinematic soundscapes, jazzy library music, early electronic music, 60s psychedelia and other genres into their own sound.

The album’s first single “Five Thousand Miles” features af Buren’s jazzy delivery ethereally floating over a gorgeous arrangement centered around twinkling keys, a hypnotic motorik groove and a soaring hook. Sonically, “Five Thousand Miles” brings Young Narrator in the Breakers era Pavo Pavo to mind, as it possesses a similar nostalgia-inducing, retro-futuristic sound paired with a careful attention to craft.

New Audio: Stockholm’s Santero Project Releases an Atmospheric New Single

Stefan Kasapovski is a Stockholm-based singer/songwriter and musician — and the creative mastermind behind the emerging solo recording project Santero Projects. Kasapovski’s Santero Projects full-length debut will reportedly feature 11 songs written performed and recorded by Stockholm-based artist in one take, without overdubbing or digital effects to capture the material at its most genuine.

Kasapovski’s latest Santero Projects single, the gorgeous an sparse “Knossos” features the Stockholm-based artist’s sonorous baritone accompanied by atmospheric synths and strummed acoustic guitar. The end result is a song that — to my ears, at least –sounds quite a bit like acclaimed Swedish folk artist Jose Gonzalez.

New Video: Spelljammer Releases a Trippy and Brooding Visual for Bruising “Abyssal Trip”

The members of Stockholm-based doom metal/stoner rock act Spelljammer — currently, Niklas Olsson (vocals, bass), Robert Sorling (guitar) and Jonatan Remsbo (drums) — have developed and honed a unique, attention grabbing sound rooted in their penchant for sludgy, power chord riff-driven dirges with dramatic interludes.

Spelljammer’s third album, 2015’s Ancient of Days was in many ways a rebirth of sorts for the band: it was their first recorded output as at trio — and sonically, the album was a decided move towards a heavier, doom metal-leaning sound. Lyrically, the album was inspired by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson’s epic poem “Aniara,” in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction — and there’s nothing they can do about it. The poem ends with the spaceship’s passengers dying as the ship continues on its journey through the vast nothingness of the solar system. 

Released earlier this year through RidingEasy Records, Spelljammer’s fourth album Abyssal Trip is the first batch of new material from the Swedish doom metal band inver five years, and the album finds the band bridging their early desert rock/stoner rock leanings with their recent penchant for slow-burning, massive, sludgy riffs. Continuing Olsson’s long-held obsession with the vastness of everything, Abyssal Trip derives its name from the perpetually dark, cold, oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the ocean. Interestingly, the album’s six songs embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike the band’s previously released material, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the album a brooding and hypnotic quality. 

“The lyrical themes we address, like the ultimate doom of man, and the search and longing for new and better worlds, are still there,” Olsson says. “The concept of something undiscovered out there in vast emptiness is pretty much always present.” Additionally, the band employed a much different recording process: the trio opted to capture the performances live while holed up in a house in the countryside, just outside of Stockholm. “The songs benefitted from the relaxed environment of being away from everything,” Olsson explains. 

Beginning with some ominous film dialogue discussing blood sacrifices, album title track and latest single “Abyssal Trip” is an unrelenting bruiser of a song, centered around rumbling down-tuned guitars, thunderous drumming and howled vocals. There’s a brief respite from that punishing dynamic through a scorching lead solo before the song ends with an abrupt jerk. The song evokes the vast and unfathomable power of nature — and its ability to crush everything and everything in its path. And as a result, the song seems like a desperate howl into the indifferent and uncaring void. 

The recently released video for “Abyssal Trip” features footage of the band performing the song in front of some trippy, lava lamp-like lighting and equally trippy stock footage of wintry forests, of diver struggling to survive in the ocean and more.

Stockholm-based psych act Phogg released their full-length debut Slices to critical praise across Scandinavia and elsewhere — with critics comparing their sound to the likes of to Ariel Pink and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Building upon a growing profile, the band released their highly-anticipated sophomore album Mofeto: Mashine Adamkosh, an album about “robots that take over the world,” in 2019.

If you were alive and coherent, last year may have been among the most difficult you’ve experienced in recent memory — and much like everyone else, 2020 was difficult for the members of the acclaimed Stockholm psych rock act: Riding high from the critical reception of their sophomore album, the band began the ambitious challenge of workin on two different albums simultaneously with the goal of working on each in parallel — and then releasing them at the same time. Attempting to record two albums at the same time wound up being a terrible decision, with the band experiencing extreme burn-out and fatigue.

During that period, the members of the band went through a deep existential crisis, which resulted in the band having deep-seated philosophical questions. “What does it really mean to be a rock band these days? Does anything matter?” The band writes in a statement. “The legendary days of rock have faded into the ruthless fart of the pandemic era. It’s not fun to make songs about the end times when you are in the middle of it.”

Phogg’s third album, The Sharkness is slated for an April 16, 2021 release through Ouyee Bayou Records, and the album’s material is influenced by the harrowing events and emotions of the pandemic, the band’s existential crises and heartbreak — most of the band’s members have had long-term relationships split up during the same time, as well.

Last year, I wrote about “Corme (Rental Palace),” a meditative instrumental jam with surf rock accents, centered around shimmering guitars, atmospheric and twinkling key and a propulsive rhythm section before turning into a breakneck gallop around the song’s second half. While being one of the few instrumental tracks in their growing catalog, it may be among the most brooding yet heartfelt. The Sharkness‘ fourth and latest single, album title track “Sharkness” is a trippy and deceptively upbeat song featuring looping and shimmering synth arpeggios, a propulsive, motorik-like groove and a guest spot from vocalist Indrielle, who contributes her ethereal vocals.

But as the band explains in press notes, the overall vibe of the song is much darker: “’Sharkness’, the title track of our new album, came to be while recording the album. ‘Sharkness’ means to hold a kind of self-destructive self-preservation drive. To navigate through difficulties and hardships. To push down instincts of worries and prance forward in life. This is to hold Sharkness.”

New Video: Stockholm’s The Connecting Dots Release a Brooding and Cinematic Take on Dream Pop

With the release of their full-length debut Oblivious Beat earlier this month, the emerging and mysterious Stockholm-based dream pop duo The Connecting Dots firmly established a cinematic and hook-driven sound featuring atmospheric synths, shimmering guitars. The album’s latest single “No Rules,” is centered around glistening synth arpeggios, shimmering guitars, achingly tender vocals and an infectious hook. The brooding and uneasily creepy song may remind some readers of JOVM mainstays Still Corners and David Lynch.

The recently released video for “No Rules” is a fittingly surreal and noir-ish fever dream featuring split screens of the duo playing their instruments, gorgeous natural landmarks, dilapidated industrial factories, hypermodern cities and the like flashing before the viewer’s eyes.

New Audio: Spelljammer Releases a Bruising New Single

Stockholm-based doom metal/stoner rock act Spelljammer — currently, Niklas Olsson (vocals, bass), Robert Sorling (guitar) and Jonatan Remsbo (drums) have crafted a unique sound centered around a long-held penchant for massive, sludgy power chord riff-driven dirges with dramatic interludes.

The Swedish doom metal act’s third album, 2015’s Ancient of Days was in many ways a rebirth of sorts for the band: it was their first recorded output as at trio — and sonically, the album was a decided move towards a heavier, doom metal-leaning sound. Lyrically, the album was inspired by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson’s epic poem “Aniara,” in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction — and there’s nothing they can do about it. The poem ends with the spaceship’s passengers dying as the ship continues on its journey through the vast nothingness of the solar system.

Spelljammer’s fourth album is the first batch of new material from the acclaimed Stockholm-based act in over five years, and the album reportedly finds the band bridging their earlier desert rock/stoner rock leanings with their recent, massive, slow-burning sludgy riffs. Continuing Olsson’s long-held obsession with the vastness of everything, Abyssal Trip derives its name from the perpetually dark, cold, oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the ocean. Interestingly, the album’s six songs embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike the band’s previously released material, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the album a hypnotic quality.

The album’s six songs manage to embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike its predecessors, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the proceedings a hypnotic quality. “The lyrical themes we address, like the ultimate doom of man, and the search and longing for new and better worlds, are still there,” Olsson says. “The concept of something undiscovered out there in vast emptiness is pretty much always present.” Additionally, the band employed a much different recording process: the trio opted to capture the performances live while holed up in a house in the countryside, just outside of Stockholm. “The songs benefitted from the relaxed environment of being away from everything,” Olsson explains.

The album’s first single, the expansive “Lake” was seven-and-a-half minutes of alternating sections of crushing and sludgy doom-laden dirge and menacing, galloping trash paired with a shimmering and gorgeous melodic break, and a scorching guitar solo, centered around enormous mosh pit friendly hooks. The song manages to evoke the vastness and power of a brewing storm over an enormous body of water — and the smallness and powerlessness of humanity.

Beginning with some ominous film dialogue discussing blood sacrifices, album title track and latest single “Abyssal Trip” is an unrelenting bruiser of a song, centered around rumbling down-tuned guitars, thunderous drumming and howled vocals. There’s a brief respite from that punishing dynamic through a scorching lead solo before the song ends with an abrupt jerk. The song evokes the vast and unfathomable power of nature — and its ability to crush everything and everything in its path. And as a result, the song seems like a desperate howl into the indifferent and uncaring void.

Abyssal Trip is slated for a February 26, 2021 release through RidingEasy Records.

New Audio: Stockholm’s Spelljammer Releases a Brooding and Forceful Ripper

Stockholm-based doom metal/stoner rock act Spelljammer — currently, Niklas Olsson (vocals, bass), Robert Sorling (guitar) and Jonatan Remsbo (drums) have crafted a unique sound centered around a long-held penchant for massive, sludgy power chord riff-driven dirges with dramatic interludes.

2015’s Ancient of Days was the Stockholm-based act’s third release — and in many ways it was a rebirth of sorts: it was the band’s first recorded output as a trio and sonically the album represented a decided move towards a heavier, doom metal-leaning sound. Lyrically, the album was inspired by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson’s epic poem “Aniara,” in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction — and there’s nothing they can do about it. The poem ends with the spaceship’s passengers dying as the ship continues on its journey through the vast nothingness of the solar system.

Spelljammer’s fourth release, Abyssal Trip is the first bit of new material from the acclaimed Swedish act in over five years, and the album reportedly finds the band bridging their earlier desert rock/stoner rock leanings with their more recent massive, slow-burning sludgy riffs. And while continuing Olsson’s long-held obsession with pondering the vastness of everything, Abyssal Trip derives its name from the perpetually dark, cold, oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the ocean. The album’s six songs manage to embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike its predecessors, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the proceedings a hypnotic quality.

“The lyrical themes we address, like the ultimate doom of man, and the search and longing for new and better worlds, are still there,” Olsson says. “The concept of something undiscovered out there in vast emptiness is pretty much always present.”

Clocking in at a little under 7:30, “Lake,” Abyssal Trip’s expansive first single is centered around alternating sections of crushing, sludgy doom-laden dirge and menacing galloping thrash, a gorgeously shimmering, melodic break and a scorching guitar solo — and it’s all held together by mosh pit friendly hooks. “Lake” manages to find Spelljammer crafting a song that evokes the vastness and and power of a brewing storm over an enormous body of water — and the smallness and powerlessness of humanity.

Abyssal Trip is slated for a February 26, 2021 release through RidingE

New Audio: Stockholm’s DOMKRAFT’s Scorching Live Version of “The Rift” Off Soon-to-Be Released Live Album

DOMKRAFT is a Stockholm-based doom metal trio that can trace their origins to when its members met and bonded over a mutual love of Spacemen 3, Monster Magnet, Sleep and Hawkwind. Drawing from those influences, the trio have crafted a sound and songwriting approach that blends towering dirges, mind-bending psychedelia and trance-inducing minimalism, embodied by the act’s first two albums, released by Magnetic Eye Records — 2016’s full-length debut, The End of Electricity and 2018’s sophomore effort, Flood.

With the release of 2018’s full-length debut Slices, the Stockholm-based psych act Phogg quickly established a buzz-worthy sound that critics across Scandinavia and elsewhere compared to Ariel Pink and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Building upon a growing profile, last year’s sophomore album Mofeto: Mashine Adamkosh, an album about “robots that take over the world,” featured two attention grabbing singles:

  • Three Shirts:” a motorik-groove driven single that to my ears brings TOY‘s Join the Dots and Primal Scream‘s Evil Heat to mind.
  • Pearls:” an expansive and lysergic track that’s one part explosive psych rock freak out ripper and one part melodic and jangling guitar pop held together by a sinuous and propulsive groove.

Much like everyone else, 2020 has been a difficult year for the members of Phogg. Riding high from the critical reception of their sophomore album, the band began the ambitious challenge of working on two different albums simultaneously with the goal of working on each album in parallel — and then releasing them at the same time. But as the old saying goes: “The best laid plans of mice and men go awry.” Recording two different albums at the same time, wound up being a terrible decision with the band experiencing burn out and fatigue. And for a period of time, the band sort of floated around with no direction and no goal, waiting until their creative instincts returned.

During that the period, the band had deep-seated philosophical questions that tied into their own creative process. What does it really mean to be a rock band these days? Does anything even matter? The legendary days of rock have faded into the ruthless fart of the pandemic era. It’s not fun to make songs about the end times when you are in the middle of it.”

Phogg’s forthcoming third album The Sharkness is informed by and influenced by the harrowing events and emotions of the pandemic, an existential crisis and a recent heartbreak. The Sharkness‘ latest single “Corme (Rental Palace)” is a brooding yet meditative instrumental jam centered around shimmering guitars, atmospheric and twinkling keys, a propulsive rhythm section before turning into a gallop towards the song’s last half. Some dexterous guitar work darts in and out of the song’s propulsive rhythm, giving the song a subtle surf rock air. Interestingly, the track may be among the most brooding yet heartfelt tracks of their growing catalog.



Victor Jansåker is an emerging Stockholm-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who writes, records and performs under the moniker Alec Baker. With a background in jazz and a deep and abiding love of hip-hop and pop, Jansåker cites Chet Baker, Tirzah and Chance the Rapper as influences on his sound and approach.

Jansåker spent the past couple of years traveling between Stockholm, London and New York, writing and recording material in bedrooms and studios. And as a result, the material on Jansåker’s full-length Alec Baker debut will evoke a much different, seemingly more careful time in which artists, creatives and everyone else could freely travel from place to place, absorbing the musical and cultural influences they came across during their travels. While circumstances have forced everyone to change, the emerging Swedish artist’s desire to connect and collaborate have remained a large part of his mission.

The emerging Stockholm-based artist’s latest single “Say What’s On Your Mind:” is a breezy pop confection, centered around thumping beats, finger snaps, twinkling synth arpeggios, shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, Jansåker’s plaintive vocals, vocodered baking vocals and an infectious hook. Sonically, the song may bring Stockholm-based JOVM mainstay Summer Heart to mind; but just underneath its exuberance and playfulness, the song features melancholic lyrics that focus on the confusion and heartache of a relationship in an uncertain flux. And as a result, the song has an ironic yet deeply emotional punch if you’ve been in the sort of situation the song describes.

According to Jansåker, the song “is a result of accidents leading us in new directions, and a bit different from my previous releases. It’s an uptempo hopeful song that I had so much fun creating so I wish it can bring some thoughtfulness and joy to the listener.”