Tag: Umea

 

If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of years, you may know that the Swedish cities of Umea, Sweden’s third (and most Northern) and Malmo, Sweden’s twelfth (and most Southern) have emerged with reputations as being Sweden and Scandinavia’s newest, most exciting creative hotbeds as an increasing number of artists and bands from both cities have started to receive international recognition — including the likes of JOVM mainstays Moonbabies, Cajsa Siik, Frida Selander and YAST and others.  I have to add to that list, Umea, Sweden-bornsinger/songwriter, producer and sound designer Catharina Jaunviksna, who splits time between her home country, Italy and Ireland and who has received attention with her solo recording project Badlands. With the release of 2012’s Battles Within EP and single “Tutu,” Jaunviksna’s Badlands project received attention from the likes of The 405 and Under the Radar for a sound that many of my colleagues have described as possessing elements of trip-hop and experimental pop.

April will mark the release of her forthcoming full-length effort Locus and album’s first single “Echo” reveals yet another change in sonic direction for Jaunviksna, as the single is a dance floor-ready song consisting of layers of staccato synth stabs and layers of cascading and twinkling synths, swirling electronics and an infectious hook paired with Jaunviksna’s ethereal coos bubbling and floating over the mix’s hazy surface, which give the song an eerie and spectral undercurrent.  Thematically and lyrically the song reportedly discusses self-censorship and the inherent dangers self-censorship can entail. As Jaunviksna explained in press notes “Even though the first intentions might be good, it always ends as a witch hunt and nobody daring to speak their mind.” But sonically speaking to my years, the song channels the likes of Depeche Mode, Still Corners and others as the song possess a captivating pull, begging the listener to come up closer.

 

 

 

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Most Americans would be familiar with Stockholm, Sweden‘s capital and largest city; however, over the last decade or so, Umea, Sweden’s third (and most Northern) and Malmo, Sweden’s twelfth (and most Southern)  that have emerged with reputations for being some of Scandinavia’s most exciting creative hotbeds as an increasing number of artists and bands from Umea and Malmo have started to receive international recognition. Some of those acts have been profiled here — including the Malmo, Sweden-based lo-fi rock quintet YAST.

Now if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months, you might recall that I’ve written about the Southern Swedish quintet before. The band can trace its origins to when its founding members Carl Kolbaek-Jensen, Tobias Widman and Marcus Norberg met in the steel town Sandviken in 2007 and started writing and playing music  as a way to escape a dreary life in even drearier environs. By the following year, Jensen, Widman and Norberg relocated to Malmo which has developed a reputation for a growing dream pop and indie rock scene. Some time later, Markus Johansson and Niklas Wennerstrand, who were both members of Aerial were recruited to flesh out the band’s sound.

With the release of their self-titled debut released in 2013, the Swedish quintet started to receive attention both in their native Sweden and internationally, and as a result they’ve opened for renowned psych rock acts including TOYThe DrumsTame ImpalaDIIV,  and they’ve made appearances at several large festivals, along with a UK tour, which suggests that the band’s international profile is growing — and rapidly.

The band’s sophomore album, My Dreams Did Finally Come True was released earlier this year through Adrian Recordings to international attention with the release of the album’s first two singles — in particular, “Together Forever,” a shimmering guitar-based pop song that managed to channel  120 Minutes era alternative rock. Building on the buzz they’ve received from their first two singles, My Dreams Did Finally Come True‘s third single “I Don’t Think She Knows” and its B-side “My Dreams” will further cement the band’s reputation for shimmering and slow-burning shoegaze-leaning guitar pop with anthemic hooks and an earnest, aching heart at its core — all while being remarkably buoyant and ebullient.

 

Over the last couple of years, Umeå, Sweden has developed an internationally recognized reputation as the home of burgeoning indie scene, as the Northern Swedish town is the home of artists such as Casja Siik, Old Man’s Will, RefusedMeshuggah, Tove Stryke, DeporteesLisa Miskovsky, and Frida Selander. And with the release of her first two, critically applauded full-length albums, Selander has been largely considered by many Swedish critics as her country’s closest thing to Patti Smith and PJ Harvey. Granted, those may be incredibly lofty but they also aren’t far off base, as Selander’s sound, as you’d hear on “Like A Cat” and on her latest single “Soon” off her forthcoming album I Hear Sunshine pairs blues-based rock chords, propulsive drumming, incredibly catchy, anthemic looks with Selander’s expressive and sultry vocals. It’s straightforward but in the case of “Soon,” the song possesses bluesy, boozy swagger that perfectly suits Selander’s vocals, which are feel warm and comforting, as though she’s commiserating with you and your pain.

Indeed, much like “Like A Cat,” “Soon” possesses a fearless honesty and emotional honesty that most music these days just doesn’t have — perhaps because the song comes from hard-fought personal experience, life altering mistakes. And thematically speaking, the song says you have to stop struggling against the tide and accept the fact that things happen at their own speed, and in their own way.

New Video: The Classic Rock-Inspired Sound of Umea, Sweden’s Old Man’s Will

Deeply influenced by Deep Purple, Free, Stray Dog and 70s classic rock among others, the Umea, Sweden-based quartet Old Man’s Will, comprised of Benny Åberg (vocals), Klas Holmgren (guitar). Tommy Nilsson (bass) and Gustav Kejving (drums) quickly received attention […]