A long overdue post of the music I've been listening to and highly recommend. Artist links will take you to an informational website (MySpace page, artist website, etc). Song links will take you to a video of the song.
There is some really great pop music coming out of Sweden. The varied offspring of ABBA and Roxette keep forming new wondrous variations. I only wish my friends in the States had direct access to some/all of it. So, I'll do my part to enlighten and encourage.
Alphabeat's bouncy Fascination came out in 2008 but holds up well to global inspection even today. John ME has a yearning love song with the requisite reference to drugs, Love is My Drug, on which he duets with Amanda Jenssen (winner of Swedish Idol). At 3:05, it looks a lot like love. Another winner of Swedish Idol is Agnes Carlsson (or just Agnes). Her dancefloor hit, Release Me, is one of the best dance pop songs of 2009. YouTube seems to have pulled the video (since she has exploded on the music charts around the world), but you can watch it on her website. Another one of her songs, On and On, is more Eurodance but still lots of fun. Basic Element is a dance act from the 90's that re-emerged a few years ago. They are putting out blatant eurodance like Touch You Right Now. What's not to like about that? Then, there's Robyn. She's practically Swedish music royalty. Be Mine! is quirky pop. Very Robyn. Speaking of Swedish musical royalty, A Camp, the side group of Cardigan's lead singer, Nina Persson, released Stronger Than Jesus.
In spin class, I've gotten into the zone with some spirited music including Oh Laura with Release Me (Attic Remix) and Swingfly with Singing That Melody. Position 2, please.
Swedish acts are featured prominently in commercials. The Honeythieve's Reminder is used in television ads for Lindex. I love the global ad and the song for Magnum Temptation ice cream bars. Though, the music sounds a bit like the White Stripes. A DJ/music producer out of Stockholm creates sonic snippets for use in Cubus commercials. And I love them. Two ads, for Christmas and Summer, are the best. I think of them as my own personal soundtrack. I walk down the street and this music plays in my head. Try it. Oh, and the model in the commercials is Swedish supermodel, Mini Anden.
I'm a sucker for a good power ballad. I grew up in the 70's and 80's, so guilty as charged. When I heard Takida's Curly Sue, I knew I would like it in spite of myself. Why!?! And then there is my lone Swedish Alternative pick (cause Alphabeat is pop with a capital P), Mando Diao, with their Echo and Bunnymenesque song, Dance With Somebody.
Shena brings back the disco with her NuDisco gold, Can't Stop The Rain. David Guetta pairs up with Kelly Rowland for When Love Takes Over; this is the dance song of the Summer. And, yes, the Black-Eyed Pea's I Got A Feeling will compete with Guetta for song of the Summer. Hed Kandi continues to roll out (and rework) some great dance music including Warren Clark's Bitch is Back which features the aforementioned Shena on vocals. And Ali Payami's Dancin' which features vocals by Missum. She brings on the fun-K. Kraak & Smaak lay on the funk with Squeeze Me Tight. Utada is a Japanese-American who sings mainly pop who has had much more success in Japan. But, Automatic, Pt. II caught my attention. Sleek. Stylish. Tokyo at night. Laurent Wolf, French DJ/producer, has delivered with a followup to No Stress, again featuring Éric Carter: Wash My World. And finally a song from way back in 2007: Let Go by German DJ extraordinaire Paul van Dyk.
Moby's new release, Wait For Me, traverses one amazing sonicscape. Shot in the Back of the Head is sublime. When the weepy guitar comes in at 1:08, it's staggering. Pale Horses harkens back to Play quite nicely. Lily Allen actually wrote a song I like (Lily Allen = not so much). Normally, I think the whole Brits singing with a Brit accent a little much. But, this cheeky homage to a Carpenter's song, F*ck You is quite catchy. Diane Birch has some great pipes. Fortunately for me, she was featured on iTunes where I was exposed to Rise Up.
Seriously, I love Laura Izibor. This woman's voice has me hypnotized. She finally released an album with all the wonderful songs I'd heard before and some new favorites. This includes the quite lovely If Tonight is My Last. It puts a big smile on my face. Another new voice with promise is Angel Taylor with Make Me Believe. True, Yael Naim made her name by having her song, New Soul, included in an Apple commercial. Don't hold that against her. Instead, check out another single, Far Far, and enjoy.
A great voice not to be missed is Chrisette Michele with Blame it on Me.
Tricky! He's back. Puppy Toy. Check it out.
I am not sure if these guys qualify as a guilty pleasure or the end of all things with taste as we know it. Star Pilots competed in Melodifestivalen 2009 with their song Higher. Needless to say they did not make it to Eurovision representing Sweden. We can all breathe a sigh of relief. So, where do I start? How about a contest? See how many song lyric cliches you can identify in this song. It is basically just a string of cliches set to a throbbing dance beat. Not as egregious and 100% eurodancepop is their other song In The Heat of The Night. Enjoy.
Musik i Full Fart Volume I
Musik i Full Fart Volume II
Musik i Full Fart Volume III
Musik i Full Fart Volume IV