I know it’s early in the day, but I can’t help other than to indulge myself with this sweet tune from Sweden’s Melody Fields. Honestly, everything about this track feels like a seedy early 90s dance track; its got this almost tribal percussive element, bouncing along to these keys as the track swirls with these delicious ups and downs. There are some vocal samples in and out, but they’re more like ghostly whispers or folks grooving on the floor to this mystical world the group have created. This track is available via a new 7″, but it’s also expected on the forthcoming 1991 LP, out later via Coop/Nudie.
The pending release from Fort Not is high on my list of anticipated albums coming our way in July; I’ve loved their approach to songwriting, taking on all sorts of approaches in their interpretation of guitar pop. Their latest single hits me somewhere in the realm of the Clean and Hunx; it has a distinctive vibe that feels supremely haphazard and DIY, but even in that, you can’t deny the joy that hits you when it comes through your speakers. Playful and carefree, with perfect execution and little touches (see 2:20 mark) that elevate the tune. Depressed for Success is going to hit on July 7th via Meritorio Records.
Something purely nostalgic is dripping from the first single from Sweden’s The Parade; it feels like a pop track that would have quietly slid into 90s college radio, only to then be consumed and adored by the masses. Velvety vocals work over synth stabs and electric beats that bob and groove, getting your body slight swinging as you soak in the sunny goodness. It’s the first thing we’re hearing from the band, but it arrives with the sort of sophistication you’d hear on heralded Swedish label, Labrador. Smart and sweet, you’re going to love The Parade.
When we heard the first track from the forthcoming Fort Not LP, you could feel summer approaching in the vibes on “Scum.” Now, with their latest single, it almost feels like the sweltering summer temperatures are surrounding us. There’s still the same sort of off-kilter pop sentimentality, but the mood seems slower, allowing the track to blow across your living room like a gentle breeze from your wall unit AC. You’ll find some garage pop meets psychedelia in here, but mostly feels like hanging your feet into the pond at the edge of the dock. Look for their new LP, Depressed for Success, on Meritorio Records on July 7th.
When we caught up with some of our friends from Sweden during SXSW, they all joined us and we headed over to catch the first set of the festival by Girl Scout; the band smashed it, and we all were bobbing our heads to the huge hooks. Listening to their latest single, you can hear similarities to bands like the Beths, bridging pop rock and bedroom pop to build these huge “monster” jams that are perfect for singalongs. There’s still this wicked tenacity that shines through, letting us know that just because you can hear the hook, doesn’t mean you can’t rock it out really really loud. Turn this up as we all await the band’s forthcoming EP, slated for release in the Fall!
One of the hotbeds of Swedish music is the stable at Rama Lama Records, who today announce the signing of Echo Ladies, along with a fresh single from the Malmo outfit. The darkened texture is set up from the get-go, with this cavernous ambiance and deep rhythmic pulse. I loved the dark-wave feel there, but the hairs on my arm didn’t raise until that guitar started jabbing into the mix, offering up this sort of post-punk texture that evolves into a dreamier world when Matilda Botwid begins to stretch the band’s performance with her voice. I love how the track just closes out emphatically too, pushing this gale-force volume right through your speakers. Looks like they’ll have a new LP before the year’s up, so we’ll keep you posted on that one!
As we’ve likely mentioned 100s of times on ATH, it’s often near impossible to find bands who can create a style and sound completely their own. Well I think I’ve found one today with this stunning new single called “Suffocated” from Gothenberg, Sweden based outfit Wolfschmidt. The driving force behind the song is clearly the next level drum work which interplays beautifully with the shoegaze style of the guitars and hushed vocals. Hopefully this is the only the beginning of great tracks from Wolfschmidt.
During SXSW I was fortunate to catch 7ebra at one of their first shows; the band was a bit frazzled as the set-up was one of those challenging venue moments, but their performance still had this incredible charm that supersedes any nervousness or sound issues. Here you get a video performance with tons of candid footage of the twin sisters, but more importantly, you can hear the captivating sound they’ve created with minimal instrumentation, mostly working with Mellotron and guitar/vocals. Listening, you feel as if there’s much much more to the group, as they’re capable of building this amazing depth by layering the songs and adding harmonies in just the right places. Bird Hour will be released on May 5th via PNK SLM.
When I want to know what is cool in Sweden, I look to labels like PNK SLM and Rama Lama Records. The latter just agreed to work with Malmo artist Talking Flowers, releasing a double single to celebrate the signing. The release is a great way to get introduced to the songwriter Astrid Lagerstedt; it’s got two sides to her songwriting, both which I’m definitely enjoying today. “Storytelling” is a smoky soul number with Astrid scrawling her vocals across this funky mix of electronic sounds and a rolling bit of drum work. “Bedroom Wall” is more of a songwriter’s piece, a light strum working with the power of voice; it’s something you’d likely find on Keeled Scales here in the States. Give it a listen, and let’s celebrate this beautiful partnership.
I sit here hopefully thinking that this new Swedish band of rockers are giving Austin’s Levitation a nice little nod with their band name, American Levitation Co. But, my digression aside, the group are pulling on their JaMC shirts and dropping a stomping bit of fuzzed out rock n’ roll. One listen through and you’ll be greeted by that thumping beat and squall of guitars, all of it tied together by this gooey melodic vocal work that drives home the pop sentiment. I love its familiarity, and am interested in hearing if they can move into making the sound fully their own as they go forward.