FROM OUR SWEDISH CORRESPONDENT

A GUEST POSTING by MARTIN ELLIOT

Sweden (it’s not at all quiet on the Eastern front)

2017 has been a fantastic music year, one of the best in ages – and so also in Sweden. The title of this post as many of you might recognize alludes to the 1978 track by The Stranglers.

Nowadays the world knows better, what we call the Swedish musical wonder invades the hit lists around the globe with songs written and produced by Max Martin and others for artists like Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and many more, but also we have given you Robyn (UK no 1!) and Tove Lo to mention a few. From 2017 I have chosen 6 tracks that have not bothered the hit lists around the world, but should have in my opinion – as a taster of what sounded at the Eastern front this year.

Up Side.

A1. Makthaverskan – Witness. Pop punkers Makthaverskan from Gothenburg released their 3rd album in October, aptly named III (after earlier releases I and II). Luckily they put more energy in their music than album titles… This track is a re-recorded version of an RSD 2015 single, and is trade mark Makthaverskan indie-pop-punk.

A2. Simian Ghost – When You’re Ready. They’ve been around since 2010 and have moved between indie synth pop, Beach Boys and this time ended up in something very joyous, and danceable, indie relying more on guitars than before. I have earlier occasionally seen them around in the blogosphere, this time the album was far to good to ignore.

A3. Jens Lekman – What’s That Perfume That You Wear? (acapella intro version). One of few Swedish artists I’ve seen around at TVV, Jens got praise for his latest release some time ago. I’ve followed Jens since he started out in Gothenburg as Rocky Dennis many years ago. This year’s album sees him more upbeat than the previous album, connected to the 10 year old, fantastic, Night Falls Over Kortedala album. This version of the single was on a postcard shaped flexi included in the limited box set release of Life Will See You Now.

Up All Night Side.

B1. Stockholm Noir (feat Ofelia) – Boy Like A Girl. Semi secret Stockholm Noir has released a bunch of fantastic club tracks this year, this being my absolute favourite. Makes you want to dance all night. Club/Dance music at it’s best!

B2. Göteborgselektronikerna – Andra Lång (Dödselectro remix). Just as Stockholm Noir these rather anonymous guys have their home town in the band name. Göteborgselektronikerna (from Göteborg/Gothenburg) is Sweden’s version of Kraftwerk, last year they released the very Kraftwerkish album Nattrafik (Night Traffic) with all songs about the tram system in Gothenburg. The song Hållplatz (Tram ztop) contains the names of all stops along one of the tram lines, very Kraftwerk. Not only copy cats though, they do add something of their own to it. 2017 saw the release of a more club aimed remix EP including this track. Do check the album!

B3. Magnus Carlson – Fallna Hjältar (Fallen Heroes). Magnus, when not making middle age men cry with his heart broken songs in Weeping Willows, is our Northern Soul warrior. Taken from this year’s Den Långa Vägen Hem (The Long Way Home) this wrench my heart out ballad closes our night out. Time to walk the long snowy streets back home.

From the Eastern front – all the best for 2018!

Trivia 1. The Stranglers even recorded a version in Swedish.
Trivia 2. They wrote the track after having been forced off stage and been chased away by Swedish greasers, after which they cancelled the tour in Sweden…
Trivia 3. Swedish punk rockers The Rude Kids replied with the song “Stranglers (If It’s Quiet Why Don’t You Play).

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Let me tell you about Sweden
Only country where the clouds are interesting
Big brother says it’s the place to go

Too much time to think, too little to do
Too much time to think, too little to do
Too much time, too little to do
‘Cos it’s all quiet on the Eastern front

Fluctuations at a minimum
Hypochondriac tombstone
Sense of humour’s gone astray somewhere

Too much time to think, too little to do
Too much time to think, too little to do
Too much time, too little to do
‘Cos it’s all quiet on the Eastern front

Cumulus nimbus floats by

Fluctuations at a minimum
Hypochondriac tombstone
Big brother says it’s the place to go

It’s all quiet on the Eastern front
(All quiet on the Eastern front)
It’s all quiet on the Eastern front
(All quiet on the Eastern front)
It’s all quiet on the Eastern front
It’s all
Quiet

MARTIN

JC adds……

Trivia 2 : mp3 : The Stranglers – Sweden (All Quiet on the Eastern Front)
Trivia 1 : mp3 : The Stranglers – Sverige (Jag är insnöad pä östfronten)
Trivia 3 : mp3 : The Rude Kids – Stranglers (If It’s Quiet Why Don’t You Play)

 

5 thoughts on “FROM OUR SWEDISH CORRESPONDENT

  1. Thanks for that Martin. Been a fan of the Labrador label and Swedish indie such as the Concretes since the early 00’s. I used to have to travel quite frequently to Lund and Goteburg but none of my Swedish colleagues were aware of the thriving Swedish Indie scene.

  2. Martin, I remember your comment about the Rude Kids in response to the Stranglers ICA of a couple of years ago, and always wondered about it. Good to finally hear it, as well as a bunch of other stellar tunes. Cheers.

  3. JTFL – wow, I don’t even remember posting that comment myself. I need to remember better, not to repeat myself too much… 🙂
    All – thanks for kind comments, I’m glad you enjoyed the EP.
    Cheers.

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