I’m on the mailing list for Mono, the record shop in Glasgow owned and run by Stephen McRobbie (née Stephen Pastel).  It’s my go-to place for most new music, although I do often buy direct from the singer/band/label if the opportunity is there – it’s all about trying to spread the wealth.

A short time ago, I was attracted by one of the albums highlighted in their weekly round-up of new releases.  I ordered it from Mono as to do attempt to do so from the label, Appetite, which is based in Gothenburg, Sweden, would likely have seen me incur all sorts of shipping and customs charges in this post-Brexit situation that we are trying to get accustomed to.  Let’s just say, based on some of the horror stories I’ve been reading online, I’m highly unlikely to be going direct to any European countries in the foreseeable future.

Here’s how Appetite described the album in question:-

Nice Try, Sunshine! is a compilation of 14 Swedish underground pop hits that should have conquered the heart of every pop fan around the globe, but somehow has fallen into obscurity. The bands on this record were mainly active during the 2000’s and early in the following decade, with some obvious exceptions.

From the very first tones of Days’ lovely “Downhill” (a song that should be the very blueprint for any indie pop song written since), this record takes us to that place that only really beautiful pop music can, whether it is the heart crushing nostalgia of Ring Snuten, the pure indie bliss of Free Loan Investments or Jens Lekman backed by his childhood self

This is our way of showing respects to these little gems of pure pop beauty.

There were only 250 copies of the album pressed up, and not surprisingly it sold out quickly, leading to a further pressing of 100 albums, to be issued later this month but which also, according to the label’s bandcamp page, has sold out already.

But is it any good?

As with nearly all compilations, some tracks stand out a great deal more than others, and there are maybe one or two that I could happily live without, although I’m slowly coming round to them. The whole things clocks-in at a shade over 35 minutes, with half of the tracks being less than 150 seconds in length. Just about all the acts were new to me, and I’ll be on the look-out for a few more releases by some of them, although many of them, certainly according to Discogs, didn’t actually release all that much.

Take Days, for example.  The blurb for the album states that their song, Downhill, is one that should be the very blueprint for any indie pop song written since. For once, the hype is real – it’s a piece of perfect dreamy pop in which a Swede who would, without question, win the worldwide Neil Tennant soundalike contest, delivers something quite magical.

mp3: Days – Downhill

As far as I can tell, Days enjoyed just one release – a combined CD and 7″ single containing seven tracks all told – back in 2008. All I’ve been able to find is that they were from Gothenburg and had four members – Fabian Sahlqvist (vocals and guitars), John Ludvigsson (guitars), Andréas Uppman Nilsson (bass) and Philip Gates (drums).

If Martin, our Swedish Correspondent, or indeed anyone else out there can flesh things out, I’d love to hear from you.


8 thoughts on “NICE TRY, SUNSHINE!

  1. You’re not wrong about the Days/Neil Tennant comparison, JC! Great song and post. I’m intrigued by the some of the band names and song titles. Second-Hand Furniture has surely got to be inspired by The Go-Betweens song, hasn’t it?

  2. From 2007 to 2012 Sweden really was an extremely strong contender for the indie pop crown. I’m sure it still is.

    I’ve never heard of the LP, or Days, but I’m glad to be acquainted.

  3. “a Swede who would, without question, win the worldwide Neil Tennant soundalike contest”

    Al Stewart will be gutted.

  4. I’m afraid JC I have little light to shed. It seems the EP is what it was. A bit googling tells Andréas now works for television, John seems to run his own business in advertising and Fabian is an architect (this is a bit vague if it’s really the same Fabian…). Philip I don’t know, but he appears, as the others, to still live in Gothenburg.

  5. I know about half of those bands / track and its true to say that was a purple patch in Swedish Indiepop, with Labrador records very active around the same time.

    Of the bands on the comp, Jens Lekman is the obvious success story but if i had to recommend one, it would be The Honeydrips and especially the song (Lack of) Love Will Tear Us Apart, which to my ears is Indiepop perfection.

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