Wednesday, August 26, 2009

something in the water

A while ago I mentioned my love for the Swedes, particularly the music they make, and how it could result in an entire post. Here's that post.

It's calmed down a bit recently but my obsession with Swedish bands was pretty furious for a while there, it became difficult to differentiate my actual appreciation of a song or album from my supposed love for it due to its origins.... Anyway, here are some of the bands and people that fuelled the craze.

The Knife was my first Sweden crush. The story of how I found out about them is weird, long winded and a little embarassing, and I don't think has ever been told before so here you go...

I joined MySpace when I was 17 (because of a boyfriend in a hardcore band, but that's another post, or not actually). Anyway, I'd had my account for a little while, it was all very exciting and I had about 5 friends; my by-this-stage-ex boyfriend, and a few random hotties from NYC that I'd SEARCHED for thinking it would actually help me find REAL FRIENDS while alone visiting the Big Apple. One of these hotties, let's call him say, Josh*, was particularly cute in a Lower East Side indie band kind of way -you must know how appealing that kind of cute is to an 18 year old girl - and had an amazing video on his profile which brought me back repeatedly to his page. I actually emailed Josh once, to ask who the video was by, and he graciously responded with 'It's this Swedish band called The Knife'.

Josh and I didn't work out. He took the video off his profile and I discovered facebook, but I will never forget him and the things he tought me. After that I looked them up, made Real Groovy order their album from Denmark, and proceded to subject my friends to Deep Cuts on repeat, along with the bonus DVD.

Mildly interesting fact: the official video for You Take My Breath Away, which was on the bonus DVD and eventually (about a year later) on NZ television, wasn't even the one on I'd seen Josh's profile, which was way better and had skeletons. Apparently that one was the 'second version', and I found it for you on youtube

You can see how it might've attracted me, right?

Peter Bjorn and John (or PB&J as I affectionately call them) fill a lot of my 'favorite song criteria' quite consistently; hand claps, whistling, clever lyrics, collaborations, covers, remixes etc... These guys covered Paul Simon, one of them made the music for Lykke Li, they frequently have moustaches and all of their albums sound different. Sold.

Listen to It don't move me and Nothing to worry about from their newest album Living Thing, The Chills from Writers Block, and Inland Empire from Seaside Rock, as well as all their other songs

I think Studio are my favorites. I am in love with these men and was secretly devastated when my girlfriend recently returned to Wellington from Gothenburg as it dashed all hopes I may have been harbouring of going over there and finding them and getting married.

I discovered these two when they featured in a little story at the back of a magazine that said they were also graphic designers and their album art was nice. They wear Really Hot in the picture so I tried to find them on the internet. Have you ever googled the word Studio? It's almost pointless. Do you know how hard it was to find these pictures for you today? Anyway, they make (in my opinion) amazing and beautiful music, 12 minute instrumentals and shorter songs with lyrics in unnerving little couplets on albums that are only released on vinyl and have very nice covers. They also remixed Kylie Minogue's big single a couple of years ago and I listened to it all Summer. I'm sorry I just can't bring myself to spend the time it could take finding links to their songs, but if you put in the work I promise it'll be worth it. Listen to West Side and Life's a beach! as well as the remix of 2 Hearts.

The Shout Out Louds have a good name, a song remixed by Studio, a girl, pretty cool album art with flags, and a glockenspiel. I haven't looked into it but I wonder how many Swedish bands utilise the glockenspiel?

To me they look like cool fun to hang out with and one of them slightly resembles Jason Schwartzman. Maybe when I marry Studio (yes, both of them), we can hang out with the kids from the SOLs and go for bike rides around Sweden. I get the impression that this is what people in Swedish bands do, they all hang out together and go for bike rides and picnics and to the beach, I hope this isn't too naive of me.

But seriously, the Swedes seem to have a bit in common with the NZs (I really didn't want to say 'kiwis' here) when it comes to musical collaboration and insestuousness.

Okay, next.

Jens Lekman writes the best lyrics. His songs are like stories and he has an accent which means when he sings he kind of says a 'd' sound when there should be a 'th' like 'fader' instead of 'father', it makes me go weak at the knees. He totally gets the appeal of steel drums also. Listen to Into Eternity and all the songs available over here.

I was just looking at his website and found out he lives in Melbourne, hello, perhaps I should have already known this? Anyway it now makes sense that he's collaborated with Melbourne lady singer New Buffalo as I akways wondered how that had occured (and where can I get my hands on ehatever it was they produced?)... I will let you all know if I meet him and if he knows Studio 'cause I see some potential here. Also if he's playing any local gigs as I envisage them being a tonne of FUN. Read about his inaffection for U2 in a bloggish section of his website called 'smalltalk'

please be aware that I live in Melbourne, Australia these days and I can't fly halfway across the world for a slice of cake.

I feel as though I may be running out of steam... I'm tossing up whether to stop this here and continue with the last 3-4 favourites tomorrow or at a later date, or to push on through and make this the longest post ever. Now that I've considered that properly I think it might be best to go with the interlude, so I might just post some pretty pictures in the meantime and finish this up next week

*This could come across as terribly creepy if he ever read this. If that happens, I'm sorry.

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