First of all, it sounds good and works more or less as-advertised aside from a few small hiccups. The ads are minimally intrusive and I can easily see how nice it would be on a mobile device, though I'm not a gadget guy by any stretch of the imagination. On the other hand, I find it incredibly annoying that I can't search by label. Unless there's something I'm missing? It's also annoying that a Sweden-based music service would be so lacking so much classic Swedish music (examples abound, but Ebba Grön is notably absent for one, along with much of Popsicle's discography), but of course that's the fault of short-sighted major labels, not the service itself. Overall I'd say the experience is good though, despite my complaints. The Bear Quartet's entire catalog is available along with most everything else from every other decent current Swedish indie label. Can't beat that. Will I shell out for the premium service? Eh, doubtful but we'll see.
Firefox AK will be recording her third album with Andreas Matsson (Popsicle, etc.) sitting in the producer's chair. Expect a fall release via .
Somewhat OT, but not entirely: Top Shelf Comix is translating and publishing seven new books of Swedish comics (4 graphic novels + 2 anthologies) for release in the US this spring. Of the titles they are handling, the most relevant to itsatrap readers is probably "Hey princess" by Mats Jonsson which is, of course, named after the Popsicle song and is about indie-minded young folks in the mid 90s. Read more: http://www.topshelfcomix.com/swedish-invasion
Also worth noting that they'll be bringing Mats and many of the other authors over in April for appearances + meet'n'greets in both NYC and Chicago.
Here's the playlist for this week's radio show Sirius XMU featuring special guest Mathias Rask-Andersen from the band Culkin:
01. Culkin - Payperfist
02. TALK 1
03. Him Kerosene - Raceday
04. Park Hotell - Happy love
05. Neil Halstead - Paint a face
06. TALK 2
07. Culkin - Glow
08. Scraps of Tape - Drink forever
09. The Bear Quartet - Northern
10. KVLR - Capitol city child
11. TALK 3
12. Brick - I
13. Blithe - Allegiance
14. Giant Boar - Jessica Hell
15. Suburban Kids with Biblical Names - Marry me
16. Popsicle - Not forever
17. TALK 4
18. Culkin - Insomniac
Reminder: my show airs every week on Sundays and Mondays at 11pm ET on Sirius XMU. That's channel 26 on Sirius, 43 on XM and 831 for DirecTV subscribers.
Finally Annika Norlin has released her second album as Hello Saferide. For a while we almost died of Norlin abstinence, didn't we? But hey, the medicine for this cold season is here. The album consists of 12 songs with a little help from Andreas Mattson (Popsicle) and the beloved Maia Hirasawa, among others. Bed for success? Yeah. Rewind, we should call it 12 collections of short stories straightly based on Norlin's interior "I have trouble sleeping but I don't recall I had while in your womb", track 7, "Parenting never ends". This is a new sound from 2006, with a toss of country, especially audible on "Traveling with HS" and on the top of Saferide's lungs while singing "Sancho Panza", she is lingering while passing on to a rock sound. Something has happened with the maturity of her voice and lyrics, I just have to get used to it. This is a nostalgic, flirty album that's easily sad about the definition sex, memories and love. Highlights are "Overall", "Lund" and "I wonder who is like this one". Even if the previous album "Introducing Hello Saferide" may entice young enthusiasts more with its happier tunes, "More moderns short stories..." overall grows and grows and grows. Annika Norlin, please continue with your creativity.
- Therese Buxfäldt
Here's the playlist for this week's radio show:
01. Lögnhalsmottagningen - Bodybuilder
02. TALK 1
03. Svart - Carl du lever i en dröm
04. Majessic Dreams - Beautiful days
05. Antennas - Lies (Oscar Tillman remix)
06. TALK 2
07. The Sound O.E - Universal tourist
08. Kaipa - Nattdjurstid
09. Murmansk - Pale
10. TALK 3
11. On Volcano - Ride the wolf
12. Markus Krunegård - Samma nätter vänter alla
13. Ondo - Mahavishnu
14. TALK 4
15. Popsicle - Hey princess
16. CMX - Tulikiveä
17. Ström i P2/Håkan Lidbo - Strömavbrott (Boeoes Kaelstigen Etsi remix)
18. TALK 5
19. The Goner - Kill them all save Simon Joyner
20. Cult of Luna - Eternal kingdom
21. Montys Loco - Ages ago
22. TALK 6
23. Mattias Alkberg BD - Allting är drömt
24. Masshysteri - Monoton tid
25. Ljudbilden & Piloten - You know you're doing OK
26. Abduktio - Thermador
27. TALK 7
28. Hebosagil - Big sun
29. Anna Ternheim - To be gone
30. Kusowsky - Tjuvar
31. Fredrik - 1986
32. TALK 8
33. Johan Heltne - 16 Avenue de l'Opera
34. Cortex - Arkham
35. Kleerup - Until we bleed (ft. Lykke Li)
36. TALK 9
37. Coldworker - Citizens of the cyclopean maze
Heads-up: my show is moving to a new time next week! Starting on Sunday, June 8 my show will be on at 11pm Eastern / 8pm Pacific with a repeat on Monday at the exact same time. I'm also paring down to an hour of programming a week, so expect all-killer/no-filler from here on out! Also, seeing as how I'm leaving for Sweden on June 9, this week's coming show will be a Hultsfred Festival special so mark your calenders, update your alarm clocks or do whatever it is you need to do to remind yourself to listen in!
Annika Norlin is currently in the studio with Andreas Mattson (Popsicle, etc.) working on a new Hello Saferide album. A tentative release date has been set for September.
Sweden's Birds on Holiday play sweet indie pop that sounds like Saturday Llooks Good to Me and they also make me think of a latter-day Popsicle (former Swedish indie stalwarts). They've got two lead singers - a man and woman - a combination that I am particularly fond of. It would be nicer with more duets though, instead of just letting them take turns singing songs. It's a neat little album, with some pretty melodies and the songs are surprisingly well-written and performed. The lyrics aren't that special though; in fact, that's where this album falls short. Some of the songs are also a tad repetitive and annoying. Yes, Birds on Holiday could do with more of the better songs, less of the dull ones, and a bit more finesse lyric-wise (there's nothing better than subversive twee, right?). I still think some of these songs are amazing though, so I'd recommend it to lovers of fluffy indie pop (like Belle & Sebastian et al).
- Simon Tagestam
Long-running Swedish indie label A West Side Fabrication has just released a digital-only retrospective comp entitled "Scandinavian indie, now and then from A West Side Fabrication" that helps to exemplify their place in history with bands such as The Bear Quartet, Popsicle, The Wannadies and more. Check it out at Klicktrack: http://www.klicktrack.com/shop/release.jsp?r=57806
Whyte Seeds will be going into the studio in July to record a new album. They say to expect a mix of The Cars and Popsicle along with whatever it is that they sound like.
Besides my own "Reader's companion" CDs there really isn't a better soundtrack to this site than the new "Svensk indie" compilation just released from NONS. Compiled by journalist/promoter/indie guru Terry Ericsson with assistance from Per Helin and Emelie Bååth, this collection is a monstrous 42-tracks plus copious liner notes (på Svensk, naturally). If you don't already have a good majority of these songs in your collection, this is probably the easiest way to get yourself educated. My interview with Terry is still in the works, but I did catch up with both Emelie and Per to ask them about their favorite selections:
Emelie: My favourite song on the compilation is "Hey princess" by Popsicle. It's one of the songs in my life that always makes me glad and it's also a brilliant and perfect floor filler! I actually first heard it on a dance floor, I don't remember which pop club in Sthlm it was, but it could have been Flowered Up or Too Cool for School sometime around -98. I guess I was too young to discover the song when it first was released. To me, back then, Popsicle was all about "Not forever" and "American poet" but the song "Hey princess" simply had a great revival around that time, the dj:s were playing it on clubs and the younger crowd (with me included) discovered the song and I remember that I fell in love with the song at once.
Per: Suredo - "Average cell". That was one of the first Swedish indie tunes that really caught my attention. When I first heard it I remember thinking; what interesting new English band is this (this was at the time when British still was a positive thing musically wise).
But what about all the great songs that were left out? Their picks...
Emelie: I really tried to get Laakso and their song "Long Beach" on the compilation since Laakso is one of my favourite Swedish bands and "Long Beach" one of their greatest songs, but there simply was no room. Unfortunately.
Per: Wow, that¹s many... For me it would probably be any song by Komeda.
Since I figure that trying to decide upon the 'best' Komeda song would be next to impossible, I'm offering up Laakso's "Long Beach" as today's mp3. Why not? Also, if you're in Stockholm, don't forget to check out the release party at Debaser Medis tomorrow October 14. I have no idea who the secret band will be, but I'm sure it'll be good.
Laakso - Long Beach
This week's profile piece is on Andreas Mattsson, a man who I'm sure a lot of you know from his work with legendary Swedish pop act Popsicle, but who is now reinventing himself as a solo artist. Check it: [click here]
There's been a lot of talk about how former Popsicle front man Andreas Mattsson, who after Popsicle's demise has spent some of his time writing songs for dodgy pop acts, now is going on tour with critically acclaimed 'noise artists' Tape, and how his first solo album starts with a five-minute instrumental piece (how innovative!). Me, I've been a Popsicle fan as long as I can remember (thanks to my sisters), and with last year's compilation "The good side of Popsicle" my interest in them was suddenly rekindled. "The lawlessness..." is obviously a blessing then, especially since it almost sounds like a straightforward follow up to Popsicle's last album (and their masterpiece) "Stand up and testify". Mattsson's voice, (sad) lyrics, and (gorgeous) melodies haven't changed that much at all – and thank god for that!
- Simon Tagestam
Hybris has posted an mp3 of the brand new single "You're never lonely when the band plays" from Andreas Mattsson (ex-Popsicle, Vanessa and the O's): http://www.hybrism.com/files/andreasmattsson-youreneverlonely.mp3
Andreas' new album "The lawlessness of the ruling classes" comes out March 1.