Loving the Swedes lately…. Lykke Li, El Perro Del Mar, Taken By Trees

18 12 2009

So lately I have been adoring the sounds of Swedish singers, particularly Lykke Li, El Perro Del Mar, and Jens Lekman. Peter, Bjorn, and John have helped propel Swedes into mainstream American music, particularly with their omnipresent single “Young Folks” and subsequent albums and North American tours (of which I gave tickets away to on my show on KSCU in November,  ahem, sorry for the plug.)

Jens Lekman is also another Swedish artist that has gained popularity within the past couple of years, with groovy pop sounds and interesting lyrics (I never knew “slicing up an avocado” could sound so expressive). Pitchfork ranked Lekman’s 2007 album Night Falls Over Kortedala as one of the top 200 albums of the last 10 years… gotta love “Your Arms Around Me” and “I’m Leaving You Because I Don’t Love You,” excellent baroque pop with brutally honest and unique lyrics. Shout out to the twin sis, Pooch, for introducing me to Lekman… I am forever grateful.

So now for the new stuff! Lykke Li has gained tons of notice within the last year, and today was featured on the long list of contenders for an Oscar nomination for Best Song for “Possibility,” off of the New Moon Soundtrack. There are over 65 contenders for Best Song, and such illustrious names such as Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift are included on the long list of contenders, so none of them are sure-fire Oscar noms. As much as I gripe and try to resist the whole Twi-hard, vampire/werewolf/scowling Kristen Stewart sensation… it is a pretty good soundtrack. I guess. Personally I like Lykke Li’s more upbeat stuff, like her song “Dance Dance Dance,” or “A Little Bit”, both of which have some pretty kick ass, super danceable remixes.

Listen to the possible Oscar contender here:

El Perro Del Mar, another Swedish fave, just released her new album, Love is Not Pop, a couple of weeks ago. Love it!! I have been entranced with the singer since her album From the Valley to the Stars, generally low-key indie stuff…. particularly the song “Glory to the World,” immensely catchy in a simple way. El Perro Del Mar (real name: Sarah Assbring) could best be described as melancholic, lo-fi indie… if you are a fan of music that teeters on the edge of depressing (like me), you will probably enjoy her slightly sad-tinged sound.

Here is El Perro Del Mar performing “A Change of Heart” live at the CMJ Festival: (beyooootiful!)

Finally! One of my favorite acts of the past few months is Taken By Trees, Victoria Bergsman, who was featured on the aforementioned track “Young Folks.” Bergsman was the singer for The Concretes for 11 years before taking off in 2006 to venture off and do her own solo stuff. Her most recent album, East of Eden, was recorded in Pakistan and reflects an international sound, particularly on tracks like “Anna” (which features Panda Bear).

Taken By Trees has gained popularity for her cover songs, especially “My Boys” (covering Animal Collective’s “My Girls”) and her  new single “Sweet Child Of Mine.”

Check Out Taken By Trees’ “My Boys” nature-y, tight-rope walking video:

Once again, these Swedes know how to dance so look out for dance remixes of all of these songs!

I hope you enjoy all of these Swedish tunes,

Hejda (wikipedia tells me this is Swedish for ‘goodbye’)

-Duffy

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