Friday, March 30, 2007

Hello Saferide and Firefox AK - Long Lost Penpal  

On this track two well-known Swedish indie-pop female singers teamed up to create a story in a song. The story is of two girls who used to be penpals and they talk of how their lives have changed and wonder if the other's has changed as much, and what's happened to them since. It's a simple, slow song, but a lovely, touching one with interesting lyrics, so it's never boring. It may not be bursting with poptasticness, but I think every one of you will love this song. It certainly made me stop and listen. It has quite a hilarious ending as well, surprisingly since it begins so sweetly! There's a great, very literal video for it too. I only just got into Hello Saferide and now I wish I'd listened to her music earlier, as I've known of her for quite a while. I also recommend The Quiz, San Francisco and Highschool Stalker, which have similarly cute and funny lyrics, and Annika's lovely Swedish-accented singing.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Ghosts - The World Is Outside  

Breaking through to the mainstream pop market with their catchiest, poppiest single, Stay The Night, Ghosts have only hinted at the beautiful music they are capable of creating. Their MySpace, showcasing 4 songs from their forthcoming album, reveals all. Temporary is stunning, as good as Snow Patrol's Final Straw highlights (Chocolate, Run etc.), Ghosts (the song the band named themselves after) is a bouncy summery haze which reminds me of Hal, and this one, the title track of their album, is my favourite. The World Is Outside is not earth-shatteringly momentous or ground-breakingly original, but I sit here and it makes me smile and feel like life is good. Is there anything better than that?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Sounds - Song With A Mission  

I was very lucky last night to have the chance to see the very ace Swedish pop group The Sounds play live in London. Unlike previous Swedish gigs I've been to in the UK (eg. Melody Club and The Ark) where there was a tiny crowd, mostly of Swedes, The Sounds managed to pack out the fairly large Islington Academy and the only Swedish accent I heard was from Maja Ivarsson herself! I can't remember when I last saw a band who were so precisely on the verge of becoming huge. This week they finally released their latest album, Dying To Say This To You, in the UK and it was right at the front of Fopp (ace music shop), and they had a 2-page feature in NME. Their star is rising and I hope it will continue to do so - we really do need more Swedes in the UK charts right now. My copy of the CD, ordered cheaply from Sweden, arrived by chance on Monday and of course I have been listening to it ever since, to make sure I knew all the songs for the gig. There were a few I already knew and loved (Painted By Numbers and Tony The Beat particularly) but it was this track which stood out to me as every time it came on my mp3 player in a public place I wound up embarrassing myself by singing or dancing along. It will already be familiar to some as it was released as a single in the USA and Sweden.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Alphabeat - 10,000 Nights of Thunder  

Thanks to an annoying delay at CDON, I haven't heard their album yet, but I already know that it's going to be one of the best of 2007, and Alphabeat are already among my favourite pop acts of the moment. In fact, this song is my no.1 favourite song of 2007 so far, so if that's not a good recommendation I don't know what is! Their sound and style places them at the midpoint of Scissor Sisters, ABBA and the Pipettes. Is there any more appealing idea? I can't think of one, and I think Alphabeat live up to the high expectations my description should give you.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Anders Johansson - Alone  

Here's my second embarrassing mumsy post, but yet again I do genuinely think it's a brilliant song. It's a cover of the Heart power ballad, by a Fame Factory winner who generally sounds like a 1-man Swedish Westlife, so it should be awful but every time it comes on Rix FM I have to stop what I'm doing and sing along. I've always liked the Heart song, but reimagined as a boyband ballad it somehow turns into the best boyband ballad I've heard in a long time. Every time it gets to the "Til now" part, I just have to join in and from then on I'm consumed by the power ballad drama. It's just one of those cover versions you never imagined would work or be any good at all, but somehow it's amazing - only in Sweden! If you don't know the original, just download this and pretend it's the Backstreet Boys, cos it really sounds like it - it's like having a whole new BSBs song, and probably better than their new material since I hear they're writing it themselves, without Max Martin.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Josh Groban - You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)  

When you hear the songs I'm posting today and tomorrow you will think that this blog has been secretly taken over by someone's gran, but no, it's still me and after a month or so of being extremely embarrassed by my love for these songs (but still playing them at full volume and singing along - I just can't help it), I have decided they must be good or I would hate them by now. I am still very hesitant to post something even slightly related to You Raise Me Up, though (Josh made it famous in the USA). So I thought I'd share them with you and the embarrassment will be spread between more people and it will be a bit more acceptable. Now turn it up loud and practice your 'fists of pure emotion', cos you'll be needing them.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Shebang - Crash  

I posted this last year when the Lovebites recorded a cover of The Primitives song which this too is a cover of, and now Matt Willis, 1/3 of the reason for Lovebites existence is having a go himself, so I thought I would re-post it to remind you of the actual best version. I must say Matt's version is surprisingly good, although it is more of a surprise for him to be doing something good than it is for a version of Crash to be good, because it really is a superbly ace song. Shebang have been away for a while but they finally have a new album out, released today in fact - hear all the songs in full here.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Lisa Miskovsky - Sweet Misery  

This site is getting very Swedish at the moment and I'm afraid that's not about to change as I have yet another ace Swedish song to post. Well, someone has to since the amazing Swedish pop blog Catchy Tunes of Sweden is no longer with us. While perhaps not so frivolously jubilant as many of the songs I post here, this certainly isn't a miserable song, but it is quite sweet. The music of the intro particularly is very jolly. Lisa is more middle-of-the-road and mumsy than the typical schlager queens or indie chicks we get from Sweden, but she does it very well and has produced several lovely songs over her career, which now spans 6 years. She just turned 32 yesterday, so happy birthday Miss Miskovsky! Some interesting facts about Lisa are that she wrote the lyrics to Shape of My Heart by the Backstreet Boys, and she is a member of the Swedish national snowboarding team!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Danny - Tokyo  

This is such a cheesy, unoriginal Europop song but it's so extremely cheery and catchy, I can't help grinning every time it comes on the radio, and since I've had Rix FM and Mix Megapol playing almost constantly the past few weeks as I try to pick up Swedish pronunciation in preparation for studying in Gothenburg this Autumn, that is very often. The Swedes seem to be lapping this up and I don't blame them. I can see it becoming a huge continental hit, maybe even crossing over to the UK a la Infernal. Danny Saucedo is 21, kind of good-looking but a bit of a poser, participated in 2006's Idol contest in Sweden and has also released a cover of a Tommy Nilsson ballad, but this is his first proper single and an ace start it is too.

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