In this post, we take a virtual visit to Sweden, the Nordic land of lagom (just right), the birthplace of IKEA, Volvo, Spotify and ABBA, and a hot spot for some of the best new indie, pop and electronic music on the planet. In the US, it's often just the big name Swedish bands that many people hear, but there's SO much more that doesn't always find its way to the ears of the masses. To help remedy that, and to spread the word a bit, we take a look at new singles from four Swedish musical acts that are definitely worth putting on your musical radar - from The Attic, Lisa Miskovsky, Junior Brielle, and Sthlm Transit Club.
THE ATTIC | "Radiate"
After a 12-year silence, Swedish electronic/pop band The Attic returns with their new single, "Radiate." Comprised of DJ's/producers Michael Feiner and Eric Amarillo, The Attic released a series of successful, catchy and melodic pop songs between 2003-2009, including their 2007 album, Remember Tomorrow, which presented outstanding new material, along with several of their prior hit singles. From the moment I first heard their 2005 single, "In Your Eyes," I immediately became a fan of The Attic.
Sounding as if the duo picked up right where they left off, new single "Radiate" is upbeat and dancy, with killer pop hooks and Michael's signature, soaring vocals. What an impressive comeback for The Attic!
Trivia note (as pre-Eurovision qualifiers take place throughout Europe and other parts of the world): If you catch any of Sweden's Melodifestivalen competitions, the program's theme music (for more than a decade) is an instrumental version of The Attic song "Human Rights" - recently penned as "The Festival Theme."
LISA MISKOVSKY | "Love Somebody"
Nearly seven years have passed since we've heard new music from Umeå-based indie-pop singer-songwriter Lisa Miskovsky. Taken from her forthcoming EP due this Spring, new single "Love Somebody" features Lisa's sweet, silvery, and resounding vocals to an uptempo acoustic atmosphere, with a vibe reminiscent of classic Fleetwood Mac. Based on this stellar track alone, I can't wait to hear the rest of the EP!
I fell in love with Lisa's music from my first listen to her 2004 single "Lady Stardust" and have been a faithful fan ever since. Throughout her musical career, she has collaborated with established songwriters/producers on several of her albums, including Kent's Joakim Berg on Fallingwater (2003) and Changes (2006); Peter Björn & John's Björn Yttling on Violent Sky (2011). In addition, Lisa co-wrote Backstreet Boys hit single "Shape of my Heart" with Max Martin, and wrote/performed the theme song ("Still Alive") from futuristic action-adventure game Mirror's Edge.
JUNIOR BRIELLE | "Love"
Delivering a heavy, synth-induced, electronic vibe, "Love", the latest single from Junior Brielle immediately caught my ear upon first listen. Hailing from Brunflo, a suburb of Östersund, this rising star duo, comprised of siblings David and Gabriel Rödin, has been garnering significant attention in Sweden. Bursting in like the second coming of Swedish supergoup Kent, the duo was recently nominated for best newcomer in the 2019 Swedish Grammys. Featuring a clever mix of English and Swedish lyrics, I'm in 'love' with this track's epic bridge ("You can always lie to yourself, but never lie to me") and ultra-catchy, sing-along refrain ("It's the words you use, not the way you say, not the words you use, but the way you say them now"). Check out Junior Brielle's official music video for "Love":
STHLM TRANSIT CLUB | "Garden"
Led by Canadian-born musician and public transit enthusiast Steven Motion, Stockholm-based music collective Sthlm Transit Club recently released their debut single "Garden." Warm, optimistic and melancholic are words that come to mind when I listen to this stunning single. Reminiscent of bands like Bon Iver, Coldplay and The 1975, "Garden" features warm emotive vocals, lovely acoustic guitar treatments and one of the most gentle, gorgeous melodies I've heard. Looking forward to hearing more from Sthlm Transit Club!