Your tears don't shake my world like Britney Spears.

Sweden

ON ROTATION: Nina Persson – Animal Heart

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Nina Persson‘s debut solo album “Animal Heart” has been a Pop Labyrinth favorite since its release in February. Now that the sun is out, it feels like the right time to revisit the soaring title track. “Animal Heart” sees The Cardigans/A Camp frontwoman at her ’80s synth-pop new wave mode, and rest assured, it’s a fantastic song injected with wildlife metaphors, heartfelt melodies, and of course, her unmistakable voice. The one-shot music video filmed at her Harlem neighborhood features back-up dancers, confetti, and costume changes, all in one quick walk to grab some milk! It looks like great fun without appearing too rehearsed. And her belting at the last chorus – she’s still got me after all these years.

 

WATCH: Nina Persson – Animal Heart

 

Nina Persson is playing a show at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn this Wednesday, 4/16, for which you can buy tickets here.

Buy the album, out now on The End Records.
More on Nina.

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LISTEN: Rasmus Faber – Indian Summer (feat. Frida Sundemo)

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Frida Sundemo reunites with fellow Swedish DJ Rasmus Faber on the his new single “Indian Summer”. The two has previously worked together for an EP back in 2011, and the chemistry continues on this uplifting EDM number, with Frida’s vocals cleverly chopped, screwed, and entwined in the ‘drop’. American radio might be playing that generic remix of Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness, but I’d rather hear this blast loud in a car. This needs to blow up!

 

 

The single is out in the UK on September 16.

More on Rasmus Faber.
More on Frida Sundemo.


Popforward: Postiljonen

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Postiljonen is the next big Swedish export, and they have delivered a stunning debut album in “Skyer”. I can only describe the Stockholm-based trio’s music as panoramic, multi-textured road-trip synth-pop. The ’80s synth and sax riffs are larger than life, while wispy, murmuring vocals are mixed like an afterdream, hazy and unobtrusive, interspersed with dialogue samples from unidentified, possibly non-existent films. As is the case with shoegazing dream-pop, due of its unique construct, you probably won’t remember much of the lyrics or melodies, but there’s enough ear candy to keep coming back and peel at the layers. The 10-track album is short and sweet, with the more upbeat numbers (Supreme, We Raise Our Hearts, Skying High) sequenced in between ambient, filmic ones (Rivers, Plastic Panorama). There is also an unlikely, spectral cover take on Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know”, gloomily retitled as “All That We Had Is Lost”. “Atlantis” – the current single – makes a perfect album closer, thanks to its monster saxophone action and a nocturnal, melancholic back-of-a-taxi-cab mood. If you like M83, or The Naked And Famous, then Postiljonen’s widescreen after-hours pop is for you.

You can stream the entire album for free on Soundcloud.

Check out the music video for Atlantis below, and album highlight “We Raise Our Hearts”.

 

 

STREAM: Postiljonen – We Raise Our Hearts

 

Buy their music, out on Best Fit Recordings.
More on Postiljonen.


LISTEN: Frida Sundemo – Snow (Immanu El Remix)

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Frida Sundemo ended 2012 on a high, having got the blogosphere a-buzzin’ with the brilliant single “Indigo”. Now she’s ready to kickstart 2013 with another taster, “Snow”. However, for now “Snow” is only available on Spotify in Scandinavia (damn those pesky region restrictions!). Fortunately, Swedish postrock band Immanu El have uploaded their beautiful slow-burning remix of the track for us non-Swedes to enjoy. It showcases another side of her – melancholy, downbeat, but blissful, not unlike her compatriot Lykke Li. And of course it’s only natural for a Swede to sing about snow. I wonder what the original sounds like, is it a electro stomper, or an introspective downtempo number à la Royksopp?

 

 

More on Frida.


Popforward: Frida Sundemo

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Frida Sundemo was previous known as simply Frida in Japan. The breezy-cutesy bossa-nova-tinged songs from her 2010 debut album “Dear, Let It Out” managed to strike a chord with the Japanese audience. Granted, she was not the first Swede indie girl to conquer Japan. Two years later, she has stunningly reinvented herself as Frida Sundemo, the next big Swedish synth-pop starlet.
“Indigo” is the kind of song that came out of nowhere and catch you by surprise. Her sweet vocals against the aggro synth backdrop made for a striking combo. It’s clear she has graduated from the same School of Pop as Robyn, Lykke Li, and Tove Styrke. It’s electro-pop perfection that only the Swedes can effortlessly offer in spades.

 

 

 

And here’s a different side from her early career, the sweet lounge ditty “Towers”:

 
One of the most promising acts for 2013? I think so.

More on Frida.


Popforward: Chart Music

Chart Music is the new joint project of Le Prix and Roger Gunnarsson, both of whom have worked with Sally Shapiro, Johan Agebjörn, Cloetta Paris and Queen of Hearts. If you don’t know any of those names, educate yourself. If you do, then you probably know what to expect. The first song from the Stockholm-based duo is “When You Lied”, featuring Viktor Ginner on vocals, and it’s a gorgeous piece of melancholy heart-on-sleeve anorak twee-pop blub-a-thon. Influences include italo disco, ’80s synth-pop and John Hughes films. If you don’t feel something when the middle eight’s instrumental breakdown glides in, then you sir need to check your pulse!

 

STREAM: Chart Music – When You Lied

 

An accompanying video was made of clips from obscure 1986 teen flick Lucas. Prepared to get your sad eyes on.

 

Swedes.
Buy the single on iTunes.
More on Chart Music.


REMIXED: Acid House Kings’ “This Heart Is A Stone” Revisited By Friends And Fans

Swedish indie-pop veterans Acid House Kings have been enjoying a resurgence lately. They just reissued most of their back catalogue, as well as invited friends and fans to remix their most popular track “This Heart is a Stone” (it was on a Korean ice cream commercial featuring Drew Barrymore don’t cha know). Out of the whopping number of 12 remixes, here are my two cherry picks. The Perfect Nines mix goes for the jangly C86 Sarah Records sound which I adore, while the Sunny Intervals opt for relaxing Sunday-morning vibes. Both give a fresh take on the original without straying too far from its roots. Have a lovely listen below.

 

MP3: Acid House Kings – This Heart is a Stone (Perfect Nines Mix)

STREAM: Acid House Kings – This Heart is a Stone (Sunny Intervals Remix)

 

Stream the entire collection of mixes on Labrador’s Soundcloud.
More on Acid House Kings.


MP3: Fibes, Oh Fibes! – Cerahtonia (feat. Icona Pop)

Fibes, Oh Fibes! are one of those Swedish indie bands that have been around for a while and kind of got lost in my shuffle, but this will soon change, judging by the arrival of their comeback single “Cerahtonia”. Produced by Pontus Winberg of Miike Snow, and featuring vocals from the two lovely ladies of Icona Pop, “Cerahtonia” is a celebratory, sun-kissed indie pop confection with infectious “ba-ba-ba” hooks that should cheer you right up in no time. Their new album, entitled “Album”, is expected in April 2013. Download a free MP3 below, or grab a hefty WAV file here if you’re inclined.

 

MP3: Fibes, Oh Fibes! – Cerahtonia (feat. Icona Pop)

 

More on Fibes, Oh Fibes!


Catching Up With… First Aid Kit

A lot is happening in First Aid Kit‘s world. First, the Söderberg sisters will be featuring on several tracks of the new album “The Fire and The Flame” by Blood Music, aka fellow Swede Karl-Jonas Winqvist. The lead single, “Glad That You Called”, is a charming, laidback twee-folk duet, with a cute music video of the three frolicking about in a big greenhouse.

 

 

STREAM: Blood Music feat. First Aid Kit – Glad That You Called

Secondly, the indie-folk duo has recently released a iTunes Sessions live album, featuring this harmonious cover of Patti Smith’s “Dancing Barefoot.”

 

STREAM: First Aid Kit – Dancing Barefoot (Patti Smith Cover)

 

Last but not least, their excellent album “The Lion’s Roar” will get a Limited Edition boxset edition come October 2, with 2 bonus b-sides and one brand new track/single, “Wolf”. Here’s the kaleidoscopic, forest-based video for it.

 

STREAM: First Aid Kit – Wolf

 

Have I mentioned the girls are performing in New York tonight and tomorrow too? As I said, a lot is happening in First Aid Kit’s world, and deservingly so.

Buy “Glad That You Called”.
Pre-order “The Lion’s Roar” limited edition.
Buy their iTunes Sessions live album.
More on First Aid Kit.
More on Blood Music.


Popforward: Saint Lou Lou

Mysterious Aussie/Swedish twin duo Saint Lou Lou managed to win me over with just one perfect little gem of downtempo dream-pop. “Maybe You”, their first and only song to date, is a sublime synth-pop ballad with an ’80s-indebted ‘quiet storm’ vibe. It’s melancholy yet hopeful, subdued yet tender. It’s the kind of track you can imagine yourself hearing on the radio in the back of a taxi cab on a rainy late-summer night. In fact, I’m surprised they didn’t add thunderstorm sound effects to the intro, so I guess I’ll make do with an open tab of Rainymood.com.
The music video is a gorgeous, sensually-shot black-and-white slo-mo affair. Watch it below, and check out some excellent remixes after the jump.

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