marshtide: (Katherine Hepburn - Sylvia Scarlett)
While I am trying to get my brain back, I give you:

Since it has popped up on youtube in a good quality version since I last looked for it!


(I FEEL LIKE THIS SOMETIMES. I mean I hate upper class prats and English ones are especially pratty but I still want their tailors, yanno? Also I have seen this book of which she speaks and yeah, there were some pretty hot suits in there. Many of them would have been made even hotter by being worn by Frida Hyvönen, SO.)
marshtide: (Oscar - a-ha!)
FOR THE RECORD: Super video-heavy post.

So the topic for today is Swedish music, which I'm afraid is one I'm spectacularly unqualified to talk about in many ways.

Branch asked, basically, what the Swedish music scene is like right now.

I do at least listen to P3, which is the younger-people national radio station, because it has shows like Tankesmedjan (that one which Liv Strömquist is often on), and am by proxy exposed to current music, but to be honest, it mostly doesn't stick. One does notice, basically, that:

1. almost everyone sings in English, presumably in the hope of making some kind of international breakthrough. If they do not sing in English, they are Kent, who gave up on such hopes about 10 years ago. (No, OK, there are others who sing in Swedish right now. But not that many who're showing up on the radio!)

2. there are lots of girls singing very hesitantly/softly. I do wish the ladies in mainstream music would just go for it a bit more often, you know? Prettiness is all well and good, but damn. It seems to be the only option!

3. Unless you're Robyn I guess. Who has a robot fetish. Your mileage on this may vary, but I am kind of endeared by the robots, even though I am pretty sure all my music cred will be taken away the second I admit to liking anything about Robyn. (Here is the thing: I do not care about my music cred. I think I acquired it completely by accident anyway.)

[Video embed: Robyn singing Robotboy, no actual video image, just music & stills]

So, you know, so much for my pop culture awareness.

Also: although I spent my childhood playing instruments and was pretty good at some of them I'm really not that musically inclined, which means that I can listen to music without the same kind of analytical approach I often have to reading - which is lovely, I can just listen. It does mean, though, that I tend to file things as "like this" or "don't like this" without much deeper thought about technical skill etc. This will make detailed thoughts tricky; I'll mostly be presenting artists quite briefly and then giving out some music links.

But! I do listen to quite a bit of Swedish music. Let's start by just pulling a list from my profile, and I'll work from there!

Ane Brun

Oops - Ane Brun is actually Norwegian, not Swedish, but she lives in Stockholm )

Anna Ternheim

Read more... )

Broder Daniel

Valborg describes Broder Daniel as "the best worst band ever". Read more... )

P.S. In association with posting about Broder Daniel I feel the need to point out that Fucking Åmål is a brilliant film. About growing up in a tiny shitty town and already feeling trapped and then you are also a lesbian! AND IT'S NOT ONE OF THOSE TRAGEDIES WHERE EVERYONE DIES! It's brilliant. Sometimes uncomfortable, since, you know, teenagers, but it left me pretty :D :D :D.

Ebba Grön

Oh look! The first band on the list to actually sing in Swedish!

Read more... )

Frida Hyvönen

I actually have posted about Frida Hyvönen before. But. Read more... )


Right, well, Kent I've posted a lot about before. Read more... )

Maud Lindström

Maud Lindström is, well. Let's take her own words. "Sweden's only official love-critical bisexual feminist singer, writer and poet!"

You can already tell why I love her, right? )


Read more... )

The Knife

Read more... )

This post is basically really long now already, damn.

OK, I'll just leave you with a couple more.

The Ark, since they're so iconic among Swedish bands and one of the few current ones that's really well-known overseas. Although they did recently announce that they're quitting this year. And then they released a single.

The single is called "Breaking Up With God".

This strikes me as very representative behaviour.

Breaking up with god )

Jakob Hellman only released one album, at the end of the 80s, but has been influential for Swedish pop. Kent are fans; you can catch a lot of references back to him in their songs.

Vackert väder )

Which traces of can be found in a bunch of different early Kent songs! (Kent love referencing stuff, for the record. I think it's a hobby.)

Monica Zetterlund - jazz icon!

Some other time )

Fidget were a 90s indie band I think? I don't listen to them all that much generally but I have this one song which I love:

Stop Losing )

Håkan Hellström

Read more... )

Make of all this what you will! That's a range of music, though nowhere near definitive, from several different genres and decades. (I will note that I'm pretty sure that Swedish music cannot actually be this overwhelmingly white, since Sweden isn't this overwhelmingly white, damn it, but... *headscratch*)

& if anyone wants to rec me more Swedish musicians that I really should be listening to, then please! Go for it!
marshtide: (Default)
Today I worked in our tiny garden/patio until I couldn't stand up any more! Wow. I haven't pushed myself that hard in a while. But yes, I do tend to get carried away with physical labour, and yes, I do tend to forget that just because I'm tons healthier than I was a few years ago doesn't mean I can do whatever I want.

Sitting down and saying stuff on the internet time!

I have a music recommendation to make today, because I've just had a huge burst of enthusiasm for the musician in question. She is Frida Hyvönen, a Swedish singer-songwriter who performs entirely in English, and who has a really unconventional and yet actually very expressive approach to the language. Sometimes odd song lyrics make one feel that the writer just didn't actually understand the language properly and have no idea what they are saying. With Frida Hyvönen, well - maybe she doesn't know or care about the conventional ways of phrasing things in English sometimes. And maybe that is a good thing. Maybe it means she writes fabulously strange and poetic songs which I love to pieces as a result!

The first song by Frida Hyvönen that I ever heard was played to me at three in the morning after much of a bottle of gin had mysteriously vanished, and in my slightly inebriated state I thought it was the best thing I had ever ever ever heard. The next day I still thought it was pretty great, so I went and found some more.

Here is that song, which I have actually uploaded for your listening pleasure because I couldn't find it anywhere (though you can listen to it & the rest of her music legitimately on Spotify, if you're in an area which Spotify covers). It's called London!, and it's basically about a love-hate relationship with a city. London, she says, the way you hate me is better than love & I'm head over heels... London, the way you want to get rid of me makes me weak at the knees. Which is, well. I'd been living in London for a few years and having a weird time and something fitted in there. Then she said, sure I want to be like them, I don't care that they are men, I want to be rich and fine and dandy; in a town-house in London with art on the walls, and memberships and clubs for gentlemen, and I was so utterly sold you simply have no idea.

Frida Hyvönen sings a lot of songs about relationships that feel real to me and she sings about people who don't quite fit and she sing about trauma and she sings songs that're just fun (and funny). She has a really cool voice, I think; I certainly like it a lot, but I'm not really any good at explaining music, so I'll just have to ask you to listen and see what you think.

Another download:

Enemy Within
The enemy within says a body of work is just as strong as its weakest point, and other such truths.

(this track is also available free from Licking Fingers, Frida's Scandinavian label)

Some other songs on youtube:

The Modern
I Drive My Friend

& if you stumble across anything else you should basically check it out (though most of what's on youtube is bad live recordings).

Frida's really inactive website:


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