The Joy of Discovering Swedish Music Artists

I enjoy hunting for good music, and especially like discovering new Swedish bands. As everyone’s music tastes are different, I’ll try to showcase a few different styles, as my taste is as varied as my foodie knowledge on world cuisine. I think music is an expression of true art, emotion, politics and culture. So, like any talented blogger, I hope to captivate and enlighten you with some bands that you may or may not know about and some background for good measure.

hoffmaestro
Some of these artists are geared more to pop and the international crowd, as most sing their songs in English (some like Kent, have both English and Swedish versions!). I will not get into the more traditional style or “dance band music” which is prevalent in the countryside of Sweden (think Abba-esque tunes, sung in Swedish, for the 50+ crowd). No offense, but that music makes my hubby CRINGE at the sound of it. Groups like Vikingarna (“The Vikings”) ARE the ultimate “Daddy music”.

WARNING, THIS PAGE MAY LOAD SLOWLY DUE TO LINKS TO YOUTUBE!

Timbuktu
Jason Diakité, of Timbuktu, is a Swedish rapper and reggae artist whose soulful, yet political music was probably influenced by his father, Madubuko A. Robinson Diakité, a US born human rights lawyer and documentary filmmaker currently residing in Sweden. His African-American father and Swedish mother spent time living in both Sweden and Chile. His multi-ethnic and multinational upbringing exposed him to a wide variety of musical styles and influences.

Det löser sig

Dynamit

Hoffmaestro
The members of Hoffmaestro first met in the 90s, when Sweden was undergoing an explosion of musical talent from many different genres. The group became eleven men strong and each came with a multitude of musical influences which allowed them to produce a unique sound. With a sound they call “skank-a-tronicpunkadelica”, this allows them freedom to mix anything from ska and reggae to techno, New Orleans funk or country. This fusion-style music has proven quite popular in Sweden today and they have reached double-platinum status!

Highwayman

Dreams

Bo Kaspers Orkestra
This is one of my favorite groups, and they have evolved from a Swedish jazz-pop band to more fusiony stuff like soft rock, country and folk. The group consists of Bo Sundström, Fredrik Dahl, Michael Malmgren and Mats Schubert. They sing all in Swedish, but have recently done an English version of their 90s hit, Undantag called You and Me.

You and Me

Innan Allt Försvinner

Eskju Divine
This incredibly talented band hails from Stockholm. Their ethereal and haunting sound is a close resemblance to Cold Play and definitely contains influences from Sigur Rós, Radiohead, U2 och Muse. Here are 2 hits that really showcase their unique and mellow sound.

Struck by the Halo

Put Your Arms Around Me

Robyn
Her music is much more pop-influenced with a dancey, techno vibe. She hit it big with the song, Show Me Love, in the 90s when she was just a teenager and has since opened for Kate Perry and Cold Play.

Indestructible

Call Your Girlfriend

The Knife
This brother and sister duo play electronic-alternative style music and have gained popularity since their hit, Heartbeats, became a Sony commercial feature song. They are the epitome of Swedish shyness, as they rarely go out publicly and have hardly done any live performances, and when they do, they normally wear bird masks, I kid you not!

Silent Shout

Heartbeats

Lisa Ekdahl
With her child-like, soft voice, it fits perfectly with the bossa nova style jazz she now performs. Originally a singer-songwriter, her voice is very dreamy and relaxing. She also performed a well-known duet with fellow band Bo Kaspers Orkester.

Svårt att säga nej

I Will Be Blessed

Jens Lekman
His music is guitar-based pop with heavy use of samples and strings, with lyrics that are often witty, romantic, and melancholic.

You are the Light

I Know What Love Isn’t

Lars Demian
One of my husband’s favorite Swedish artists, his music reflects his views on life and society and usually is laced with humor, sarcasm and cynicism. His famous song, Alkohol, is one of the songs he sings from a personal perspective. All his songs are sung in Swedish.

Alkohol


Stina Nordenstam

With a child-like and gentle voice, she has often been compared to both Björk and Ricky Lee Jones. She has been a singer-songwriter who dabbles in jazz, experimental, progressive rock and even pop. Her first hit, Little Star, is one of her most beautiful works.

Little Star

Swedish House Mafia
They were a Swedish electronic dance music trio consisting of three house disc jockeys and producers: Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso. The group officially formed in late 2008 and have been called “the faces of mainstream progressive house music.” They have officially broken up as of their final appearance at the Ultra Music Festival on March 2013. They produced the song Greyhound for Absolut Vodka commercial with great success.

Greyhound

Kent
One of Sweden’s most popular rock bands, they have produced both Swedish and English versions of some of their songs. They have a great vibe and sweet songs. One of our favorite Swedish bands.

FF

Music Non-stop

Movits
A totally unique band who has managed to mix swing and rap/hip-hop, as well as sing in Swedish (some of the time). They have premiered in the U.S. on the Colbert Report. Not sure if they managed to break through with this style of music!

Fel Del av Gården

Nitroglycerin

Na Na Nah (feat. Timbuktu)

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Categories: Swedish Culture

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One Comment on “The Joy of Discovering Swedish Music Artists”

  1. Martin
    October 2, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    I would highly recommend checking out pretty much all the bands on the label Labrador Records (www.labrador.se). All are Swedish and most sing in English. They have some amazing artists on their roster including the Acid House Kings, Sambassadeur, Club 8, The Mary Onettes and many others. All are worth a listen.

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