The Top 8 Swedish Bands that you have to listen to
Swedish music isn’t a new pop phenomenon. I mean, come on, everyone knows ABBA (I hope I am not the only who thinks she’s a “Dancing Queen”) and seems to have know the “trendy” Swedish indie bands. But as a Swede, the concept that Swedish music as somehow cool is hilarious. I’m guessing you haven’t seen Eurovision, where all of Europe (and some other countries) gather together for a giant Pop Idol-esque music contest. You wouldn’t know how intense the Swedes are about it (we won this year with Loreen’s “Euphoria”) nor the fact that my Swedish summers are marked by the most popular songs of Eurovision. Here’s “Euphoria:”
And my favourite Eurovision win (it doesn’t quite make sense to Swedes either, don’t worry):
But, to pretend we are actually cool, I’ve decided to make you guys a list of the top Swedish artists you should listen to:
1. First Aid Kit
Two siters from Stockholm playing folk music. Cute, yet the songs will get stuck in your head.
Kind of like Madonna…except cool. Robyn is one of Sweden’s biggest pop exports yet manages to have attitude.
3. The Knife
This is actually my favourite band ever and at the same time, probably the weirdest band I listen to. You may recognize the song, “Heartbeats,” from Jose Gonzalez’s cover (another Swedish export) or Ellie Goulding’s version. The Knife is a brother-sister duo with their own solo projects Fever Ray and Olaf Dreijer. They also work with some of Sweden’s other great exports, including First Aid Kit.
Kent has been around for a long time yet never seem to make a bad album. They are one of Sweden’s biggest rock bands but with deep, meaningful songs. Whilst you may not understand this song, there are albums that have been translated into English that are worth a look.
5. Teddybears Sthlm
Teddybears Sthlm is not actually about teddybears, it’s an hip-hop joke band that will leave you slightly confused as to what the actual genre of their music is. Just listen to this song:
6. Jens Lekman
I don’t know how he does it but Jens makes me happy and sad at the same time. In other words, he fits every mood with his gentle stories.
7. The Tallest Man on Earth
He’s not actually that tall but he does speak Swedish to audience members during concerts and has a soulful voice that reminds me for some reason of American folk tales.
8. Håkan Hellström
Håkan Hellström may just be the first man I ever fell in love with when he jumped on stage in a sailor outfit to sing “En Midsommarsnatts Dröm” on Allsång på Skansen (which is a Swedish sing-along concert, don’t ask). He can’t sing, he can’t dance either, begging the question of how he is a pop star, yet I’ve loved his music ever since.
There are a lot of bands I have left out that I adore: Lonely, Dear, Lykke Li, Gyllene Tider, , Jose Gonzalez, Tommy Nilsson, Jonathan Johansson, Roxette, Taken by Trees, Suburban Kids with Lyrical Names, I’m from Barcelona, Peter, Björn and John, Shout Out Louds, Caesars, Familjen. Regardless of your preferred genre, there’s a Swedish band out there for you.
And if you were wondering how Abba got famous, it’s thanks to Eurovision:
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