15 December 2006

You Don't Wanna Mess With Sweden.

really, you don't. especially when it comes to the P-word. even just keeping track of the names of bands is a losing proposition. i've been keeping a running list on a sticky for a month or two now, and it seems like scarcely a day goes by when i don't run across another gushing reference to another indispensible Swedish pop act to add to my file.

this review suggests that the list of collaborators on the new (weirdly mish-mash, if you ask me) Robyn ep encompasses "every single Swedish group worth talking about," and...yeah, it is impressive for five songs. but not even close. and see, even that short list includes an artist i'd previously not heard of, and who on the basis of this amusing video may be worth keeping an eye on, despite her bland, non-nordic name.

i would really like to hear - perhaps at EMP; it would fit in nicely with this year's theme - an explanation or some theories about why the Swedes produce so much and such uniquely excellent pop. (throw in the Norwegians too - hey, it was the same country until a hundred years ago - and it's even more impressive.) i'm not sure exactly how impressed to be by it, but at the very least it is striking. anyway this entry is not about analysis or commentary or theorizing; i'm just trying to get a handle on my mental database here.

some resources:
allmusic's swedish pop page
swedish charts (haven't even looked at this yet)
wikipedia, of course. (says that the Ark, the Knife, and I'm from Barcelona have "less emphasis on pop music." bizarrely, this page makes no mention of pop)
labrador records, "sweden's and the world's finest purveyor of pop music" (on the indie tip - but popwise, naturally sweden's finest is also the world's)

incidentally, the wiki entry on teen pop (should that be one word?) suggests that it's synonymous with Swedish pop. and is also otherwise completely egregious - somebody from the ilx thread/poptimists/bedbugs massive (well, maybe it's not that massive) really ought to do something about that. maybe i'll even do it. (though weird al informs me that editing wikipedia is nerdy, so maybe i shouldn't.)

[EDIT: swapping out chronological/stylistic for audiobiographical organization]

well, there's ABBA
and Ace of Base and the Cardigans (are these guys, like, legends at this point?)

all this i know and love:
Komeda, the Knife, Robyn, Teddybears, the Ark, Jens Lekman.

more recent acquaintances:
Amy Diamond, Margaret Berger, Play, Acid House Kings, Peter Björn and John.

have heard; should investigate further:
Alcazar, Marie Serneholt, Kleerup
Caesars, Concretes, Hello Saferide, Radio Dept.
Firefox AK, Jenny Wilson, Frida Hyvonen
ETA: Sambassadeur (!)

extremely vague familiarity with
Roxette (!), A-Teens (!), Love is All
Ronderlin, I'm from Barcelona, Shout Out Louds

i have really never heard
Army of Lovers
Eggstone, Cinnamon, Atomic Swing, Cloudberry Jam, Waltz for Debbie
Happydeadmen/the Shermans/the Charade
Red Sleeping Beauty/Club 8/The Legends
Wan Light, Starlet, Girlfriendo, the Sounds

hum hum hum...i think there's more but i'm getting tired. hard to know where to draw the line around pop. dance, synth, indie, /rock, otherwise. i'm trying to only include artists that seem worth checking out (apart from the ones i already love.) this list isn't too well set up to show it, but it's really crazy how many of my current favorites are represented here.

more work to be done, as always.

[ETA: crikey! apparently there actually is a Marit Bergman. and she is Swedish. and apparently she's Important or something. see what i mean?...]

careful boys, she's Norwegian:
Annie, Bertine Z, Marit2Marion...hm, they've nearly got the swedes beat in the pop-princess division

1 comment:

Greg said...

That wiki article on teen pop was horrible. I was warned, but still unprepared.