swedish

GRAPELL: SULTRY SOUL OF SWEDEN
October 10, 2016 8:22 am

Have you heard Love Chamber, the sexy (and sax-y) EP from Swedish duo Grapell? If your answer is no, scroll down a couple paragraphs and click play on that Spotify list. If your answer is yes, you (or your girlfriend) are probably already pregnant. Congratulations, and please don’t contact us for child support payments.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS shared some transatlantic correspondence with magic men Emil Erstrand and Nils Nygårdh, to find out how Love Chamber came to be.

You recently released your Love Chamber EP. What can you tell us about its creation?

Emil: We wanted the EP to have a real thread and to feel coherent, so all of the songs were written and recorded in a relatively short period of time. We used the same approach for all the songs and I think our vision was clearer this time compared to before. We also tried to keep things simple, to see the songs for what they are: quite straightforward love songs.

Is there anything you learned during the production of the EP that you wish you had known going into it?

Nils: One song got lost on the way due some technical problems, so we ended up not using that one. We couldn’t bother to record it again. But it did give us space for another track.

Emil: Since we do everything ourselves we learn things all the time. I hope and think we are getting better at what we’re doing with every release.

Do you have any music videos coming out for any of your new songs?

Emil: Yes, we do! We’ve got a really sweet video for our song Some Places coming out really soon. It’s directed and produced by the great Johan Stolpe.

How much input do you have on the creation of something like that?

Nils: This time we had an pretty clear idea about what we wanted the song to “look like”. So we gave the director our ideas of the setup from the start. And then he created his vision from that.

Can you explain the significance of using a photo of politician Gerda Antti for the cover of “Some Places”?

Emil: There really is no certain significance…We just like the picture of Gerda, especially combined with the picture of Walter (which is the cover of Arrow). I think they’ve got a really good vibe and an almost iconic feel. Alongside each other, the portraits somehow capture what the EP is about. Also, the pictures were taken by my grandfather.

walter gerda2

What are your favorite places in Stockholm for seeing live music?

Emil: I really don’t know. I don’t feel like there are too many obvious venues for live music in Stockholm these days. And very soon one of the better ones, called Debaser Medis, is closing. I do like a place called Cirkus – it would be really nice to play there in the future!

Nils: I recently found a new place actually. Its in the basement of the Scala Theatre and its called Lönnkrogen. Its a small venue and a feel of going back to the nightclubs in the 20s.

Are there any bands in Stockholm you feel deserve more attention?

Nils: Sonjagon is a Swedish band that had a lot of influence on us. The don’t play so much anymore unfortunately, once a year maybe. But their music is out there and should be listened to. Especially the debut album Arches.

Emil: Yes, and all of the bands signed to Strangers Candy of course.

 

To hear more of this amazing Swedish band, follow them on Facebook here,

ARON MCFAUL: JUST GETTING STARTED
August 9, 2016 11:43 am

Aron McFaul is a Swedish DJ/producer currently repped by West Coast Recordings. With only one 4-track EP to his name, McFaul is a relative unknown in the sea of electronic/EDM. With fairness given to him as a new artist in a field that is tough to break through, there is clearly more work and change needed before McFaul makes a decent impression. His album Pallas Garden is uninspired and redundant to a fault, with glimmers of a solid musical ear shinning through every once in a while. If there was more work to comb through I might be able to put together a better first impression, but with only four tracks to base him on, McFaul comes up lacking.

In first and second tracks on the album (Intronational, Jam in Circles), I discovered to be entirely placeholders for the other songs. Granted, McFaul’s music may sound completely larger and magnificent through headphones (which I was not using at the moment) due to his style of layering many, many small teeny bleeps, bloops, and chrips.

Take for instance From Love, his most popular song so far with just under 9K listens on his SoundCloud, it essentially gathers all the different kinds of sounds you can use to notify yourself of a new text message on your iPhone, and mashes them together into a semi-cohesive ensemble. While absolutely creative, it’s just not my thing. Which may in part be due to the difference in nationalities; across the pond, the brand of music affectionately titled Eurotrash is wildly popular throughout. For the uninitiated, Eurotrash is more or less EDM, high BPM dance beats traditionally played in the discotheques with flashing lights and ecstasy. McFaul’s version is much more low key with less of a party atmosphere, but still borrows some of the same concepts: repetitive beats that loop and crescendo until they climax, and slowly decrescendo back into nothingness.

The final track, Taverna Times, was my favorite on the project. It features a guitar and drum-n-bass beat, the most melodic sounding song on the entire project. That being said, the song is still relatively sleepy, most akin to what you would listen to if you’re Ubering home from the club in the morning and still want to quietly rage.

Overall, I see tons of potential in Aron McFaul, I will be keenly looking to what he does next.

MiiKE SNOW REV UP FOR iii
January 6, 2016 1:46 pm

Miike Snow is revving back up. Their highly anticipated iii is set to drop via Atlantic March 4th. But let’s face it, this Swedish synthpop trio is all about their propensity for bombastic club hits.

“Heart is Full,” the first single off their new album, dropped late last October.  The track fits neatly into Snow’s boogy-inducing catalog.

In typical Miike Snow fashion we have here 4 minutes of polished, immaculately-produced, radio-ready dance pop.  The track opens with a sample of “The Cook Up“, a deep album cut of Apollo Brown and Guilty Simpson’s 2012 record Dice Games.

Andrew Wyatt compares the heat of love, or perhaps the commitment, to a prison sentence: “I’ve got you locked down like police / And no three-to-five, you’re doing life, so.” The chorus here doesn’t exactly make sense either; “Please don’t knock over my heart / because my heart is full of you.” It’s a bit perplexing. It’s damn catchy.

This one’ll get the crowd jumpin’ for sure when Miike Snow takes the highly coveted Coachella stage this April. We’ll see you there.

LUCID DREAMING WITH SAY LOU LOU
May 18, 2015 10:25 am

With a lot of sister bands emerging nowadays, it’s hard to stand out in the crowd. Swedish-Australian twins Say Lou Lou have voices that are each the missing puzzle piece to a perfect sound. They have finally released their debut album after teasing fans for three years with a few dropped singles here and there. Like their album title “Lucid Dreaming,”  their sparkling tones and nu-disco soundscape can make any listener fall into a trance. Both of their shows in New York were sold-out, and I was fortunate enough to scope them out at Mercury Lounge on a Tuesday night.

They appear on stage with chic silk print matching outfits, ready to wow the crowd with their fierce personas. As soon as the music starts they switch gears and electrify the crowd with their sensual voices. The drummer starts to bang on his glittery set while the keyboardist swings her vibrant orange wig to the beat. Their set consisted of an array of colorful lights, transporting you into a fantasy.

I was temporarily put into an arcade game when “Games for Girls” came on. It’s playful theme had rainbow lights that hit me with the nostalgia of old school recreation. “Nothing but a Heartbeat” stood out the most because of the way the lights rhythmically flashed like the heartbeat they sang about. It was surreal. It was a dream I didn’t want to wake up from.
It’s safe to say that Say Lou Lou left a great impression on their New York fans. We’re excited to see them back in the city for some more dreamy experiences!