Sweden deserves a medal, not for any particular Olympic performance (or their National Twitter Account
), but rather for their contributions to music. Over the past two years, Sweden's finest have come out with some of the more innovative and straight-forward contributions to the musical landscape. Previously known for IKEA and ABBA, Sweden is coming down from the North to stake claim on music. I don't know if the country invests in music programs or if there is just something in the frigid water, but whatever it is they're doing, keep it up!
1. The Tallest Man on Earth
Kristian Matsson also known as The Tallest Man on Earth
is the best thing out of Darlarna, Sweden since, well I'm not sure what Darlarna is known for. With a musical likeness to Nick Drake and Bob Dylan, Matsson takes a refreshing and yet reminiscent look at folk music. He released There's No Leaving Now
earlier this summer, a follow-up to 2010's The Wild Hunt
2. Miike Snow
is technically only 2/3rds Swedish. Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg (together known as the production team Bloodshy & Avant) met American bandmember Andrew Wyatt while working on a Britney Spears song. Together they released a self-entitled debut and gained traction stateside with a series of remixes (the likes of Passion Pit and Depeche Mode). Their second album Happy to You
is electro-pop with an indie twist.
3. The Hives
are one of the best-dressed bands out there today. When The Hives take the stage, it's as much a visual experiences as it is a musical one. Impecable attire and live performance antics aside, The Hives also make good music. A personal favorite would be "Go Right Ahead" of their fifth album Lex Hives
. If you're new to The Hives, I suggest skipping right ahead to that track -- you'll be hooked.
4. Lykke Li
Singer-songwritter Lykke Li
is another person Sweden should be proud of. Youth Novels
and it's follow-up Wounded Rhymes
are both solid albums, the latter showing a darker and more sophisticated side to Li. The soft, almost bizarre "I Follow Rivers" is juxtaposed by the feistiness of "Get Some" creating a really rounded off sound.
5. First Aid Kid
Sibling duo First Aid Kit
are Swedens answer to the Fleet Foxes. The sisters caught the worlds attention when they released a cover of the band's song Tiger Mountain Peasant Song. Not long after they found themselves touring beside that same group. They have since collaborated with artists like Bright Eyes and recorded a famed Third Man single at Jack Whites studio. Their new album The Lion's Roar
is a well-thought out follow up to their debut The Big Black & The Blue
, rising to the number one spot in their native Sweden.