The words "Swedish pop" probably trigger your brain to auto-play the choruses of "Dancing Queen" or "Mama Mia," but don't be fooled. Sweden's musical prominence is nothing new, but looking at a short list of our most highly anticipated albums of 2013, it would appear as though the northern European nation is plotting an indie pop domination. For a country of under 9.5 million people to unleash so many unique and successful acts is both profound and commendable. There must be something in their water. Right?!
Below are three bands that have surely ingested some secret Norse music potion.
Junip - Junip (April)
The sophomore follow-up to Fields
has an anesthetic quality that's like nothing we've heard before. In "Line of Fire," the trio fronted by Jose Gonzalez trigger hypnosis with emotional strings and exhilarating percussion.
Shout Out Louds - Optica (2/26)
From what we've heard from Shout Out Louds' fourth studio album Optica
, it's a joyous and nostalgic piece of pure pop. It's their most playful album to date, and the addition of a string composer adds a great charm.
The Knife - Shaking The Habitual (4/9)
Now that My Bloody Valentine's new album has come and gone, we can look forward to the next most anticipated album of 2013, which is undoubtedly The Knife's first album in seven years, Shaking the Habitual
. Unlike the previous two, "Full of Fire" (below) is our only sampling of the brother-sister duo's expected magnum opus.