Blogs like Swedesplease.net
Annika Norlin a/k/a Hello Saferide
Peter Bjorn and John and José González have helped spearhead a new Swedish invasion — and indie invasion. And there’s more where that came from. Green living and government-subsidized health care and education are breeding smart indie-pop acts by the dozen, and blogs like Swedesplease.net (actually run by a guy in Illinois) are the Ellis Island of this new wave. Here’s a taste of what’s out there . . .
Hello Saferide, “Highschool Stalker”
Hello Saferide is Annika Norlin, an acoustic-guitar-strumming singer-songwriter who’s bold enough at hacking to change her crush’s grades in “Highschool Stalker.” And that’s not the only trick she pulls. It’s these sorts of delightful, off-kilter affections — and the instrumental embellishments of a loose group of friends — that pervade her folk-pop songs. Just don’t let that innocent voice fool you.
DoublePark, “I Don’t Want To Party”
DoublePark’s leader, singer-songwriter Johan Prosell, isn’t afraid to admit that he’d rather sit at home and watch a weekend marathon of M*A*S*H (because he’s got a “thing for early-’70s sit-coms”) than go out partying. But he never gets too maudlin. In fact, the song is upbeat in spite of his repeated refrain of “I don’t wanna go.”
My Darling You!, “Please Don’t Talk to Me, I Fall in Love So Easily”
Take a couple of insecure guys, put their inner monologues on speakerphone against a jangly pop arrangement, and you get My Darling You!, where every awkward feeling is on full display. Case in point: the synthy “Please Don’t Talk to Me, I Fall in Love So Easily,” when Klas Hermansson bemoans, “I don’t want love, so I have to kill my friends.”
I’m from Barcelona, “Britney”
Imagine the Polyphonic Spree without the creepy robes, with more pop and less bombast. Emanuel Lundgren’s accidental 29-member band — they weren’t supposed to last beyond one 2005 performance — show that size can matter, with lush, charming ditties that don’t overwhelm, like “Britney,” their wickedly playful take on everyone’s favorite train wreck.
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