Miss Li

October 29, 2007

Nothing scares me more than hype when it comes to new music – rather than making me interested, it makes me want to avoid it at all cost. So when several of my fellow Swedish music maniacs started raving on about Miss Li earlier this year, I didn’t make much of an effort to see what all the fuss was about. However recently I did manage to get around and give Miss Li a listen and I’m happy to report that she indeed does deserve to be raved about.

Mixing jazz, country, blues and pop together with her often cocky lyrics, Miss Li (real name Linda Carlsson) is a fun and fresh addition to the Swedish music scene. She’s far from a newbie though – Miss Li’s latest album, Songs of a Rag Doll is actually her third effort being released on record label National, and her second record this year (!).

Hopefully this little introduction has sparked an interest with some of our readers, even amongst those who share my hype-phobia. So enjoy a few tracks from the album that Miss Li released earlier this year, God Put a Rainbow in the Sky:

“Don’t Try to Fool Me”, “I’m Glad I’m Not a Proud American” ~

 

Citing artists like Neko Case, Blonde Redhead, Radiohead and Wilco amongst their influences, Kate Tucker & the Sons of Sweden set the bar high for their own music. And after just hearing one song, I have to say that the band seem to live up to the expectations.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that she was born in a barn in Ohio that makes Kate Tucker’s music sound so rooted and earnest. Then add the fact that she has three piece band The Sons of Sweden (which of two are actually Swedish) to back her up in the arrangement process, something that proves to be a good collaboration when one listens to the track “Faster than Cars” – modern country fused with indie-pop, carefully sown together by Tucker’s sweet vocals.

Their self-titled debut album is set for release October 30, 2007. Until then, enjoy the featured song.

~ “Faster Than Cars” ~

Finally a good example that Germany have more to offer than just Rammstein and heavy synthpop when it comes to music! The Robocop Kraus dived into the indie-ocean back in 1998, a sea that these days are almost overcrowded by similar bands. It’s not until later years though, mainly after the release of their fourth album, So They Think that They are the Robocop Kraus (2005), a change in line up and adaption of a more experimental sound that the band managed to reach the surface.

Their music is still energetic like before, but now more melodic and colorful. Singer Thomas Lang also needs some extra attention for his cool voice, as for the fact that he can sing in English without slipping into an embarrassing accent (and I’m Swedish, so I know what I’m talking about, literally).

Blunders and Mistakes is an ambitious record when it comes to lively, upbeat tunes. There are a few toned down moments, but other than that it’s rock ‘n’ roll all the way through without going overboard. Well, except perhaps when it comes to the album cover which easily could fool potential listeners to expect something very psychedelic, which is not the case. Other than that, I can’t really find any blunders or mistakes about this album.

Few modern artists can create such a sparse yet passionate acoustic elegance as José González does. Thanks to the mixture between Spanish and classical guitars and his ghostlike voice, González managed to create his own sound on the debut, Veener out of what otherwise might seem rather ordinary: a beautiful voice, some string instruments and not much else.

With In Our Nature, González continues down the same track as before, but sets foot onto some new paths as well. Overall the album feels more put together and perhaps therefore a bit more accessible than the debut. There is a greater focus on melodies with songs such as “Down The Line”, “Killing For Love# and the cover of Massive Attack’s classic “Teardrop”.

Otherwise, things are pretty much the same: José sings in a hushed voice about war as well as love, the guitars strings jar softly and autumn leafs fall to the ground as you listen, regardless of what season it actually might be. Simply put, “In Our Nature” is a lovely album to round off the year with.

~ “Killing For Love” ~

Sweden’s biggest rock band, Kent are releasing their 7th studio album, “Tillbaka Till Samtiden” (“Back to Our Own Time/Common Age”, roughly translated) on the 17th this month.

At least, that was the plan.

Because for some strange reason, the album has been out in the shops for over a week now and the band, as well as their management, claim to be oblivious as to the reason why. The illegal downloading could of course have something to do with the matter, but fans are wondering if it isn’t just a marketing ploy since the band still hasn’t made any official statementes about what’s going on.

Personally, I think that the shopkeepers simply got fed up with all the Kent-fans anxiously tip-toeing through the store everyday and decided to put them out of their misery.