By now it’s pretty obvious that we’re big fans of Karin Park, but we also have a large soft spot for Eurovision, so the two coming together is some kind of dream scenario. Of course, this isn’t the first time that’s happened – Karin co-wrote Margaret Berger’s stonkingly-good entry for Norway in 2013 – but now she’s going it alone, and it’s probably the best song to get within a whiff of Eurovision since the last time Karin was involved. Co-written by British hitmaker Guy Chambers, Human Beings features brooding verses that reflect on Karin’s boyfriend’s diagnosis with cancer, giving way to an enormous release of a chorus: “We are human beings looking for a meaning, you know you’re alive as long as you’re breathing.” The deal isn’t set in stone, though. Karin has to compete in Norway’s national final alongside ten other entries in the hope to win the chance to represent Norway on Europe’s most glittering stage. Melodi Grand Prix takes place on March 14, but you can listen to the song now. The other entries are also available to listen to on NRK’s website, although we, er, haven’t yet.
2014 is over and by now you’ll have read dozens of end-of-year lists, but you can never have too much of a good thing, so here is our selection of the best songs of 2014 from Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Have a very happy new year, one and all.
Ace Wilder – Busy Doin’ Nothin‘ This Melodifestivalen runner up would have been a pan-European hit had it won.
Alina Devecerski – Armé It must be hard to follow up her monster hit Flytta På Dej, but this is pretty rousing nonetheless.
Beatrice Eli – Moment of Clarity We could include almost every track from Die Another Day, but this is probably the highlight.
Elliphant – Revolusion Brilliant fringed hat (and song).
Elliphant feat MØ – One More A moving tale of female friendship (part 1).
Erik Hassle – Pathetic Again, we could include any song from Erik’s brilliant Somebody’s Party EP.
Frida Sundemo – For You, Love Frida’s Lit Up By Neon EP contained several gems, but she shines best when she’s at her most fragile.
iamamiwhoami – Fountain Phenomenal single followed phenomenal single from Jonna Lee’s project in 2014, but the one that started it all had us at our most excited.
Jennie Abrahamson – Wolf Old news in Sweden but heading into 2015 on the back of a Peter Gabriel support slot and the launch of her Gemini Gemini album in Europe, this is the album’s highlight.
Ji Nilsson & Marlene – Love You Anyway A moving tale of female friendship (part 2) and our most listened to song of 2014.
Kate Boy – Self Control Basically, their long-awaited album should be amazing.
Kleerup feat. Susanne Sundfør – Let Me In This sounds a bit like ABBA and is very, very good.
The Knife – För alla namn vi inte får använda A single from The Knife’s Europa Europa cabaret. Please don’t leave us, The Knife.
Little Jinder – Vita Bergens Klockor Slightly indecipherable to non-Swedes (The White Mountains’ Clocks?) but we sing along anyway.
MØ – Walk This Way One of many brilliant songs from one of the most exciting artists of the last couple of years.
Röyksopp & Robyn – Monument A ten-minute electro-jazz epic that is amongst the best work that either of them has ever done.
Seinabo Sey – Younger With any justice, 2015 will be Seinabo’s year, and not just in Sweden where she already features on a stamp.
Tove Lo – Timebomb Habits was technically 2013, so this just pipped Out Of Mind as our favourite Tove song in 2014.
Tove Styrke – Even If I’m Loud It Doesn’t Mean I’m Talking To You Our second favourite Tove came back with an absolute belter.
Zhala – Prophet Slightly bonkers song from Robyn’s first signing.
Now you can listen to all the tracks which are currently available on UK Spotify in this handy link.
Back in 2012, Karin Park released Highwire Poetry, which was basically one of the best and most criminally ignored albums of the year. So it has been with a lot of expectation that we’ve been waiting for new material. We had the good, if not spectacular, Shine back in March, and now here’s Look What You’ve Done. It’s her new single, that is if we ignore the fact it was released in Norway several months ago – when Karin performed it magnificently on the Norwegian Eurovision selection show Melodi Grand Prix (keep watching to see Karin’s protegée Margaret Berger’s excellent Scream, and also a duet of their Eurovision entry I Feed You My Love) – and is the first proper taste of forthcoming album Apocalypse Pop, coming March 2, 2015. So what does it sound like? Enormous drums, a propulsive beat and Karin’s extremely distinctive voice singing about a destructive relationship: “You’ve fucked with my mind… You’re sucking me dry… I should have run, run, run.” We’ve been listening to it for months but it’s still fantastic, and it’s great to see it getting a wider release. Roll on March for the album – when you’ll also be able to catch Karin at Oslo’s by:Larm festival.