Stockholm-living Norwegian Ane Brun is back with the first single from the follow-up to her number-one-in-the-Nordics album It All Starts With One. Ane made the song using an app, where she recorded her voice as several instruments in putting the song together. The result is a minimal jazzy track that sounds like more of a buzz release than a lead single, like Jenny Wilson’s release of Autobiography prior to Demand the Impossible. It premiered on Musikguiden i P3 so take a listen there. The album is due to land in the autumn, so we expect a bigger release before then, but in the meantime this is succeeding very well in getting us buzzed before the main event.
Often described as “the Norwegian PJ Harvey”, Jenny Hval has signed to a new label and is readying the release of her new album, Apocalypse, Girl. And here we have the first taste. And, by Jenny’s standards, it’s actually quite accessible singer-songwriter fare – and definitely holds up to the PJ Harvey comparisons. Over a sluggish beat Jenny half talks-half trills some quite bleak lyrics despairing at modern society. It ends with a screech and a drone and a muttered refrain, and, though we certainly can’t speak for everyone, but it’s compelling listening that makes you hit the repeat button. This won’t be troubling the charts, but it’s an intriguing development and bodes well for the album, coming in June.
It feels a bit like we say this every month, but there were a lot of good songs released in February. So many, in fact, that we were unable to keep up and were having to splurge the last batch out here as well as doing the monthly playlist. There were also some big album releases this month, including from Say Lou Lou, Eternal Death, Elin Bell, Sea Change and Susanne Sundfør – already a contender for album of the year. So at the end you’ll find our best of the Scandinavian month on YouTube, Soundcloud and Spotify.
First up are stalwarts of the Stockholm music scene, Urban Cone, with the first single taken from their upcoming album Polaroid Memories, coming in May. Aside from repeating “never, never, never” in a way that reminds us of Taylor Swift, Robot Love is a touching indie pop ditty about love.
Next we have Ida Redig, back with Ghost, the first single off her third EP. Her 2014 album Thou Shall Not Be A Pussy had some stonking tunes on it (as well as being a title of the year contender). Ghost was written with Jocke Berg from Kent and is a pleasing synthpop tune with some real teeth in the final minute. Listen on Musikguiden i P3 (we’re going to be saying that a lot in this article).
Just look at the picture above and you already love Joy, right? Ingen Hejd is her second single and it’s a properly mental and exciting hiphop track. Can’t wait to hear more from this lady. Listen at Musikguiden i P3.
Next up it’s the debut solo single from Julia Adams. Allt Jag Nånsin is a downtempo, R&B-influenced electronic pop song that promises good things. Plus she’s on a horse in the sleeve, and we all know that popstars on horses is A Good Thing.
We wrote about Trooper by Vanbot back at the start of the month, but our ears pricked up again when we heard that Gabriel Gassi had remixed it. We loved his work on Julia Vero’s single How Does It Feel? and we weren’t disappointed here either. It transforms the song into a bouncy pop number which actually recalls Vanbot’s own debut album, before she decided to strip things back.
Norwegian newcomer Aurora also unveiled her new single Runaway. It’s hard not to make comparisons with fellow Norwegian Emilie Nicolas, with its delicate yet simultaneously powerful vocals and music that builds layer upon layer to sink its way into you, but as regular readers will know, it doesn’t get much better from us than comparisons with Emilie Nicolas. Fans of Susanne Sundfør and Anna von Hausswolff will also like this. The video also shows off some of Norway’s spectacular scenery.
Hello again, Musikguiden i P3! This time we’re going there for hip-hop legend ADL, aka Adam Baptiste. He has written tracks for the likes of Rihanna, Katy Perry and Usher and now he’s releasing his Swedish-language debut Svart Kaffe. It’s full of sleazy beats and a huge chorus that gives way to a throwaway “fuck it” before stripping things back again. Listen here.
He hasn’t been away for long but Asbjørn released his new single Scandinavian Love, possibly his poppiest track to date, which is a must-listen as it includes a brilliant spoken interlude.
OK, so now for the best of the month roundup. Here it is on YouTube…