2015: Albums to get excited about

2014 was a great year for Scandi music, with albums from established stars like Lykke Li, iamamiwhoami and Neneh Cherry. But it also saw a huge influx of fresh young things releasing a track here or an EP there, ready to blow our minds in 2015. So here are the albums we’re most looking forward to in 2015 – from some familiar names, as well as a bunch of debuts. (And why not also refresh your mind of 2014 with our review of the year’s singles, albums and EPs.)


No such list could begin with anyone but Seinabo Sey, who is almost guaranteed to have a spectacular 2015 in Sweden, and probably abroad as well. She has been included alongside the likes of Robyn and Max Martin on a series of stamps celebrating Swedish music stars and has performed on British TV show Later with Jools Holland. Her songs are at the forefront of the Swedish soul revolution with her EP For Madeleine being among 2014’s very best. Whatever is to come from Seinabo in 2015, we will be awaiting it very eagerly.


Ji Nilsson slowly but definitely snuck into our lives in 2014. Our ears were first pricked by her stunning production work on Marlene’s Bon Voyage, followed by her even more stunning collaboration with Marlene on Love You Anyway. Then came her own singles I’m Her, Heartbreakfree (with added Gwengate controversy) and Encore and there was no doubting that we needed more of her laidback, beat-driven, vaguely tropical melodies in our life.


Way more than just a haircut, tracks have dribbled out of the Kill J camp at a glacial pace, but each one has been incredible in its own way, from the unique debut Phoenix, through the haunting You Have Another Lover to the pop melodies of Bullet and Cold Stone. New music has been promised for 2015 and we can’t wait.

Kate Boy are another act who haven’t exactly been rushing to release an album, but again have been worth the wait. Coming on a bit like The Knife, they have developed their own dirty electronic sound and thrilled audiences with pounding, artistic dance shows. Expect an album in the early part of 2015.


Their debut album has felt like such a long time coming, with so many delayed release dates, that we’ve almost forgotten about Say Lou Lou. But that’s unfair because they’ve never failed to release consistently excellent tracks (Beloved melts us) and they’ve spent so long making sure the album is just right that it shouldn’t let us down. Lucid Dreaming, as it has been titled, has been mastered and is promised for 2015 – we’ve even heard February mooted, but don’t be surprised if it’s pushed back a little.

karin park

The first non-debut on our list but we are super excited for the new album from Karin Park. Highwire Poetry was one of the enduring highlights of 2012 with its hard electronic beats, tender ballads and powerful Björk-esque vocals. Lead single Look What You’ve Done is similarly pounding. After Karin’s forays into the world of pop and Eurovision with possible protégée Margaret Berger we wouldn’t be surprised if this album has more “pop moments” than her previous work. Apocalypse Pop is out 2 March.


Busy Doin’ Nothin’ was a bonafide banger and following that we will look on anything Ace Wilder does with an interested eye. She has ruled out a return to Melodifestivalen and followed it up with the similarly energetic Riot. We’re not too sure of Ace’s plans for 2015 but she’d be crazy not to capitalise on the success of 2014 with an album. She seems like she has a level head on her shoulders and we reckon she’s approaching it with the same knack for a tune that saw her very nearly make it to a certain pan-European singing contest in 2014.


Susanne Sundfør has been wowing us since the release of her last album with a series of high-profile collaborations and now she’s ready for the release of her fifth album Ten Love Songs in February. Lead single Fade Away is spectacular stuff and this is sure to be a corker.

Several other acts are also readying albums as we speak. Firstly there’s Lisa Alma, who’s releasing her second album Sweater on 16 February, which will include the lush lead single Fine. Frida Sundemo has released a couple of gorgeous EPs in the last two years and an album in Japan, but a longer release of her emotional electronics is promised in 2015. We haven’t known about her for long but Snoh Aalegra astonished us with her soulful EP There Will Be Sunshine back in November and we are very excited to see what else comes from her this year. Another soulful yet poppy Swede who we hope to see more of in the year ahead is Naomi Pilgrim. Her recent single It’s All Good was her best yet so the omens are good. Icelander-cum-Dane DÍSA is also lining up her debut EP for release shortly which promises to reflect the Icelandic landscape in its icy electronics and haunting vocals, and will include Structure and Cure. Finally, to prove that we do listen to the occasional boy as well, both 1987 and XOV will be releasing more of their soulful electronic tunes, following up, respectively, Bomb and Animal from the soundtrack to The Hunger Games.


Dream comebacks

We haven’t heard much word on what these artists have up their sleeves for 2015, but we hope, and in some cases expect, to hear new music before the year is out. Niki & the Dove did say they hoped to get something out before 2014 was through, so surely we’ll get something from them this year. It’s now been two and a bit years since Loreen released her debut album Heal, and while we feel like she is someone who will always take her time over what she is doing, a steady stream of social networking posts of late make us think that something must be on the cards. Next up we would love to see a comeback from The Sound of Arrows. It was way back in 2011 that they released the magical, Pet Shop Boys recalling Voyage and their Facebook has gone very quiet for a very long time, but we live in hope. We also have an extremely soft spot for Faye. She was part of the girl group Play, and then embarked on a very brief solo career in 2012, when her tracks Come To Me, Water Against the Rocks and Breathe Out were among our highlights of the year. Since then it has been devastatingly quiet, but in spring 2014 she signed a new record deal and played a new song (the mysterious Whatever) in Stockholm in August. Maybe this’ll be the year things finally get off the ground for Faye. Finally, Robyn. We don’t really need to say much here, except that every year we hope to hear from Robyn, and we know that things are definitely afoot, including a collaboration with the sadly since deceased Christian Falk.


2014: Our Favourite Songs


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).

Emilie Nicolas – Grown Up The song that really made us sit up and notice Emilie Nicolas, the artist behind our album of the year.

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 – Encore We love Ji Nilsson and cannot wait to see what 2015 brings. (We wrote about this already.)

Ji Nilsson & Marlene – Love You Anyway A moving tale of female friendship (part 2) and our most listened to song of 2014.

Julia Vero – How Does It Feel? A massive, bruised, hairbrush singalong. (We wrote about this already.)

Karin Park – Look What You’ve Done Karin continues to be brilliant in this taster of her new album, due March 2015. (We wrote about this already.)

Kasper Bjørke feat. CTM – Sylvia Featuring the sublime vocals of CTM, this is the highlight of Kasper’s After Forever album (although Apart with Sísý Ey is also very good indeed).

Kate Boy – Self Control Basically, their long-awaited album should be amazing.

Kill J – Cold Stone Their album will probably be amazing as well. (We wrote about this already.)

Kleerup feat. Susanne SundførLet 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.

Laleh – Stars Align Just try not to clench your fists and sing along.

Little Jinder – Vita Bergens Klockor Slightly indecipherable to non-Swedes (The White Mountains’ Clocks?) but we sing along anyway.

Lykke Li – Love Me Like I’m Not Made Of Stone A wonderful, heartbreaking song from a wonderful, heartbreaking album.

Mapei – Change Fantastic, inspiring pop.


MØ – Walk This Way One of many brilliant songs from one of the most exciting artists of the last couple of years.

Naomi Pilgrim – It’s All Good Driving pop and Naomi’s best yet. (We already wrote about this.)

Oh Land – Head Up High The ever reliable Oh Land had barely been away before coming back with another album full of gems, of which this was one. (We already wrote about this.)

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.

Snoh Aalegra – Bad Things (feat. Common) Stupendous Swedish soul. (We wrote about this already.)

Susanne Sundfør – Fade Away A big pop direction from Susanne ahead of her new album. (We wrote about this already.)

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.

1987 – Bomb Smooth Swedish electropop. (We wrote about this already.)

Now you can listen to all the tracks which are currently available on UK Spotify in this handy link.

Good Moose Songs of 2014

Kleerup – Let Me In (feat Susanne Sundfør) [Astma & Rocwell remix]

The recent Kleerup EP was a thing of wonder, with the Susanne Sundfør collaboration being the highlight – not a small feat when other guests include Niki & the Dove and Jenny Wilson. It was a powerful disco number with slight nods to ABBA, so it must be with slight trepidation that you take on a track like that to remix. But Astma and Rocwell are more than up to the task, being members of yet another high quality Swedish act NONONO. They’ve updated the sound from ’70s disco to ’00s electro but have, wisely, left Susanne’s commanding vocals largely untouched. Check it out below, and don’t forget Susanne’s own magnificent comeback track, Fade Away.