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

2014: Our Favourite EPs

There are so many new artists coming up in Scandinavia at the moment, and so many launch EPs prior to an album, that we felt we couldn’t exclude them from our summary of 2014. So here, in alphabetical order, are our favourite EPs from 2014 – a large proportion of which are from artists yet to release an album.

Elliphant – Look Like You Love It / One More

Two EPs from this eclectic Swede this year, following up from her Sweden-only debut album A Good Idea in 2013. Elliphant throws so many idea at the wall and, while not all of them stick, a lot of them are extremely exciting. Just bubbling under the mainstream, 2015 could be even better for Elinor Olovsdotter.

Erik Hassle – Somebody’s Party

So this is a bit like Michael Jackson and Prince and Justin Timberlake and everybody should go and listen to it right away.

Frida Sundemo – Lit Up By Neon

Frida specialises in extremely moving and human electronic songs, like Neon and For You, Love, but also does balls-out pop very well, too, as on Drawn To You. Across a couple of EPs and singles and a Japanese-only (?) album release Frida has always been one of our favourite new Swedes, so her promised new material in 2015 should be exciting.

Kleerup – As If We Never Won

Featuring a roster of high-profile guests – Susanne Sundfør, Niki and the Dove, Jenny Wilson – this is a collection of retro disco that even recalls ABBA in its finest moments.

Laleh – Boom

A veteran in Sweden, with five albums under her belt, she’s relatively new to the wider world. She first caught our attention with the anthemic Stars Align, featured here alongside four other very good, slightly “quirky” pop songs that come on a bit like a cross between Ellie Goulding, Florence Welch and Bat For Lashes.

Lisa Alma – Oh Darling, Let’s Be Adventurers 

We will keep telling everyone about Lisa Alma until she starts to get the credit she deserves. This quiet Dane has been releasing subtle gems consistently for a little while now, and we can’t get enough. Her beautiful voice perfectly complements her soulful tunes. Good for fans of Rhye and for feeling that uniquely Danish concept of hygge.

Marlene – Indian Summer

Bon Voyage was one of the songs of 2014, and although Marlene was always going to struggle to match that, this collection is still a brilliant selection of powerful pop songs. Plus she works with Ji Nilsson, one of our favourite up-and-coming Swedes, so the prospect of a full-length album is tantalising.

Röyksopp & Robyn – Do It Again

A precursor to Röyksopp’s final album, and a reunion with Robyn, Do It Again was hugely anticipated and arrived to mixed reviews, but we love it. Monument is a simply phenomenal journey through electronics and jazz, Do It Again is as close as we’ve come to an unadulterated Robyn song since Body Talk and Every Little Thing is a moving electro ballad.

Seinabo Sey – For Madeleine

I mean, she’s already on a stamp in Sweden, so Seinabo is destined for enormous success, and For Madeleine is a phenomenal debut. Every track is distinctive yet unique and if we don’t see bigger and better in 2015 we will be very surprised.

Snoh Aalegra – There Will Be Sunshine

This came out of nowhere (for us, at least), but blew us away with its bravado and buckets of soul. Swedish-born Snoh is now based in the US, and with friends like Common and Killer Mike she could, and should, go far.

Tove Lo – Truth Serum

Eclipsed slightly now by her debut album, Queen of the Clouds, it could be easy to forget this EP which preceded it. But this is where we first heard Not On Drugs, and is still the only place you’ll find Out of Mind, which for our money is easily one of Tove’s best tracks.

Tove Styrke – Borderline

As close to reggae as we’ll ever willingly get, yet still very good. The highlight is easily lead single Even If I’m Loud It Doesn’t Mean I’m Talking To You, but this is a collection of inventive pop songs that mark a new stage in Tove’s career.

Zhala – Prophet

Of course Robyn’s first signing to her Konichiwa Bitches label was going to be special, but nothing can really prepare you for your first listen to Prophet, with its ever-increasing tempo. Zhala certainly does things her own way, but we hope to see a full-length release in 2015.

2014: Our Favourite Albums

We pretty much start thinking about our albums of the year as soon as the summer arrives, but this year it was with a sense of niggling doubt that 2014 hadn’t given us a real classic yet. But there was a bit of a late spurt and we’ve been able to come up with a list that makes us very happy – with over half the list being made up of debuts. Now, it’s no secret that we’re rather fond of Swedish ladies looking a mite melancholy next to a drum machine so you’ll have to go elsewhere if you’re eager to know our thoughts on the latest from some Norwegian metal vikings. So we’ve selected 17 of the cream of the crop; our favourites of the year. We put the emphasis on “favourite” over “best” because we’re firm believers that there’s no such thing as “the best music”; it’s all subjective. We did ponder whether to put them all in order but had a go and realised it was very arbitrary so have just ordered our top three. It’s also worth noting that these aren’t all available worldwide yet, but we’ve included them now as we’ve loved them this year and by the time they finally see the light of day on international shores we’ll get too confused about release dates to know whether to include them or not. We’ve included Spotify links where available, or you can listen to them all in one massive go with our Spotify playlist. Hope you enjoy this list.

iamamiwhoami – Blue (listen on Spotify)

Blue is when iamamiwhoami really showed their true colours (sorry). Previously, there have been times where Jonna Lee’s project has felt a little bit more like it’s had some good ideas but hasn’t always come up with the goods (sorry again). But Blue is a triumph. We’ve been drip fed the contents throughout the year and each track has sounded like a worthy single, from the staggering enormity of Fountain, to the propulsive pop of Tap Your Glass and the Kate Bush-recalling Chasing Kites. Plus the visuals to accompany each song should really show Beyoncé exactly how a “visual album” should be done.


Ida Redig – Thou Shall Not Be A Pussy (listen on Spotify)

How could we not include this with a title like that? It helps that the music is also really good, of course. It’s big, ballsy electropop that’s not reinventing the wheel but is exactly what you want if you’re a bit tipsy and a bit angry and want to scream into a hairbrush for a while (Shout, Show Me Now), followed by a bit of a cry (Lie). So your average Friday night, then.

Ida Redig

Jennie Abrahamson – Gemini Gemini 

Yet to be released on international shores but due sometime in 2015, Jennie’s fourth album of indie/alternative/pop is worth the wait. Like her near-namesake Jenny Wilson, she doesn’t get enough attention outside of Sweden, and also like Jenny Wilson her music has depth of meaning, superb melodies, and bite. International promotion is starting with The War, but Gemini Gemini isn’t short of potential singles, such as album highlight Wolf, the restorative Phoenix or the acrobatic Entity. She’s also coming off the back of a support slot with Peter Gabriel, so maybe some British recognition could be on the cards for 2015.

The Knife – Shaken-Up Versions (listen on Spotify)

Should this be included? Probably not, to be honest. It’s an album of reworkings of songs that for the most part are barely a year old, but they’re so damn good, and it coincides with such a spectacular live show, AND it’s “the end of The Knife”, that we just couldn’t leave it out. It basically gets rid of a lot of the unlistenable guff from the otherwise masterful Shaking the Habitual and bungs on a couple of hits as well. It’s noisy, it’s dirty and, although they might not like to be remembered this way, it’s a lot of fun.

Little Dragon – Nabuma Rubberband (listen on Spotify)

Nabuma Rubberband, Little Dragon’s fourth album, finds them in a sinister mood, but it also sees them at their best. It’s understated and unsettling, but also enthralling and funky, and listened to late at night it’s more seductive than Christina Hendricks’ best come hither voice or any number of Ryan Gosling GIFs. Seriously, this was released in May so come February look out for a spike in babies called Nabuma – or Nagano, Little Dragon’s lead singer and greatest asset.

Little Jinder – Little Jinder (listen on Spotify)

Only released a couple of weeks ago, it’s hard to assess this album properly. But our initial instinct is: we love it. Since the release of the so-so Break Up, Josefine Jinder has returned to her native Swedish and the results have been outstanding. Most listeners might not understand the lyrics, but it matters not. Little JInder’s almost sickly sweet voice works perfectly with the alien sounds of a foreign language, over minimal but catchy pop beats. And her image has been impeccable  – from the mascara to the (holographic) artwork and the videos (check out Ful och tråkig tjej and Vita bergens klockor, although Inga e som vi e is a little odd at basically just three minutes of snogging her duet partner Melo). Little Jinder has embraced her Swedishness, added a touch of Japanese kawaii, and the results have been incredible (unlike when this guy did it).


Lykke Li – I Never Learn (listen on Spotify)

In the space of just two albums, Lykke Li had become somewhat of a Swedish heavyweight on an international scale, so I Never Learn, her third, was met with a lot of anticipation and, in some quarters, disappointment, with suggestions it is too bleak and “one note”. And in some respects, that’s true. There’s certainly no I Follow Rivers here, but this isn’t an album of wallowing and self pity either, despite its subject matter of a painful separation. At times it’s difficult, but it’s also honest and moving. Of course we would like it if she is in a better place for her next record, but as Lykke herself once said, sadness is a blessing, and this is a record that she needed to make, and that we need to hear.


Mapei – Hey Hey

Don’t Wait was one of the songs of 2013, and then again of 2014 upon its rerelease. Then this New York Swede released Change and our excitement for her debut album doubled. So although she couldn’t maintain this momentum across a whole album, there are enough highs for it to find its way onto our list. It’s a fusion of pop, hip-hop, funk and even (whisper it) reggae, often all at once like on Things You Know Nothing About. Hey Hey might not be a perfect album, but it demonstrates a lot of potential which we’re excited to see develop.

Min Stora Sorg – Mvh Anso, M$$ (listen on Spotify)

For the uninitiated among you, “min stora sorg” is Swedish for “my greatest sorrow”, and this album includes tracks with titles such as Det Blir Inte Bättre, which translates as “It Doesn’t Get Better”. So you probably know by now whether this is for you or not. But, melancholy though it may be, it also has a brilliant sense of humour. See, for example, her brief cover of Harry Nilsson’s Without You on Intro (or Mariah Carey’s Without You if you’re of a younger generation), or her deadpan synchronised dancers during her live sets, or her ludicrous album sleeve. And let’s face it, most listeners won’t be able to penetrate the Swedish lyrics anyway. A real treat.


Neneh Cherry – Blank Project (listen on Spotify)

Neneh Cherry is a legend. Robyn features on this album. Will that do? Well, it’s also probably the coolest album on the list, sounding effortless yet endlessly fascinating. Her first solo album since 1996’s Man, it’s full of pounding tribal drums and comes from a similarly dark place as Portishead’s Third or The Knife’s Shaking the Habitual. Going back to it now after having lived with it for the best part of a year it’s easily maintained its position as one of 2014’s bravest and most interesting albums. And did we mention that Robyn features?


Oh Land – Earth Sick (listen on Spotify)

Barely a year since Wishbone we saw the release of Nanna Øland Fabricius’s fourth album, Earth Sick. Funded by her fans on Pledgemusic, this is a slick album of anthemic pop beats, and is full of highlights, from the motivational lead single Head Up High to the rousing call to arms Flags via the squelchy semi R&B of Hot ‘N’ Bothered and the brassy Half Hero. This time around she might not have any collaborations with Sia, but she doesn’t need them.


Röyksopp – The Inevitable End (listen on Spotify)

Our second Robyn featuring album of the list, and the trouble with a song so staggeringly good as Monument – in both its forms – is that any album would struggle to match it. But The Inevitable End, while a little meandering in places, is largely a hugely successful farewell from Röyksopp to the album format. Sordid Affair tips a hat to their past with its Air-esque vibes, Save Me gives us more female-led synth pop par excellence and I Had This Thing is a pounding dancefloor stomper. Not to mention the second Robyn collaboration, the sweary Rong (“What the fuck is wrong with you? You’re just so fucking wrong”, sung like butter wouldn’t melt), and the old yet still wondrous Running to the Sea with Susanne Sundfør. Albums may be in Röyksopp’s past, but, on this form, it’s a huge relief that they’re not abandoning music entirely.

Todd Terje – It’s Album Time (listen on Spotify)

Worst or best album title of the year? Regardless, this was an unexpected hit upon its release and it’s not hard to see why, being one of the funkiest, most fun electronic albums this year. If we’re honest, sometimes it sailed a little too close to Bond spoof-slash-1970s porn film-slash-early noughties chill out a few too many times to embed itself deeply within our hearts, but it has such a sense of style and charm that it’s impossible not to forgive its few slips (ooh, matron!). Daft Punk may be getting all the sales, but you know secretly they’d kill for a song like Delorean Dynamite. And we can’t not mention the Bryan Ferry featuring Robert Palmer cover, Johnny and Mary, which transforms the harsh nu-wave of the original into a lush, driving electronic ballad.

Tove Lo – Queen of the Clouds

What a year Tove has had. Habits has played seemingly everywhere all year (although we’re still not particularly fond of the Hippie Sabotage remix) and then she was handpicked by Lorde to appear on the Hunger Games soundtrack. In yet another example of bizarre worldwide scheduling, the UK still hasn’t been able to get their hands on her debut album, but it’s another one that is worth waiting for. Split into three parts of a relationship – the sex, the love and the pain – the first (of course) is crammed with album highlights My Gun, Talking Body and Timebomb (our personal favourite), but the love and pain sections have their highs, too, and we really hope that Tove is able to capitalise on her initial success and become a major pop figure in 2015.

And now for the top three…

3. Beatrice Eli – Die Another Day (listen on Spotify)

The sexiest album of 2014? Almost certainly. But unlike some of her more international contemporaries, who sing in breathy tones about imaginary Hollywood sex from the pool to the club, this is real, dirty sex, mixed with love and anger and frailty and doubt and bitterness. It’s so relatable and so honest that it’s more shocking than Nicki’s buns, hon, could ever be. It’s full of fantastic pop songs, too. Moment of Clarity starts the album with a few piano notes before a thunderous beat and Beatrice singing “I get so wet when I look at you”, and it rarely lets up from there – through Girls (“I see pictures in my head of her head between my legs”) and Party in My Pants (says it all, really) to the painful confessionals of The Last Time, (“I’m hurting, I’m always hurting, I’m really, really hurting and I just can’t take any more”) Coward and Trust Issues. It’s only on listening to this album that you realise how bereft of genuine emotion so much pop music is, and what makes this such a remarkable, brilliant debut.

2. MØ – No Mythologies to Follow (listen on Spotify)

By the time of its release, seven of its tracks had already been drip fed to us, so its familiarity almost led to a sense of disappointment. But that’s crazy talk, because No Mythologies to Follow contains some of the best alt-pop hits of many a year, and in MØ we have a genuine star in the making. Utterly distinctive and utterly catchy, full of hand claps and synth spikes and small shrieks, Karen Marie Ørsted has never failed to thrill us, except for when she’s moving us too, like on the heartbreaking and entirely relatable semi-power ballad Never Wanna Know. Her combination of punk and Spice Girls might have raised a few eyebrows at first, but now the only question we should be asking is why no one has done it sooner.

1. Emilie Nicolas – Like I’m a Warrior


Sometimes when you listen to an album it’s hard to remove your own personal experience from it and just judge it by the music. And so it was at first with this debut from Norwegian star Emilie Nicolas. It all started in February, when we saw her at by:Larm festival in Oslo. Our expectations were middling, but from the moment she stepped out on stage, barely visible in front of some blinding spotlights, we knew she was a star. If that festival were an election debate, pundits would declare Emilie the winner. So of course upon her album release in October our expectations had leapt from “middling” to “salivating”. And at first they were met, but with a nagging doubt that maybe we only loved it because we were so #teamemilie. But a couple of months have passed since then and those doubts have faded: this is a fantastic album. It’s brave. It’s beautiful. It matches cold, dark electronics with a human warmth that really grows on you with repeated listens. And the tone is always perfect – quiet just when it needs to be, like on the devastating Us (“I was never yours, was I? You were never mine, were you?”), and vicious when it’s needed, like on Fail – which also contains the lyric of the year: “Don’t call me lazy, I go down on him daily.” Plus we haven’t even mentioned Emilie’s amazing voice, which is perfect throughout.

Sadly, Like I’m a Warrior has yet to be released outside of Norway, so unless you import it you’re going to struggle to hear it for the time being. But an international release is planned for spring 2015, so we’re ready for it to be soundtracking next year as well as this.