Sweden National Day requires a special playlist

As the title says, it’s Sweden National Day and this blog couldn’t let it go blank…I mean, “I ♥ Sweden” is actually a category here!

Sweden National Day

I’ve loved Swedish music pretty much for as long as I’ve loved music, even if unknowingly. And it probably started with Ace of Base and Roxette (happiest gig I’ve ever been to back in 2011 at Wembley Arena!). Although it was “Lovefool” and my brother’s First Band on the Moon CD that  The Cardigans - First Band On The Moon (1996)made me listen to The Cardigans at first, I’ve long transcended that underrated gem of a song and have loved pretty much everything they’ve released since, even going into Nina Persson‘s no-longer-in-existence parallel project, A Camp and, most recently, her solo album, Animal Heart.

Sweden is not only a stunning country with a cool hippie vibe, IKEA and Pippi Longstocking, but it’s always been one of the main exporters of music, whether it be bands, singers or songwriters. I mean, having written numerous hits for some of the biggest popstars in the world, Max Martin is probably one of the most important pop songwriters of all times.

To celebrate Sweden Nationaldag, I put together a selection of tracks of some of the country’s most popular artists ranging from obvious classics such as Abba and my dearest Cardigans to iconic Robyn and the latest up-and-coming gems such as Matilda Gratte (with whom I’ve been in love since I first heard her at Camden’s best hidden treasure, Spiritual Bar). Sadly, she’s only got two songs on Spotify, so I’ve added a video down here too.

Although all the artists are deserving of more than a mention, I’ll keep this brief but give you a heads up on this one great musician I was introduced to on a trip to Stockholm: Tingsek. It was love at first listen and I was lucky enough to get to see him play East London’s Cargo a few years ago when opening for Allen Stone. I can’t exactly describe his music…it’s just stunning! And he recorded probably the best version I’ve ever heard of Depeche Mode‘s “Shake the Disease”.

I’ll stop here so you can carry on to more important matters: the actual songs!

If you feel like I’ve missed someone important or want to suggest some new artists, please do feel free, comments are very welcome!

Seriously one of the most anticipated releases finally announced!

Disclaimer: I’m Latin. I do feel very passionately about things that I truly love and sometimes it comes across as slightly obsessive to my European peers. 😂 Oh well!

The reason I’m sharing this information is that I’m possibly about to go very nuts over the latest album release announced. In my defence, I’ve been waiting for this one in particular for over TWO YEARS.

It was on Wednesday 05 Mar 2014 that I was really excitedly waiting to see dear Nina Persson at the Scala. I was just chilling, minding my own business celebrating my 10th anniversary of the first time I left home to leave abroad when the support act came on stage…that was it. Norma Jean Martine began and it was all, well, uphill! from there.

At the time I really liked her but normal, the way I like a billion artists. But then I checked her out online, again, like I usually do with the artists I like, and I got hooked. I’ve long lost count of how many times I watched her videos on YouTube and EVERY. SINGLE. TIME I ask myself “why on earth isn’t she releasing these songs so I can actually have them on my daily playlists?!”

Well, guess I (and you. You’ll all love it! She’s amazing!) won’t have to wait that much longer…this is part of the email I got today:

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I was so excited that I forgot to watch the video and check the release date: 09 Sept 16 (aaahhh another 5 months!! But ok, at least now we know it’s happening).

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And the video. Seriously, the video. I haven’t been excited about one in forever but reading about it gave me all the feels…I’ll share NJM’s words as she can obviously explain it better than anyone else:

njm_video

And, obvs, the video:

This song was actually released a while ago with a different video but this one really is just beautiful! So personal, so sweet. And I’m not entirely sure as I hadn’t heard the studio version of “No Gold” in a while but sounds like it’s been slightly reworked…sounds cooler, more interesting (even though the original was already a great song!).

Apart from the fact that we still need to wait a few months for the album to be released, one of my favourite NJM songs is not in the track list…but all good, everything is fine, we’ll just have to hope she’ll release a bootleg/acoustic version of it to keep us going (because one album will not be enough!)

[this track, btw]

Hopefully she’ll announce the London gig soon and, better yet, I’ll be able to go!! It’s been too long…about 3 months =)

[NJM at The Lexington, London 16 Feb 2016]

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