Archive for the ‘Swedish awesomeness’ Category

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Ode to joy

October 5, 2008

While he’s nowhere near as famous as fellow Gothenburg resident Jens Lekman (a Goodnight Believer favourite), Kristoffer Ragnstam is a pop songwriter to watch.  He’s got a knack for writing songs that bypass melody and obvious hooks – but still manage to worm their way into your ear.

Case in point was last year’s “Breakfast By The Mattress”.  It starts off with Ragnstam’s curious falsetto and some noodly drum work.  Then the pieces start to come together and it somehow becomes a delicious bit of retro-pop confectionary.

This year, he’s doing it all again, particularly with a song called “Swing That Tambourine”.  He’s a little bit more obtrusive this time, especially with the rambunctious chorus, but it still avoids a lot of pop music cliches.  This is the kind of intelligent, engaging pop music that Phoenix were doing so brilliantly on their last album.  You’ll be shouting along in no time at all.

Kristoffer Ragnstam – “Breakfast By The Mattress”

Kristoffer Ragnstam – “Swing That Tambourine”

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Holiday romance

March 8, 2008
Paris

Perhaps it’s because I came a little bit late to the Peter Bjorn and John craze that I didn’t get hung up on “the whistling track”. Just as well, because the rest of Writer’s Block is pretty top-notch.

One of my favourite tracks is Peter’s almost impossibly whimsical “Paris 2004” – with its light as air feel, its tales of romantic strolls around the French capital and refrain of “I’m all about you, you’re all about me, we’re all about each other”.

Too sweet?

Not when you really think about it. The fact that the song is titled after a very specific time and very specific place suggests that the warm feelings were confined to that one trip to Paris.

It gives you that sense of sadness you feel when you can look back and say “Yep, March 2004 – that’s when things were good”. And for pop songs soaked in that kind of thirty-something regret, PB&J are pros.

Peter Bjorn and John – “Paris 2004”

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Bingo nite

September 18, 2007

My friend Emma is always talking about taking us along to a bingo night, probably down at some church hall in the suburbs full of old biddies. When it happens it will be fun. And when it does, I want Jens Lekman to be playing.

The Swedish twee-pop powerhouse has released his excellent new full-length Night Falls on Kortedala and it is jam-packed with goodness. Especially the closing track, which is precisely about going to bingo. And you try naming another good song on the same theme…

Jens Lekman – Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo