Sweden’s affair with EBM shows no sign of abating. The latest track from Strikkland, from the sequencer-loving West Coast, is a thumping, contorting piece of energy, wrapped in barbed wire. It precedes a new album, which is expected in 2024.
Track of the Day
The excellent new album from Lucifer’s Aid has dropped with a bang. Destruction features ten potential singles, but our favourite candidate is this track.
“Obsession” brings the EBM point-and-thrust sequences and beats right up to date. Calle Nilsson’s growl has something of Cryo’s insistence about it, which is a good thing.
In normal years, the transition of foliage from rich greens to burned orange and gold occurs over a period of weeks; turning the trees into the colours of the Sun before the darkness really sets in.
This is no ordinary year. The havoc caused by the relentless pursuit of profits has put the forests on a different schedule. Reset your mental calendar with this offering from Nille Nyc. The Danish chanteuse returns for the changing of the season with an elegant, infectious piece, accompanied by Kristian Gaarskjær on guitar.
The impossible beauty of Lau Nau’s work combines water from many wells: womanhood, motherhood, the sea, isolation, togetherness, Polar light, Northern darkness… In her work, the inheritances of the Finnish archipelago and forest take human shape and are relayed through magical resonances.
“Nukahtamislaulu” means “Lullaby” in Finnish, but the first track from the forthcoming Lau Nau album reminds us that adults need soothing, too.
Myrkur returns with a new album, Spine, on 20 October 2023. “Mothlike” is the second single from the album, and it comes with a video by David Pitt.
Amalie Bruun’s last album, Folkesange, represented the Danish artist’s connections to traditional folk song, but her black metal sound seems to have returned. Capable of stirring emotion with the lightest of touches and the heaviest of winds, Bruun’s voice works powerfully with either style. Still working through the experience of becoming a mother, she has birthed Spine in Sigur Ros’ Iceland studio; unleashing storms of emotion that Jonsi rarely gets to express himself.
From the City of Angels comes a devilishly good EP by Die Sexual. The duo of Anton and Rosselinni Floriano have shaped their debut release with a deft club-friendly touch. It helps that Anton has been honing his craft as half of Black Light Odyssey, which has an official remix of Depeche Mode (“Oh Well”) to it’s credit, as well as unofficial remixes and covers.
Here’s a piece of trivia: Where was the last ever Fad Gadget performance? The answer is: the Swedish Alternative Music Awards in Gothenburg. It was a tragedy to lose Frank Tovey, but it was not accidental that the promoters of the legendary Romo Night had pulled him across the North Sea for a show. They know how to respect their elders in the Nordic music scene.
So it is that a Lustans Lakejer shirt plays a prominent role in this video from Strange Tales. Sweden’s answer to Duran Duran is still playing shows, but respect where it is due. That isn’t to say that Strange Tales are newcomers to the scene – the band was first active in the period, 1984-1987, but it was only in 2020 that they returned.
The band is made of up of:
- Karl Johan ”Kalle” Larsson – composer, lead vox, backing vox
- Tobbe Lander – composer, synths
- Jonas Berg – composer, synths
There is an album on the way. Untold will include this single, “Somebody Else” – which gives good impressions, and not only because we love a good LL promo shirt.
Sweden’s Kite aren’t nearly as well known in the UK as they ought to be. Two appearances this year should help to change that, but the shows were relatively low key. Back in their homeland, they just performed in front of thousands of rapturous fans, who have been treated to the duo’s anthemic poptronica for years in great locations with their full light-shows.
Their latest release, “Don’t Take the Light Away/Remember Me,” gives us two new songs to add to the sense that the Swedes know something that the Brits don’t. In this remix by Emmon producer, Jimmy Monell, the lead track from the single gets a harder treatment for the dancefloor.
Remember Delays? The Southampton band had a strong claim to be the kings of indietronica. Even Trevor Horn got in on the action, adding his production gloss to their hit, “Valentine.” Sadly, singer Greg Gilbert left us two years ago, which left a crown to be claimed.
A strong contender comes from Ireland, in the shape of Lucy Gaffney. Nettwerk, the home label of Moev, Delerium, and Sarah McLachlan, have already snapped her up. Gaffney’s songs are strong, and to our ears the sound owes something to the influence of Delays. She has a support slot with the Wedding Present in Belfast on the 7th of September in Belfast, which ought to cement her indie credentials no end.
Remember what summers were like when you were a kid? They never seemed to end, and the blue skies were a revelation after three other seasons spent locked inside a classroom. When you got a little older, it was when you could meet other kids of whichever sex appealed to you. As August came around, the weather cooled appreciably, and it became possible to wear jeans and jumpers without sweating to death. There was the excitement of a new school year approaching, but also a sense of loss because the best weather and the greatest freedom was behind you. Time to get a new pencil case, but also to say goodbye to the hang-outs with your new friends.
The new single from Dave Baker’s Lonelyklown project traces these feelings from an adult perspective. “All the Summers Gone” combines the senses of longing and loss with appreciation for the memories in the way that Baker does best without becoming overly sentimental (see: I Start Counting). Yes, there were 99 Flakes, cricket and contrails, but also sounds and sights that won’t be repeated. Savour them.