May. 24th, 2012

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I've been listening near-exclusively to music in Swedish for about two months and I want to share. I've included links to lyrics translations when I could find any online (even when clearly dicey, as most of them are). Any place I've glossed lyrics or titles myself is even more questionable. But I'm trying!

There will most likely be more of these posts. If you only have time for two songs, listen to "Det snurrar i min skalle" and "Dum av dig".

Veronica Maggio - Pop with lots of nice instrumental touches. Maggio is a big star-- her latest album, "Satan i gatan", went to #1, as did its first single; lots of people online are conjecturing about which songs she and ex-boyfriend Oskar Linnros (also a pop star) wrote about each other, etc.

"Valkommen in" ("Welcome In") (lyrics)

"Sju sorger" ("Seven Sorrows") (lyrics)

Daniel Adams-Ray - Even more than Veronica Maggio, I have trouble putting my finger on any current US pop stars in this exact vein. Adams-Ray got famous as a rapper (he and the aforementioned Oskar Linnros were a rap outfit named Snook) but the internet calls this "neo-soul" and to me it just sounds like what a lot of indiepop bands would do if they had the budget.

"Dum av dig" ("Stupid For You")

"Gubben i lådan" ("Jack-In-The-Box") (lyrics)

Jakob Hellman - He made one album in the late 80s, sold a bunch of copies, and never followed it up but is still (according to the internet) beloved by Swedish listeners. Forever frozen in the Swedish national consciousness as an adorable cross between Daniel Radcliffe and Rivers Cuomo.

"Vara vänner" ("Be Friends")

"Hon väntar på mej" ("She's Waiting For Me")

Familjen (The Family) - Really nice contemporary dancepop. The guy apparently has an accent from Skane, an area in the south of Sweden-- most noticeably, "mig" and "dig" ("me"/"you") sound like "my" and "die" rather than "may" and "day". Of all these artists, Familjen are probably the one who I'm most certain I would have already been a fan of if they sang in English.

"Det snurrar i min skalle" ("It Spins My Head") (lyrics)

"Huvudet i sanden" ("Head in the Sand") (lyrics)

"Det var jag" ("It Was Me") (lyrics)

"Djungelns lag" ("Jungle Law")

Far & Son (Father & Son) - These guys might be the Swedish LMFAO. Not sure. "Panik" does have several references to the Smiths song "Panic", including a melodic quote in the middle. In each line of "Excellent Ecstasy", all the words start with the same letter -- the Youtube commenter who faithfully transcribed it saw one of their comments marked as spam, possibly since it was in fact a string of non-sequiturs punctuated with the names of prescription drugs.


"Excellent Ecstasy"

"Du är mina tankar"

Kapten Röd (Captain Red) - Earnest Swedish melodic dancehall (he also does plenty of more roots-style reggae). "Ju mer dom spottar" is an anti-hater song so relentlessly perky that it sounds like he's *actually* managed to not care about his detractors, despite writing a whole song about them. "Saknade vänner", on the other hand, is a tribute to a friend of his who died, made slightly less poignant by the fact that (if Wikipedia can be trusted), his friend, fellow musician Junior Eric, died in a moped accident rather than the gunfight the lyrics hint at. But still.

"Ju mer dom spottar" ("The More They Spit")

"Saknade vänner" ("Missing Friends")

Panda Da Panda - Glitchy and yelpy (i.e. totally charming! if you're me) dubstep-inflected pop. "Tittar när han dansar" begins with him murmuring "I know something you don't know... you're in love with me!" a few times before the song really kicks in. The chorus is "Watch when I dance / Watch me when I dance / Watch me when I / When when when I dance". At the end, he just starts shouting "My legs! My arms! Dancing!"

(The title, archly: "Look At Him Dancing".)

"Turbulens" might actually be a better song, and I think is relatively sincere -- the dispirited "jag vet" ("I know") in the background gets me every time -- but I mean... look at him! Dancing!

"Turbulens" [note: shirtless boy video]

"Tittar När Han Dansar" ("Look At Him Dancing")

Next time: Snow White's eighth dwarf, a kinky Jesus, and the world's most beautiful waiting room.


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Dorothy Fennel

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