• Sweden's news in English

Ten Swedish bands that'll knock your socks off

Charlotte Webb · 16 Feb 2012, 15:14

Published: 16 Feb 2012 15:14 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Forget Abba and Ace of Base. In the last decade, Swedish pop music has moved firmly onto the world stage with an innovative variety of new voices and styles, ranging from experimental electronica to contemporary jazz, folk, indie and beyond.

Click here to see a list of ten Swedish bands that'll knock your socks off

On Tuesday, two of the musicians on The Local's top ten list pulled in Grammis, the Swedish equivalent to the Grammy Awards, with the Deportees winning for Rock Group of the Year and Lykke Li taking home two of the most coveted awards: Artist of the Year and Album of the Year.

Lykke Li's video for "Get Some" from 2010

Deportees' video for "When They Come" from 2009

Swedish House Mafia was recognized as the Swedish act that had achieved the greatest international success, while UK pop sensation Adele, who picked up six Grammy awards, was honoured with the Swedish Grammi for best international album.

Story continues below…

With the Swedish trade minister hoping to double the export of Swedish music by 2015, now is the time to take a closer look at some of the most interesting acts to grace the Swedish stage in recent years.

Related links:

Charlotte Webb (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

16:53 February 16, 2012 by sarah02
swedish grammi o.O
19:03 February 16, 2012 by scrawler
I read a news two days ago Veronica got Grammy award. I was like wth he didnt event nominated then I read the web page with google translator lol...! Swedish Grammy, Oscar and SAFTA .
23:20 February 16, 2012 by cyntur53
You forgot the best Swedish band....Sabaton!

Sabaton has been rocking at home and abroad for 10 years!

Nominated for Grammis in 2008.

Their new album coming in May is "Carolus Rex" about Charles 12 of Sweden

looks to be even better!
01:16 February 17, 2012 by Hunner1210
I think Sverige has the best musik in all of Europe! Also Timbuktu, Veronica Maggio, Kapten Rod, Daniel Adams-Ray and Oskar Linnros, Fever Ray, Robyn, Hakan Hellstrom, Avicii, Petter, and more! Though it's sad that if Sverige wants to compete on a global scale they must ditch their culture and sing in English. This is where USA has a huge advantage over Sverige.
07:05 February 17, 2012 by joolzg
S.P.O.C.K or The Leather Nuns.

Need i say more

09:53 February 17, 2012 by newswede16
Great new band Svart Kaktus! They will be at the Folkfestivalen August 11, with Signs of Life and Lime. Plan to see them for the 2nd year in Folketspark.
14:44 February 17, 2012 by Charlotte83
@Hunner 1210. It was definitely difficult to pick just ten (Fever Ray is actually Karin Dreijer from The Knife and Robyn is on the list!). But I don't think Swedes singing in English is always a commercial move; I've met a lot of Swedish singer songwriters who feel it comes more naturally to write in English, which is I guess, in this day and age, actually a part of the Swedish culture in a way. IAfter all, it's a heavily bilingual nation.
18:56 February 17, 2012 by Britt-Marie7
Actually, I am impressed with the English of some of the singers, they will not have any trouble competing in the US market. They surely can't compete if they sing in Swedish.
15:39 February 18, 2012 by GeorgeofSweden
First aid kit without a doubt!
04:41 February 19, 2012 by lady space
The fact that none of *my* favorite Swedish artists are listed (not at all surprising) aside, when you draw comparisons with "JOAN Carter Cash," you totally undermine your credibility.

(And while Sabaton puts on a great live show and are a good bunch of guys... well, I'll leave it at that.)
19:42 February 19, 2012 by mickylee
Dear lady space,

I'm sure, as you imply, your tastes are far too rare and exquisite for the rest of us to grasp, but I thought this was a solid representative list. Varied, light-hearted and not,as I get the sense you would have written it, plagued by pretentiousness. As for the misprint, you're totally right, journalists shouldn't be human. They should, like you, use asterisks in place of quotation marks and split their infinitives.
22:12 February 19, 2012 by lady space
Wow, talk about reading my comment wrong. I do NOT expect anyone to have heard of my favorite Swedish artists simply because they are not what most people like, and that's fine. My tastes are no better than anyone else's because of that. But yes, I do expect things to be gotten right in articles.

Asterisks show emphasis, quotation marks do not, so I don't get your point there. And split infinitives... really? Sounds like you're the one who's pretentious. (Also, when criticizing someone's grammar and punctuation, you should probably double-check what you write. You made several errors.)
12:49 February 20, 2012 by Borealis93
I'm extremely surprised Europe is not on the list. It's not the 80s bubblegum glam metal anymore, nor their music today has anything similar to the oh-so-famous The Final Countdown stuff. They rock harder than ever (and I mean really ROCK!), 4th album since the reunion is about to be released in April and I think they deserve more recognition, especially in their own country. Well alright, maybe this list is mostly about pop music, so Europe doesn't belong here, but still... definitely one of the bands that knocks much more than just our socks off.
13:16 February 20, 2012 by mickylee
lady space,

My point wasn't about your grammar (this was merely an example of how easy it is to randomly criticise), it was about your supercilious tone. Every newspaper site has misprints (from The Guardian to The New Yorker), and these can hardly be said to 'totally undermine' someone's credibility. I work on websites myself and I get annoyed when people comment just to be critical, or to show how superior they are, which is exactly what you did. Why not say who you would have liked to see on the list instead?
16:56 February 20, 2012 by lady space
Then why say anything about my grammar?

I didn't read it as a misprint--I read it as likely a mistake from someone who was throwing out names with which they were not familiar. Maybe, maybe not, but that's the way it appeared to me. Period, full stop. I have no problem with the list itself.

Done with this now. I've only been checking back to see if the mistake was corrected, which it now has been. Have a good day and try to quit reading so much into things.
23:32 February 25, 2012 by NicholasEco
What are these bands? What about these bands:

Sabaton, In Flames, Dream Evil, Hammerfall, Lost Horizon, Europe, Malmsteen, Ghost.

Sweden is by far the best metal producing country in the world right now! Göteborg alone has at least 3-4 worldwide bands.
15:33 February 29, 2012 by tigermaul
Good to see The Radio Department on here. But what about other excellent Swedish indiepop: Sambassadeur, Club 8, Palpitation?
15:50 March 21, 2012 by peppe1
OK this one pissed me sooooooooooooo off that I registered especially to comment on this one. How on earth is it possible that in the country with the highest metalband per capita ratio NOT ONE rock band is on this list? Enough of arty-farty skit, get on your denim jacket and rock on this:

Mustasch, In Flames, Graveyard, Dungen, The Hives, Meshugga, In Flames, Candlemass, Arch enemy, evergrey, Opeth, Tiamat, The Quill, Hong Faux, Grand Magus...

Any of these bands will blow the entire list mentioned in the article across the Baltic.
14:57 March 29, 2012 by Denis MacEoin
'it's sad that if Sverige wants to compete on a global scale they must ditch their culture and sing in English'. Well, yes, just like thew comments here. It's actually an astute move, especially given the perfect English most Swedes speak (and sing). I'm Irish, and we mostly gave up our language (but not all our culture) because the English forced us to learn their language. However, the result is that we have produced some of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, where English has guaranteed international acceptance. By speaking English as our native language, we can compete on the international level, where English is an essential key to communication.

Why doesn't anyone above mention Nina Kinert, Anna Ternheim, Sophie Zelmani, or even Ane Brun (Norwegian but resident in Sweden)?
12:27 July 9, 2012 by Nellies
Well, this is awkward, have'nt heard any of theese "/
Today's headlines
Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th year.

What's on in Sweden
Five great autumn events in Sweden this week
Jazz in northern Sweden. Photo: Umeå Jazz Festival

Food, music, movies and more food. What better way of helping yourself forget that the days are getting shorter and colder?

Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

US election
Donald Trump won't get new Ericsson head's vote
Trump pictured at a campaign rally in Florida. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The new Swedish-American boss of telecoms giant Ericsson has revealed he will not vote for the Republican nominee in the forthcoming US presidential election.

Swedes named fourth most gender equal in the world
A file photo of men and women pushing prams in Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden has closed 81 percent of its overall gender gap according to the World Economic Forum.

Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available