2012 was a great year for Swedish music.
2013 promises to be better yet, with major artists such as Robyn and Opeth due to release albums and "mid-table" acts such as The Mary Onettes set to produce career-defining work.
But we have our eye on a few up and coming young artists - at least one of these should grab your attention this year.
Kate Boy’s incredible Northern Lights was a late highlight of 2012, with its piercing synths slashing like The Knife (see, I told you you’d hear about them again -- see link above) through a wondrous tune. Not much else is known about this four-piece other than there is one Aussie in the mix with three Swedes. Their debut album is due in early 2013. I, for one, cannot wait.
Former girl band star Fanny Hamlin, one quarter of famous-for-fifteen-nanoseconds Play, has reinvented herself as sultry siren, Faye, for a crack at the grown-up market. The word in the UK and US is that this terrific single, Water Against The Rocks, has a real chance of being a breakout hit. Judge for yourselves.
This Gothenburg singer-songwriter has graduated from beautiful acoustic ballads to glacial and heartbreaking electro-pop. Indigo, out early next year, is utterly sensational (Below, I’ve included the single, synth-driven, version, along with an acoustic take to emphasize the strength of the song writing). Sundemo’s even interrupted a medical degree to finish her debut album. Medicine’s loss could be pop’s gain.
It makes perfect sense that, given the rise of First Aid Kit, there should be other pastoral types roaming the Swedish countryside, hewing timeless chunks of harmony-drenched rustic rock from birch and larch. John Moose are one such bunch and already have one bucolic, shimmering three-song EP under their shaggy beards and will be releasing their debut album in 2013.
Lune’s leading light Linnea Martinsson had the voice that added the sugar to the sour of Adrian Lux’s 2010 hit Teenage Crime. Her debut "solo" album as Lune is out in late January. The Söråker girl is so convinced of the quality of the tunes on the album that she’s decided not to include Don’t Be Sober, one of the stand-out singles of 2012, and the acoustic version of which is below. Brave or stupid? Time will tell.