Five Swedish bands to look out for in 2013

With 2012 soon a distant memory, ex-Londoner Paul Connolly puts the spotlight on some acts to look out for on the Swedish music scene in 2013.

Five Swedish bands to look out for in 2013

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

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.

Frida Sundemo

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.



John Moose

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.

Paul Connolly

Read more from Paul here, including his Northern Dispatch column

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What are the best concerts in Sweden this autumn?

Now that Sweden has lifted its audience restrictions for public events, The Local's Paul O'Mahony lists his recommendations for the best gigs to attend over the coming months.

Crowd at a music concert in Debaser, Stockholm
Crowds return to Stockholm venue Debaser after pandemic restrictions on events were lifted. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Sweden’s musicians, concert promoters and venue operators have struggled to varying degrees through the pandemic. One surefire way to help get them back on their feet is to give organisers and artists the financial reassurance they need by pre-booking concerts. 

Of course these recommendations only apply if you feel safe attending large events; remember that you should stay home and take a Covid-19 test if you experience any symptoms that could be linked to the virus, even if vaccinated. And make sure to check with organisers if there are any specific coronavirus requirements you need to be aware of. 

Coming up: top gigs in Sweden over the next few months 

As a regular gig-goer, live music is the one thing I’ve missed most over the past year and a half. So it is with some excitement (and, I’ll admit, a degree of trepidation) that I prepare to go see Norwegian band Pom Poko this Friday at Hus 7 in Stockholm. Their melodic art-punk album Cheater sparked the year into life on its release in January. They’re also playing Plan B in Malmö on Saturday night

Plan B is also the venue when Squid hit Sweden with a thrilling dose of post-punk on October 15th. Tickets remain available for the show at the time of writing (an absolute steal at 120 kronor), though that’s sadly not the case in Stockholm where their October 16th gig at Melodybox sold out a long time ago. (Although you can sign up to be added to a waiting list). 

Another artist well worth checking out in October is Gothenburg guitarist and singer Amanda Werne, better known as Slowgold. Her live shows are great and she is embarking on a Swedish tour on October 8th. 

Emma-Jean Thackray, one of the UK’s most interesting jazz artists, will be at Fasching in Stockholm on October 15th

For the best kind of sonic assault, Anna von Hasswolff’s band Bada are scheduled to play in Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg in late October. 

Have any of you ever seen Gothenburg electronic veterans Little Dragon live? I haven’t but might check them out in November when they swing by Malmö, Stockholm and Gothenburg

Amason are also heading out on the road for a Scandinavian tour in November. If you haven’t heard Amanda Bergman’s voice in a live setting before this will be a treat. 

The inimitable Sibille Attar released her superb second album A History of Silence at the start of the year and she’s finally getting the chance to play her eighties-inspired gems live at Slaktkyrkan in Stockholm on November 18th

Cassandra Jenkins long lurked in the background as a musician in touring bands for people like Eleanor Friedberger and Purple Mountains. But this year’s album An Overview on Phenomenal Nature has really established her as an artist to be reckoned with in her own right. She’s coming to Södra Teatern in Stockholm on November 26th

Always popular in this part of the world, The Jesus and Mary Chain return to Sweden for dates in Stockholm and Gothenburg at the end of November

Wry Finland-Swedish indie outfit Vasas Flora och Fauna have some of the funniest (Swedish) lyrics and catchiest tunes around. They’ll be in Stockholm and Gothenburg the first weekend of December

UK experimental rockers Black Midi are also playing Stockholm and Gothenburg on December 4th and 5th. So prepare to travel if you want to catch both them and Vasas Flora and Fauna. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Bob Hund’s annual ‘week 48’ show also takes place on December 4th. But that has been sold out for ages so no decisions to make there. It is also worth noting though that Sweden’s hardest working band has also written a musical that’s going to be performed in Helsingborg (October-November) and Gothenburg (November)

Bonus: For a post-Christmas pick-me-up try to get down to Little Simz at Slaktkyrkan on January 14th if you’re in Stockholm. The UK rapper’s new album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is one of this year’s best releases. 

Selected artists playing Sweden in 2022: Henry Rollins, Sarah Klang, Yann Tiersen, Mogwai, Pearl Charles, Wolf Alice, Lloyd Cole, Lord Huron, Future Islands, Josh Rouse + Vetiver, Tricky, Snail Mail, Porridge Radio, Aldous Harding, Shame, The Kooks, The War on Drugs, Echo and the Bunnymen, Kings of Convenience, Fontaines D.C., Alex Cameron, Lucy Dacus, The Divine Comedy, Mdou Moctar, Iggy Pop, Chubby and the Gang, Sparks, Belle & Sebastian, The National, Sharon Van Etten, Teenage Fanclub, Tindersticks, Suede, Viagra Boys, Pavement. 

For bigger arena shows, Ticketmaster covers a lot of the bases. Big-name acts with gigs in the offing include Ed Sheeran, Zara Larsson, Whitesnake and, lest we forget, ABBA

And that’s just a fraction of what’s going on. Tour schedules are busier than ever now that artists are finally getting back on the road. To keep track of what gigs are coming up I can recommend checking in with Luger, FKP Scorpio, and Live Nation. Follow your favourite venues too: sometimes they cut out the middleman and do their own booking and promotion. I also use the Bandsintown app, which comes with the added bonus of receiving messages from your favourite artists which let you pretend to be their friend. 

Enjoy the gigs, and stay safe! 

Paul O’Mahony is editorial product manager at The Local. In his spare time he plays the best new indie and alternative music as host of the Signals show on Nerve Music.