The Local's top Swedish music acts for 2015

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The Local's top Swedish music acts for 2015
Naomi Pilgrim in concert in Stockholm. Photo: TT

Sweden has a global reputation for exporting music for the masses, from DJ Avicii to folk group First Aid Kit. But who are the next acts showing international potential? We asked The Local's music guru Paul Connolly.


Sweden’s status as the world’s third largest pop music exporter was celebrated recently when PostNord, Sweden’s postal service, announced a new line of stamps featuring electro-dance icon Robyn, folk band First Aid Kit, DJ Avicii, soul singer Seinabo Sey and mega-producer/songwriter Max Martin (the man behind the hits of mega stars including Taylor Swift and Britney Spears).

But who will be next to break through internationally?

Last year, our main tip was Tove Lo who in 2014 began playing in tiny venues and ended the year supporting Katy Perry on her world tour and enjoying a global smash hit with Habits (first talked about on The Local back in 2013).

Lo's debut album, Queen Of The Clouds, even reached number 14 in the US album charts - similar success is expected when the album is released in the UK this month.

This year Zara Larsson and AronChupa will almost certainly emulate Lo’s success and enjoy some US chart action.

But what about further down the ladder? 

Predicting surefire success is almost impossible so what follows is a list of acts who float our boat. They may never become huge but they will release some terrific music in 2015.

1. Nadya

Born in Jönköping to Iranian parents, Nadia "Nadya" Kardar Tehran previously played in punk and hip-hop bands. Those genres’ energy and anger have certainly suffused her music as a solo artist, but there is majesty here too - Refugee may be searing but it’s also utterly magnificent. She’s been likened to the UK’s M.I.A. M.I.A. should be so lucky.


2. AnnaMelina

AnnaMelina doesn’t like to blow her own trumpet. In fact this 21-year-old purveyor of electronica R&B probably disdains trumpets. So we will bring her to your attention instead. She writes all about the bits of love in between the dizzy beginnings and the sorry end. And she does it so very well.

3. Julia Vero 

Vero makes big-boned pop songs that probably have slimmer older brothers and sisters that were born in the 1980s. It’s not all retro, though - there’s a knowing contemporary ear at work here, as evidenced by the dirty synths. Polished but not smug.

4. The Amazing

A name like The Amazing demands that you be good. Luckily, this Stockholm band peddle the kind of dreamy but focused rustic rock that has had people slavering over the likes of My Morning Jacket and Fleet Foxes. Seriously amazing stuff.

5. Naomi Pilgrim

Pilgrim could be forgiven for thinking that she’s been somewhat left behind by the likes of Seinabo Sey and Mapei, Sweden’s premier new soul stars. She may need to add a lick of her own personality to her music and if she does 2015 can be hers.


6. Blänk

Blänk come from the very north of the Bothnian Bay. But their music is not chilly or remote. Tears Run Dry is, instead, utterly accessible and warm electronic pop. And their imminent debut album, Only Built For The Northern Lights, is rather special.



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