Thirteen fantastic songs for March in Sweden

As spring approaches The Local's music writer, Paul Connolly, offers up an abundance of great new Swedish music.

Thirteen fantastic songs for March in Sweden
Icona Pop's new single is a return to form. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

1. Icona Pop – Someone Who Can Dance

The duo are back with their best single since the globe-straddling I Love It. This features bone-crushing beats, a giant hook and the kind of desperate, too-honest lyrics for which Tove Lo is noted.

2. De Montevert – It’s Alright, I’m Probably Dreaming

A little bit Velvet Underground, a wee bit Stereolab and a big bit gorgeous.

3. WDL – Hurricane High Life

The belting new single from Swedish producer WDL (aka Johan Wedel) is the follow-up to Stardust – both singles are taken from his debut album No Wings Airline, which comes out later this year.

4. Selena Gomez – Hands To Myself

This slinky, slightly off-kilter tune is 2016's biggest-hit-so-far for Sweden's Max Martin, a man only bested in the number of hit singles he's had by Messrs Lennon and McCartney.

5. Zara Larsson feat. Tinie Tempah – Lush Life

We first wrote about Larsson in 2014 so it seems incredible she's still only 18. But she's about to replicate her huge success in Sweden, globally, with this slightly re-tooled version of her biggest hit. Watch her fly.

6. Saturday, Monday, Brolin – Pilgrim

Bruised, melancholy and addictive, this track from Stockholm producer Saturday, Monday features UK producer Brolin on vocals.

7. Tove Lo – Scars

A brand new track from Lo – it's on the soundtrack for the new film, Allegiant, the final chapter in the Divergent trilogy.

8. The Flights – Falcon Fly

A brooding rock epic to counterbalance the chirpy electro pop of last single, Candle Wax. Check out the majestic video, too.

9. YAST – I Don’t Think She Knows

YAST may never have listened to anything other than 90s American alt-rockers Dinosaur Jr and Pavement but their mimicry is so very good.

10. Badlands – Echo

Badlands is Stockholm native, Catharina Jaunviksna and Echo is sublime, 80s-tinged chilled-out synth pop.

11. LNKAY – Overload

We featured LNKAY's first single, Hurricane, last autumn. Overload is just as mellow and lovely.

12. Julia Adams – Brändes

In the absence of new material from Adams, here's a live rendition of the glacially beautiful Brändes.

13. Mavrick – Funeral

We're tipping Mavrick for big things and the gospelly, funky Funeral does nothing to change our minds.

You can listen to the Spotify playlist here and watch the YouTube playlist here


The most stunning Swedish festival spots this week

How about a party on an island, in an old quarry or a former mining camp? That's all on offer in Sweden this week, alongside our regular interactive calendar.

The most stunning Swedish festival spots this week
The Norberg Festival at an old ore mine. Photo: Peo Bengtsson

1. Into the Valley

Into the Valley takes place in a former limestone quarry located in picturesque Dalhalla near Rättvik in central Sweden. The festival only plays electro music, but even if you're not a fan, the venue itself is well worth the visit. This year it hosts famous international DJs such as Damien Lazarus, Nina Kraviz and Ben Klock.

When: July 28th-30th

Where: Dalhalla, seven kilometres from the train station in Rättvik

Tickets: 350-1590 kronor ($40-180)

2. Stockholm Music & Arts

This festival takes place in one of the most gorgeous locations in the Swedish capital: on the Skeppsholmen island, with clear blue Lake Mälaren and the Stockholm skyline as its backdrop. It has only been running since 2012, but has already attracted some of the more discerning fans. As its name suggests, it mixes music with different arts, for example theatre monologues or abstract paintings. What about the line-up? Oh, Lauryn Hill, Rufus Wainwright, Sigur Rós and Patti Smith, to name but a few.

When: July 29th-31st

Where: Skeppsholmen, Stockholm

Tickets: 750-1650 kronor

Stockholm Music & Arts last summer. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

3. Fryksdalsdansen

Deep in the Värmland region in western Sweden, in the Fryk Valley (Fryksdalen), lies Sunne, a small, sleepy town of around 5000 people. Except for these three days in July when 16,000 visitors descend on the area to attend this dance and music festival. Although you're unlikely to find Lauryn Hill and Sigur Rós here, some of Sweden's top homegrown artists will take the stage to show off their own brands of both the nation's traditional 'dansband' music and modern hits.

When: July 28th-30th

Where: Sunne, Värmland

Tickets: 400-800 kronor

4. The Norberg Festival

The Norberg Festival takes place in a rather spectacular location: an abandoned mining area called Mimerlaven in the town of Norberg, in the woods some 160 kilometres north-west of Stockholm. The former industrial buildings are turned into a technicolour show of light and sound installations and electronic music for three days – who knew concrete could be beautiful?

When: July 28th-30th

Where: Gamla Banan 6, Norberg, Västmanland

Tickets: 1290-1390 kronor (cheaper options are already sold out)

Check out the interactive calendar below for more events in Sweden:



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