It’s no secret that Idle Time has a serious crush on Swedish music. And it was only a matter of time before our five-track Tunes of the Month feature propped up some new songs from that magical, shimmery land of pop perfection. I would seriously be fine blogging five new Scandinavian tunes every month, but there are other people round these parts who have a say, and, sure… other bands who can hold their own against the best Sweden has to offer. But, for now, Happy April, and more Swedes, please.
Listen to the whole eighteen-minute jam via Idle Time’s newly minted Mixcloud account, or stream the tunes individually below.
Goat – “I Sing in Silence”
The enigmatic Goat claim to be from a town called Korpilombolo in northern Sweden, which is awesome enough on its own (whether or not its true – that’s a real place). On stage they wear wild costumes and combine an equally wild, disparate blend of world influences with a churning prog rock buzz. But if this lead single from their forthcoming album, the follow-up to 2014’s excellent Commune, is any indication, they’re just as ethereal and powerful when unplugging guitars and raising voices. I’m ready for a campfire, friends.
Red Sleeping Beauty – “Mi Amor”
My Spanish has gotten really good lately. (Thanks, MMJ.) And imagine my utter shock and delight when I see the two Spanish words that I use the most in recent months forming the song title of a new single from Red Sleeping Beauty. Now imagine how much happier I am when listening to it. Neither of us can sing worth a damn (sorry, MMJ), but that doesn’t stop us from belting the shit out of this duet in the car. You know… I get a little choked up just listening to it. Also, they get points for rhyming “Mediterranean” with “Scandinavian.”
The Barbarisms – “Heaviest Breather”
This Stockholm trio have a new album, Browser, coming out next month and have released two songs in anticipation. “Heaviest Breather” imagines The War on Drugs being waged by a Band of Nordic Horses, and “I Have Not Seen You In Days” is the kind of raw, disjointed folk rock that gets me singing, shitty voice and all, at the top of my lungs. People along my commute route are in for a treat.
Niki & The Dove – “So Much It Hurts”
MH just told me Niki & The Dove’s new album, Everybody’s Heart Is Broken Now, might be the best thing he’s heard in 2016. The first single is disco tears and electro-heartbreak at its finest. And in a year in which we’ve already said goodbye to too many musical icons, this LP by the duo behind “DJ, Ease My Mind” might be just what the world needs.
Peter Bjorn & John – “Breakin’ Point”
PB&J was the first Swedish band to be crowned atop one of Idle Time’s annual Favorites lists and, indeed, they were a big reason for things like: dressing RF in a blond wig and re-creating the “Young Folks” sleeve, or buying a team set of Swedish hockey jerseys when none of us can even ice skate. Sweden fascinates us. You know what else fascinates us? The ability of these guys to open a song with an incredibly infectious whistle. They just make it seem so easy…