Category Archives: Swedish

Eric Saade

Eric Saade is a Swedish artist who I first saw last year when he was representing Sweden in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. His entry, “Popular”, was one of my favourite entries. I thought for sure he was going to win, and after half of the countries had awarded their points, Saade was at the top. But finally he ended the competition in 3rd place. But after this year’s Eurovision I decided to find some music from recent contestants I’d enjoyed and I was stumbled upon some Eric Saade magic!

Saade started off in 2007 in Swedish boyband What’s Up! (who I must soon look into to fuel my guilty pleasure of boy band pop!) He left the group in 2009 to pursue his solo career. That summer, Saade hosted the Swedish music competition My Camp Rock, a camp inspirated by the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock. He also hosted the nationwide contest Julia’s Shooting Stars. In January 2010, Saade won one Scandipop Award in the category Brightest New Hope for 2010, marking his breakthrough in the Swedish pop world.

In March 2010, Saade was nominated for one Marcel Bezençon Award (Melodifestivalen) in the category Press Award for “Manboy”. He also won one in the category Artistic Award for the same song. Saade released his first solo album Masquerade on May 19th, 2011, which reached #2 in Sweden and reached Gold status there. After the album’s release, Saade went on his first tour called Masquerade Tour the summer of 2010 with 24 concerts in Sweden. In January 2011, Saade was nominated for six Scandipop Awards in the categories Best Single from a New Artist for “It’s Gonna Rain” and “Manboy”, Best Male Single for the same songs, Best Male Album for Masquerade and Best New Artist. He also won two awards in the categories Best Album from a New Artist for Masquerade and Best Male!

In May 2011, Saade was nominated for two Marcel Bezençon Awards in the categories Artistic Award and Press Award for “Popular”. Also in May 2011, it was announced that Saade would release two albums in 2011 called Saade Vol. 1 and Saade Vol. 2 in Sweden. The first one was released on June 29th, 2011 in Sweden and Norway. The album reached #1 in Sweden, sold over 50.000 copies and reached Platinum status in July 2011 there. It also reached #16 in Finland. This year Saade is nominated for six Scandipop Awards in the categories Best Male, Readers Favourite of 2011, Best Male Album for Saade Vol. 1 and Saade Vol. 2, Best Male Single for “Popular” and Best Remix for “Popular (SoundFactory Remix)”. Saade is also nominated for one Grammi in the category Best Song for “Popular”. From March-April 2012, Saade was on his third Swedish tour, called Pop Explosion Concert 2012 with 15 concerts.

I find Saade’s music absolutely fun Europop! A lot of Youtube videos have comments comparing his to Justin Bieber, and though I’m a Be-lieber myself, I hate the comparison, and I think Eric Saade is much better. You can see his influence from 90s boybands and especially Michael Jackson in his videos, particularly his dancing. His videos are definitely fun to watch. I haven’t listened to his three albums in their entirety but from what I’ve seen and watched I know Eric Saade is magic. “Popular” is definitely one of the best!

Check out his site: Eric Saade

 

 

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Linda Lampenius

Linda Lampenius (also known as Linda Brava) is a Finnish violinist, who has released classical and classical-fusion albums. Lampenius started violin at an early age and became a soloist for Helsinki Strings (one of the best youth-orchestras in the world) at age 7, and performed as soloist for the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Finland at 11. She studied at the Sibelius Academy in Finland from 1985-1997. Linda plays on a 1781 Gagliano violin, worth around €200,000, and with it she has played for many heads of states and royal family members, including the president of Finland, Prince of Monaco, and the royal family of Sweden. She has also played numerous benefit concerts around the world.

But what really brought Linda to my attention was her debut pop album, Linda Lampenius, which was all classical-fusion. Classical-fusion is probably my favourite genre of music, so I’m always hunting for new artists who play in this style, and that’s what led me to Linda. The violin playing is obviously exquisite, but I love how many of the tracks have fun dance beats behind them. And of course what electric-violinist has not played a remix of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue? – a great show of classical technique and fun!

Brava has also enjoyed a career as a model. Over the years she has in many magazines, including Café, Elle, Esquire, GQ, Hello!, Maxim and Playboy; as well as some minor roles in Finnish/Swedish movies and television.  Check out her website: Linda Lampenius


Jenny Berggren

Remember Ace of Base? If you grew up in the 90s you do. “Beautiful Life”, “Cruel Summer”, “Don’t Turn Around”? These songs are amazing. Ace of Base must have been one of Sweden’s biggest exports of the decade. While looking for new Danish music, I happened upon Jenny Berggren’s – of Ace of Base fame – solo career. I haven’t actually heard her album yet, but I stumbled across this single: “Let Your Heart Be Mine” which was almost Denmark’s entry to this year’s Eurovision! Now the song is great by itself, but I found a video of the Calboy Club Remix, and… just wow! I hunted the Internet for almost an hour trying to find this song, and success! So check it out!

Check out the Ultimate Ace of Base site –  you can download many Calboy remixes of great Ace of Base tracks! Who could ask for more?!


Detektivbyrån

Detektivbyrån was Swedish electronica/folk trio from Gothenburg.  The trio included Anders Molin on accordion and music box, Martin Molin on glockenspiel, piano, Theremin, and traktofon, and Jon Nils Emanual Ekström on drums, sound-box, and bells. The band has a greatly unique sound, as one might imagine from their unique instrumentation. Their album E18 is an album I listen to frequently. Being Polish, I of course have to play the accordion (somehow I now have 7!) and so the use of accordion is a big turn-on for my musical senses. But the other instruments work so well together. Having a toy piano and Theremin myself, I would love to create music with a sound quality like Detektivbyrån. Their style is very reminiscent of Yann Tiersen, another great accordion-artist, and more specifically his soundtrack to the brilliant French movie Amelie. This is no surprise as the bands use of such instruments was largely inspired by this soundtrack, as well as their musical traditions in Värmland – their home county. Also, the trio played often as street performers, and needed portable instruments.

But despite their more eclectic instruments, their style is somehow very modern, and yet folky at the same time. It is a splendid combination. The music is also very minimalist in terms of its musical repetition, and this creates a very soothing and ethereal effect. I think the sound is distinctly Scandinavian, and something in it is even reminiscent of Björk and has a certain Icelandic vibe. The trio announced in August 2010 that the group would not be making any more music together, and I find this tragic, as they have only two albums and I would have just loved to have experienced more. Detektivbyrån‘s website

Here is their video for Lyckans Undulat