What is your relation to Swedish music?

When I got the request to put this list together, I didn’t think too much about what it meant, but when I finally sat down to actually get to it, I realized, ok this is hard. Like, harder than ”what is special about your music?”, harder than ”if you only could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?” harder than ”which one of your children would you save from a burning fire?” (don’t have any yet though). I mean all German people answering here, piece of cake for them (no offense!) – a lot of ABBA (always ABBA in Germany, nothing wrong with that, just funny that it always comes up), and fair amounts of Roxette, Robyn and The Knife. But for me, it is like trying to boil down my whole childhood, teenagetimes AND adulthood into five songs. Gaaahhh!!

But ok. So, normally the bands often mentioned here would be on my list too, Roxette – The Look was my first cassette and I still know all songs by heart (in kiddy-english of course), Robyn, great inspiration and The Knife, one of my most played bands between 2002-2007. But I thought it would be more fun if I’d pick songs that haven’t already been mentioned here, and to make it a bit easier for myself, I decided to narrow it down to pop songs performed IN Swedish. So, here we go.

What artists and songs you might connect to certain memories and feelings did affect you the most?

1. Orup – Regn Hos Mej

Orup bear alt

I was seven when this song hit the Swedish charts. I loved Orup’s songs a lot as a child and he was extremely popular back then. Recently, I revisited this song and was struck by the simplicity & cleverness of the arrangement, the lyrics and the very ”unswedish” way he’s singing them – a bit too much, almost Prince-like. Orup is still one of the songwriters that has been of biggest importance for Swedish pop music.

2. Eva Dahlgren – Vem Tänder Stjärnorna

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A couple of years later Eva Dahlgren’s breakthrough album ”En blekt blondins hjärta” came out and it was impossible to miss. My dad had this album in his car and we listened to it on the way to his tennis training on Saturdays. Eva Dahlgren became the first big female gay icon in Sweden and apart from being a great singer and songwriter she seems to be a really intelligent and cool person.
Would love to pick her brain sometime.

3. Latin Kings – Kompisar Från Förr

Dogge bear alt

Just in time with puberty and a new curiosity towards sex, the body, boys (the older ones obviously…) this album landed in my hands. The Latin Kings were young latino kids from suburban Stockholm doing something no one had done before, hip hop in Swedish. I copied my older sisters CD and we listened to it on repeat in school on Friday’s ”roliga timmen” – funny hour, until our teacher forbid us (not so much for the explicit lyrics which I think she didn’t really pick up on, as for the burps, farts and moans in between the songs). Anyway, wake me up in the middle of the night – I could still rap this song by heart.

4. Kent – Saker Man Ser

Kent bear

Kent became Sweden’s answer to The Radiohead in the 90s and have been going strong ever since, with an extremely devoted fanbase. Earlier this year they announced that they will do their final tour this year – after over 20 years they’re putting an end to the band. I think it is probably about time, but I also haven’t been that devoted – even though I did follow them for a while and they have indeed done many great songs. Here is one of my favorites. Very 90s, very nice, love the drums.

5. Håkan Hellström – För En Lång Lång Tid

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Without a doubt, Håkan Hellström is my present lifetime Swedish favourite. With his debut in year 2000 ”Känn ingen sorg för mig Göteborg” Gothenburg’s prince and pride charmed his way into people’s hearts and has continued to do so since then. Music & lyric-wise it is just getting better and better. I listen to Håkan Hellström when I miss my home town, his music takes me back to the harbour and the city’s stunning vistas and to bittersweet memories.

New found land bear

Who is New Found Land?

Anna Roxenholt is a Berlin based Swedish artist. She released her fourth album „Lore“ on Fixe Records on 27th of May.

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