Apart from IKEA, smørrebrød and ABBA what else do you know about the Kingdom of Sweden? Did you know this Scandinavian country has some great artists walking around in its cities and country side? Listen to these 10 bands and you’ll have something to talk about to the locals on your next trip to this green paradise. Lycka till!
Let’s start with the most obvious one: the famous DJ and producer Avicii. He was born as Tim Bergling in Stockholm and is most known from his songs ‘Wake Me Up‘, ‘Levels’ and ‘Hey Brother’. The pseudonym ‘Avicii’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘avīci’ which is the name of the lowest level of hell in Buddhism.
Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson or Lykke Li might not be as famous as Avicii, but since ‘I Follow Rivers‘ everyone knows this Swedish singer. The song was part of her second album Wounded Rhymes.Other songs from this album were featured in TV series like Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, Hawaii Five-0 and Teen Wolf. Wounded Rhymes may not have been her debut album, but it feels like her debut in the rest of Europe and the US.
Ace Of Base
In the early 90s, Ulf “Buddha” Akberg started a band with three siblings: Jonas “Joker” Berggren, Malin “Linn” Berggren and Jenny Berggren. Little did they know that they would become the third-most successful Swedish band ever. Only ABBA and Roxette did better. Many artists claim to be influenced by Ace Of Base: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beck, Diplo… The next artists can be added to this list as well.
Robin Miriam Carlsson or Robyn is one of those artists of whom you didn’t know they had been making music for such a long time. This Swedish singer released her first album Robyn Is Herewhen she was only 16 years old. A couple of years later, she wrote the song that Sweden sent to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1997. The song ended up on the fourth place. I think most people know Robyn from her album trilogyBody Talk Pt. 1, 2 and 3. It features songs as ‘Dancing On My Own‘, ‘Indestructible’ and ‘Hang With Me’.
This electropop duo was formed in 2009 and makes a mix of house, punk and indie pop. Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo try to make music “you can both laugh and cry to at the same time”. Their biggest hit is ‘I Love It’, a collaboration with Charli XCX. About five years ago, the band moved to the US.
If you thought we had covered all of the famous bands from Sweden, you’re wrong. How could we not put Tove Lo on this list? Rolling Stone called her “Sweden’s darkest pop export” and her single ‘Habits (Stay High)‘ peaked at n°3 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Last summer, the 20 year oldEbba Tove Elsa Nilsson played festivals all over the world. I think Sweden still has some great export rates in prospect.
Tallest Man On Earth
Saras Per Kristian Matsson began to perform under pseudonym Tallest Man On Earth about 10 years ago. The singer-songwriter from Dalarna is often compared with Bob Dylan, you can hear many similarities in his music. Since 2006, Tallest Man On Earth has released only 2 EPs which he recorded and produced at his own house.
Even if Eric Prydz doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve probably heard his song ‘Call On Me‘. The song was released in 2004 and features samples from the Steve Winwood hit ‘Valerie’. More recently, Prydz had lots of success with his single ‘Opus‘.Together with Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello, he forms the famous DJ collective Swedish House Mafia.
Another classic that orignates from Sweden: ‘Man Child‘ by Neneh Cherry. The song was featured on her debut album Raw Like Sushiin 1989. Her most recent album dates from 2014. Neneh Cherry is not only a singer-sonwriter, she’s also a rapper, occasional DJ and broadcaster.
The Cardigans are the band behind lead singer Nina Persson from Jönköping. The band is most known from their catchy hit ‘Lovefool‘ which is featured on their second album First Band On The Moon. After their fifth album Super Extra Gravityin 2005, the band decided to take a break for 5 years. In 2012, the band did some gigs but they haven’t released new music since. The Cardigans sold over 15 million albums worldwide.