Sweden is my drug. Give me Sweden-origin English language artists, bands
March 17, 2017 10:24 PM   Subscribe

I can't quite put my finger on why, but a sizable portion of the artists and groups that make music that I really enjoy have origins in Sweden. Little Dragon, Icona Pop, Jose Gonzalez, Iamamiwhoami, The Knife (& Fever Ray), Robyn, and now I've recently stumbled onto another Swedish artist named Demen who has a song called niorum. What other artists have similarly great music and originate in Sweden to go with these?
posted by cashman to Media & Arts (36 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
English language? The Cardigans are an obvious choice, especially if you focus on their early albums, where twee has a head-on collision with hard rock. Also from that era: The Wannadies. Newer: The Hives. Jens Lekman has a new album just out.

If you're okay with Swedish-language but a broad Euro sensibility, Veronica Maggio will look after you.
posted by holgate at 10:52 PM on March 17

posted by matildaben at 11:12 PM on March 17 [2 favorites]

Sahara Hotnights is a fantastic girl garage band. 'Kiss and Tell' is a great record by any measure - energetic, poppy, and so fun to listen to.
posted by quince at 11:50 PM on March 17

Amason is great.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:53 PM on March 17

Likke Li.
posted by progosk at 11:56 PM on March 17 [2 favorites]

Dude, The Sounds.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:32 AM on March 18

The Tallest Man on Earth, if the "folky male singer-songwriter with guitar" style does it for you.
posted by DeadliestQuack at 12:37 AM on March 18

The Perishers are a great indie rock band for those moments when you want something mellow.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 12:43 AM on March 18

I like the groups you've mentioned, and I also like these, and they are swedish:
The Embassy
Air France
The Tough Alliance
posted by gregjones at 12:43 AM on March 18

They are often classified as prog/psych, and may not be your thing, but give Dungen a chance.
posted by old_growler at 1:00 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]

I can vouch for The Bear Quartet and Stina Nordenstam.
posted by rhizome at 1:47 AM on March 18

There was a related AskMe question that yielded some good answers back in December: Looking for More Swedish Indie Rock Bands.
posted by Sonny Jim at 1:53 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]

Anna Ternheim
Lykke Li
posted by hellopanda at 2:13 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]

The Amazing
posted by pipeski at 3:04 AM on March 18

Highasakite are Norwegian but they might still do the trick!
posted by mikek at 3:39 AM on March 18

Adding my enthusiastic vote for Lykke Li!

I highly recommend her live performances. She is one of the very few artists who legitimately sound even better live, than in their original recordings! Quality of lyrics, artistry of videos (cases in point. REVEL.) She utterly transports me.

PLUS, the most recent Lykke Li announcement. :)
posted by Amor Bellator at 4:01 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]

Salem Al Fakir
Veronica Maggio
posted by ryanbryan at 4:08 AM on March 18

You might like the Scandipop blog.

I like Broder Daniel a great deal.

Related: the most irritating earworm you'll be ever have thanks to Håkan Hellström.

Cosign KENT and The Ark.
posted by kariebookish at 5:06 AM on March 18

Also, if you happen to like the metal genre, Ghost (formerly Ghost BC) is a prime Swedish band worth checking out. They are ostensibly "Satanic", but in a very wink, nod way, for the fans who are "in on" the gimmick. Cirice is excellent, but really, the entirety of their third studio album Meliora is phenomenal start to end.

Finally, Apocalyptica, while Finnish, rate mention for being comprised of three classically-trained cello players (!!!) and a drummer; who craft the most sonorous metal songs, featuring big name guest singers, e.g. Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Brent Smith of Shinedown, Lacey Sturm of Flyleaf, Adam Gontier... the list goes on.

They are also well-known for their collaboration with Metallica, for Metallica's 30th year celebration at the Fillmore in 2011, available for download here. Given that Apocalyptica's first album, ... Plays Metallica by Four Cellos was a compilation of Metallica cover songs, being able to watch both bands together live is a heady experience for this inveterate headbanger.

Perhaps more than you were looking for, but figured it couldn't hurt to include, just in case. :D
posted by Amor Bellator at 5:10 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]

Hello Saferide has some fantastic songs.
posted by Syllables at 5:15 AM on March 18

Afro-Swedish pop and rap are exploding right now. Someone I've caught wind of lately is Seinabo Sey, who has a hell of a voice.
posted by spitbull at 5:36 AM on March 18

Hearts No Static


Immanu El

Oh Hiroshima

Junip is Jose Gonzalez and Tobias Winterkorn

And Poor Rich Ones are from Norway, but you might like them too.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 5:59 AM on March 18

Nobody has mentioned the Shout Out Louds yet? Also no one has mentioned the Caesars or Peter Bjorn and John, but that's because they're not very good. But you asked for Anglophone Swedes, and they are.

As is Ace of Base. Just saying. They might also be Nazis, which is... Well, that's one of those times where using the phrase "it is what it is" is justified.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:21 AM on March 18

The Hives for 2000s garage rock.
posted by matildaben at 7:03 AM on March 18

Brothers Joakim and Klas Åhlund are 2/3 of the genre blender band Teddybears, and have been a big influence on the sound and look of Sweden's music scene.

Among many others, they've collaborated with Robyn and Klas co-wrote and produced her 2005 album.

Joakim is also lead guitarist/songwriter for Caesars and Klas produced a bunch of their albums.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:15 AM on March 18

Swedish born, but Molly Nilsson!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 8:21 AM on March 18


Their early 00s albums were great, no idea what they've been doing in the last appx. 5 years or so.
posted by functionequalsform at 10:25 AM on March 18

Oh, and Dungen. (Ta det Lungt is in Swedish, IIRC, but I think they have English-language work too.)
posted by functionequalsform at 10:27 AM on March 18

Love all the ones you listed. Also endorsing: Hello Saferide, jj, The Sounds, The Tough Alliance, Bodies without Organs, Sahara Hotnights, The Wannadies, Laleh.

I think you will love Frida Sundemo!

Also, visit the weekly top 10 list on Swedish radio. You can play all the top songs for the week (as well as several weeks back using the calendar icon link) and get a feel for what's popular in Sweden right now. Not all of it is Swedish artists, but a lot of them are. Right now it's a lot of Eurovision qualifier songs, including the winner that will represent Sweden in Ukraine.

Kent! Their early 00s albums were great, no idea what they've been doing in the last appx. 5 years or so.
They broke up last year, and did their final tour last fall, with the final ever concert in December in Stockholm.
posted by gemmy at 10:49 AM on March 18

I'm a little bit shocked nobody brought up rising pop superstar Zara Larsson.
posted by BeginAgain at 11:15 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]

First Aid Kit
posted by mollywas at 10:25 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]

The Tiny, Sweden's Joanna Newsome
Lisa Ekdahl, Sweden's Blossom Dearie
Eva Dahlgren, Sweden's Tori Amos/Patty Smythe
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 2:01 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

I really like Timo Räisänen.
posted by marginaliana at 6:31 AM on March 20

Seconding Jens Lekman! His Night Falls Over Kortedala is in my top ten albums of all time, ever, and that's sayin' something.
posted by a good beginning at 8:02 AM on March 20

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