Now I told you about my own favourite records of the year, here is what Swedish artists Absolut Noise does like remember from this past year. I just asked them to send me a “top 10 list” of this year 2013, i.e. what they liked in music this year, especially within Sweden.
After part 1 and part 2, here comes the part 3 (the last one actually), with some of Absolut Noise buddies. Not only Swedish artists: Avi is American, but It’s a trap has always been the blog of reference when it comes to talk about Scandinavian music, and Oskar does not play actual music, but his videos/gigs/label is definitely worth it.
And of course, MF/MB, Bedroom Eyes, Samuraj Cities, Sad day for puppets and Niels Nielsen have always been bands I have praised in this blog.
In no particular order:
EP: RA – Bloodline
Live: Pissed Jeans at Way Out West festival Göteborg
What we do is Secret summer Fest
Live: Föllakzoid on Sing Sang Studio
Album: Savages – Silence Yourself
Live: Portishead live at Hultsfredfestivalen
Track: The War on Drugs – Red Eyes
Album: YAST – YAST
Jonas Jonsson from BEDROOM EYES
My top ten Swedish music favorites of 2013, in no particular order:
Ossler – “Grisarna och flugorna” (album track)
Wilderness – “Vallsundet” (single)
Nord & Syd – “Som en människa” (album)
Grande Roses – “Sunken Ship” (album track)
Popterror – “Skogsbilväg” (single)
Håkan Hellström – “Valborg” (album track)
Mattias Alkbergs Begravning – “Skända flaggan” (single)
Postiljonen – “On the Run” (album track)
Lisa Nilsson – “Var är du min vän” (single)
Vit Päls – “Ägd” (album)
In 2014 I’m mostly excited about Norwegian punk/powerpop legends Johndoe’s comeback (their two new singles are ACE!) and the debut album from Oslo twee outfit Making Marks (I’ve already heard the album and feel positive they will get a well-deserved worldwide following). …and the release of my own albums (one in English, the other one in Swedish).
Magnus Almberg (from SAMURAJ CITIES)
10 things I enjoyed in 2013 (in no particular order):
1. Maja Gödicke – ligga still
2. Amason – went to war
3. Sibille Attar – sleepyhead
4. Jenny Wilson – demand the impossible
5. Tross – on board/1514
6. Mattias Alkberg – Mattias Alkbergs begravning
7. Shadow Shadow – riviera
8. TM404 – TM404
9. Holograms – forever
10. Brian Jonestown Massacre – vad hände med dom? (not swedish but this one with Jocke Åhlund on vocales is a killer)
10. I finally released my new NIELS NIELSEN album (ATVID)!
9. Beck is finally releasing new music!
8. Siriusmo released his new album!
7. The entire Pink Floyd catalog is available on Spotify!
6. The new Ghost album!
5. The new INVSN album!
4. I finally got to release the DEAD SOUL album I’ve been working on for years!
3. House music seems to be dying!
2. I finally signed a contract for a new studio (my first in years).
1. I’ve spent my first year not working with anything else than recording music. Mostly my own.
I’ve actually dropped out on new music a bit this year. Busy working on my own stuff and busy working on other peoples records. I haven’t spent much time at all listening to new music actually. And I feel good about it. I’m sure there’s a lot of good new stuff I’ve missed, but I really can’t keep up. It’s just too much. Something new everyday, and everything seems to be “the next big thing” and two days later nobody even remember the name of the band… It’s sad, but I guess it’s the future. No more 15 seconds in the limelight. Rather 1.5 seconds. One blog post and you’re gone. Don’t mean to sound negative. Anyway, I see 2013 as a good music year. Good in the sense that I got to work a lot and work with a lot of cool people and be a part of their work!
Alex Svenson-Metés (THEN COMES SILENCE and SAD DAY FOR PUPPETS)
My top ten list doesn’t necessarily focus only on good things that happened in 2013. There is also death and closure. So let’s say it’s a list of prominent and important moments of 2013. And it’s only seen from my point of view of course.
10. Japanese doom or death metal band COFFINS show in Sweden last August was one of the greatest events this year no doubt. A magnificent gig and a worth seeing band.
9. CHELSEA LIGHT MOVING, the new band formed by Thurston Moore, was a nice surprise and so was their performance in Stockholm. Mr Moore needed to borrow a Fender Twin Reverb for the Stockholm show and I didn’t hesitate a second of course. I instantly drove to my studio and picked mine up. I thought maybe this could be useful for a conversation with him… But nooo… He didn’t look like he needed more company and I was too shy to start that cheesy line… “Hey Thurston, I’m honored that you’ll play on my amplifier tonight”.
8. Our label mates KNIVDERBY made a master piece of their fifth album – “Olösta Gåtor Ur Mänsklighetens Historia”
7. The town of LJUNGBY in the south of Sweden has one of the nicest gang of promoters I’ve ever met. They arranged two shows with THEN COMES SILENCE this year and we hope to get a third invitation soon.
6. CARCASS is back again. Liverpool’s old metal sensei’s. Their new album “Surgical Steel” is a blade cutting thru the boring music scene.
5. One of the only genuine rock clubs DEBASER SLUSSEN had to close down because of the poor cultural commitment of the municipal council. We need more rock clubs in Stockholm. A place where the water’s leaking from the ceiling, where people are stealing instruments from bands after shows, where the staff is constantly grumpy, where the sound is loud and clear, where the backstage is full of guests and friends… We’ll miss it.
4. I love the music by the welsh artist CATE LE BON… and will always do. It’s a shame she isn’t bigger and more successful. Well, maybe she’s OK with that… She still gets to make an album every year. In my mind she’s just as big as Roxy Music, The Cure, Blondie… etc etc. The new album “Mug Museum” is a lovely pearl.
3. SONIC CATHEDRAL celebrated itself once again. Last February I was one of the lucky ones in London to participate at the “Psych For Sore Eyes” compilation release event. HOOKWORMS and YOUNGHUSBANDS among others made a striking impression. I met the workers at HERETIC PRINTMAKERS and I wish I could have stayed longer that night.
2. The theremin virtuoso DORIT CHRYSLER and the performance artist BABY DEE made a performance every night four nights in a row at the Roskilde festival this summer. I’d definitely like to see that again. Just tell me when and where…
1. LOU REED’s death.
Oskar Palmbäck (from KVALITÄT)
In no particular order..
Håkan Hellström – Det kommer aldrig vara över för mig
SKRIET – Shanana
Olle Ljungstöm – Släng in en clown
Shout out louds – Optica
Sonjagon – I am terra the earth
Jenny Wilson – Demand the Impossible
Kite – V
FGST – I Got My Perfect Sweater On
We Are The Storm – Wastelands
Abidaz – In & Ut
Gondor – Sonjagon
Kolla kolla – Riddarna
Dance Again – Kite
Glowing – Dream Curtain
Remember me – Mikael Heller
Pyramids – Jenny Wilson
Radioaktivitet – Emil Jensen & Klara Söderberg
Skända Flaggan – Mattias Alkberg
14th of July – Shout Out Louds
Ballerina – Felix Wickman
Avi Roig (from IT’S A TRAP)
My favorite albums in alphabetical order:
A Terrible Splendour – Poseurs (Desire)
Ridiculously pompous synthpop dandies from the UK. So very affected in the best possible ways.
Beastmilk – Climax (Svart/Magic Bullet)
Near-perfect gothrock from Finland with huge pop hooks and an over-abundance of hand-claps.
Magnus Ekelund & Stålet – Dödskult (Teg Publishing)
Melancholy pop/rock that could only come from Norrland; the band’s best (and sadly final) album.
Ekman – M.S.P. (Solar One Music)
Dismal acid techno from Dutch producer Roel Dijcks. I’ve had a bunch of his releases on steady rotation, but this one probably got the most play.
Daughn Gibson – Me Moan (Sub Pop)
I guess you could call this country/pop, but it’s much more than that. Maybe worth noting: I kind of hated Gibson’s first album, but absolutely love this one.
In Solitude – Sister (Metal Blade)
My favorite metal record of the year and of course it comes from Sweden. I’ve enjoyed this band from the get-go, but they really stepped up their game and came into their own with “Sister” and it certainly doesn’t hurt that they cover Cortex, one of my all-time faves.
Makthaverskan – II (Luxury)
Near-perfect gothrock from Göteborg with huge pop hooks. Not as many handclaps as Beastmilk, but they make up for it with raw energy and emotion.
Veronica Falls – Waiting for Something to Happen (Bella Union/Slumberland)
Seriously great indiepop with a subtle dark edge.
David Åhlén – Selah (Mishkan)
An album of deeply affecting songs of spiritual longing; highly recommended even for non-believers.
Cairo Pythian – Unity Mitford (Perennial)
All killer/no filler glammy synthpop. Was local to me, now based in SF.
Deathcrush – Skool’s In (Norway Rat)
Noisy indierock that hearkens back to the best of the 90s without sounding even a tad nostalgic.
Drvg Cvltvre – Oblivion (Gooiland Elektro)
More dirty acid techno from another Dutch producer; ugly, slow and grinding.
Infernöh – 7 Spår E.P. (D-Takt & Råpunk Records/Distort Reality)
Raging d-beat käng hardcore done right. Also, by far one of the best live bands I saw in 2013.
Interdictor – Noumenon (self-released)
Swedes proving once again that they can take what should essentially be a routine genre exercise — 90s industrial in this particular case — and hone it to perfection.
Kite – V (Progress Productions)
Quite possibly the best EP yet from the Swedish synthpop duo.
Vanligt Folk – s/t (Progress Productions)
Industrial clatter with punk energy and attitude. Can’t wait to hear what they do next.
Hexenhaus – Jumalan Kosto 1984-1987 (Svart)
Peak-era post-punk from Finland. Essential for genre aficiondos, to filed alongside Svart’s 2012 reissue of Musta Paraati’s debut LP.
Kitchen & the Plastic Spoons – Screams To God (Dark Entries)
A long overdue discography/anthology covering the short-lived Swedish synth/post-punk cult favorites from the early 80s.
Leviticus – The Strongest Power (Ektro)
Legitimately killer Christian metal from Sweden circa ’86. I almost didn’t believe it either.
Ignominy – Come Abuse (http://ignominy.bandcamp.com/album/come-abuse)
Crushing heaviness that seamlessly combines elements of doom, sludge, hardcore, noise and industrial. If the similarily obscure Blessings combined forces with Circle Six and Trepaneringsritualen, it might sound something like this.
Honorable mentions/other stuff:
Austra, Billie Joe & Norah (no apologies!), Matti Bye, Darkthrone, Henric de la Cour, Dödsvarg, Enforcer, Gorguts, Grande Roses, Immolation, Könsförrädare, Tony Molina, John Ola, Tiger Bell, Tribulation, Johan G. Winther and probably a bunch more stuff I’m forgetting.