Nordic Invasion: The Top 5 Nordic Artists

May 10, 2014 10:49 am

Perhaps there’s something in the water or perhaps it’s due to the long cold winters where nobody can go outside, but one thing is for sure – there’s something special about Nordic bands. This year has seen something of takeover in London as well. First The Knife played a couple of sold out shows at The Roundhouse, then Kate Boy introduced themselves to London in style. This summer will see Of Monsters and Men and First Aid Kit play sold-out shows at Somerset House. In November the inaugural Ja Ja Ja Festival will take place with Mum and Mew confirmed as headliners, there are many more acts to be announced. In honour of this Nordic invasion, I have decided to look at my favourite Nordic bands/artists of the last few years.

5. Peter, Bjorn & John (Sweden)

Best known for their mini-hit Young Folks (also known as that song from the Homebase ad), this Swedish trio have actually released several quality albums over the last 11 years. However, it is 2006’s Writer’s Block, containing the aforementioned track, which stands out as their best. Their music is a perfect blend of pop and punk, with an eccentricity which is synonymous with Swedish music.

Track to listen to: Young Folks would be too obvious, so instead listen to It Beats Me Everytime.

4. Of Monsters and Men (Iceland)

If you have not heard Of Monsters and Men this summer you must have been living in a cave. Little Talks is possibly the happiest sounding song ever, and is one of the sounds of the summer. The rest of their album is generally darker, but their edgy folk pop tunes are a thing of beauty.nordic

Track to listen to: Little Talks

3. The Knife (Sweden)

It’s quite a shame that one of The Knife’s best tracks Heartbeats is perhaps better known for the Jose Gonzalez cover version (another Swede who almost made it into this list!). However, it hasn’t dented the band’s popularity, as proved by their two nights at The Roundhouse in May selling out in a matter of minutes. Their music is sometimes hard to describe other than saying it’s a bit mental. Malleable vocals, pounding beats and bizarre lyrics make listening to them one of the most unusual but also amazing experiences.

Track to listen to: Pass This On

2. Lykke Li (Sweden)

Lykke Li is crazy, but she’s also extremely talented, which is generally the perfect combination for a pop star. Her two albums so far have produced some of the best indie-pop songs of the last five years. Mixing steel drums, spoken word and gospel vocals, she is one of the most inventive artists out there.

Track to listen to: Little Bit

1. Mew (Denmark)

There’s a reason why Mew’s next album (whenever we might be blessed to hear it) is one of the most anticipated. Their previous three efforts have been simply magnificent, containing the weirdest and most wonderful prog rock known to man. Their show at The Roundhouse in November is set to be something pretty spectacular and definitely one not to miss.

Track to listen to: All of them, but if you have to pick one make it Am I Wry? No

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