Like a bracing breath of fresh air, Swedish duo Niki & The Dove bounded into our speakers back in 2010 with their eerily captivating track ‘Mother Protect’.
Swiftly followed by singles such as ‘DJ Ease My Mind’ and ‘The Fox’, it didn’t take long at all for Niki & The Dove to firmly establish themselves as the sound of a new generation of pop, planting themselves at the forefront of the Swedish alt-pop scene, and taking their fantastical live shows to stages around the world.
It’s now six years later, and the band are preparing to reveal their hugely anticipated second album Everybody’s Heart Is Broken Now to their adoring fans, who’ll be able to sample the record’s aural delights from the 8th April 2016.
The first taste of the album landed in the autumnal days of 2015, as the duo revealed their first new music since 2012 with the single ‘Play It On My Radio’. A vivid, evocative and perfectly mellow depiction of the finely tuned pop that this band have become such masters at creating, the single signalled not just the return of one of Sweden’s most endeared outfits, but also of a more refined sound to come.
Now fresh from unveiling ‘So Much It Hurts‘, a second track from their upcoming album, we invited the band’s Malin Dahlström and Gustaf Karlöf to curate their own edition of the Nordic Playlist, creating a hand-picked soundtrack of their favourite artists to help you navigate your way through the eclectically rich music scene of the Nordics.
So press the play button above to tune in to their selections via your preferred streaming service, and while you’re listening, read our exclusive interview with the pair to find out more about their future plans, and what to expect now that the band have returned from their self-labelled ‘pop exile’.
Thank you so much for taking the time to make your Nordic Playlist! We’re thrilled to bits to have you – so where in the world are you at the moment and what are you up to?
We’ve just moved back to Stockholm after what we call a ‘Pop exile’ so we’re not up to that much at the moment.
Just waiting for the new album to be released. While doing that we’ll play a couple of gigs in Sweden.
Your brand new album Everybody’s Heart Is Broken Now will be released in April – we can’t wait to hear it, so what should we expect from the record?
You should expect a non-electronic album with electronic elements. A musical firework including shuggerz, steppers, heartbreaks and electric basses.
What is the best situation in which to listen to your new music? In a lounge with a hot cocoa? Or next to a pool in the sunshine?!
Wearing your headphones, walking around the city smiling towards the people you meet on the streets.
Can you tell us a bit about the process of making the album please? How was it written, and what is your biggest dream/ambition for the finished record?
It was written with truth in our hearts and curiosity in our brains. Strictly judging every idea/detail that went into the record. Sometimes we had to fight those wolves at the door.
‘Play It On My Radio’ was the first track we’d heard from you since your 2012 album Instinct – so where were you in between? And what made you feel that the time was right to release more music?
As we mentioned above, we wrote music. But we also played music in front of live audiences all over the world.
The time was right, we felt like we had something to say now.
And can you tell us a little more about the sentiment behind ‘Play It On My Radio’?
We hope that the song speaks for itself. We are taking on a bit more of a soft feeling than we used to before. The first album had muscles. This one lost interest in gyms. It gained other interests.
What would you say were the biggest influences on you when making the new album?
Hardware, vinyl records with a soul touch, Allen Ginsberg, human beings and coffee.
The pair of you have been working together for a few years now, so what do each of you bring to the songwriting process? And has anything in your dynamic changed while making this album?
Nothing has changed. Both of us can bring everything. Both of us can bring nothing. Most of the time both of us brings something.
The Nordic Playlist is all about discovering music and inspiration from the Nordics – so can you tell us about a Nordic influence that is particularly special or memorable to you? (this could be a show you played, a book, a film you saw, a place you like to go, a singer you love….anything you like!)
We would like to recommend a film by the Swedish director Ruben Östlund called De ofrivilliga. A scary, important but also fun movie that tells something true about the society we live in. It’s so spot on!
And can you please tell us about each of the tracks in your Nordic Playlist?
Why did you select them and what do you like about them?
Karin Krog – ‘The Meaning Of Love’: That haunting voice that puts a spell on you. The energetic electricity that erupts over time in this song!
Ane Brun – ‘Black Notebook’: Ane always tells you the important stuff. No bullshit. Just the essence of things around us.
Jóhann Jóhannsson – ‘The Beast’: We saw this movie called Sicario and were just stunned by the original soundtrack! It’s so to the point in every scene.
Sigur Rós – ‘Gobbledigook’: An old favourite that we can’t ignore. We are still mesmerized by this winding labyrinth!
Björk – ‘History Of Touches’: How can you leave out Björk when talking about Iceland? Twisting your brain and your heart as always.
Jean Sibelius – ‘Romance In C Major For String Orchestra Op.42’: Jean Sibelius is depicting our world in a way that is everlasting and true, creating musical and emotional landscapes that have everything to do with us living on this earth.
Claws Costeau – ‘Pikku Jouni’: The Finnish electro scene is quite interesting. Claw Costeau are huge in this musical movement called Skweee. Just listen and be skweeed! It’s skweeelicious!
Laid Back – ‘White Horse’: A world wide classic that puts your feet in motion. Still has that undoubted quality.
Trentemøller – ‘Moan’: The sublime minimalism of Trentemøller always seems intrinsic.
Titiyo – ‘Drottningen Är Tillbaka’: Another new classic from the unendangered Swedish queen of Soul Pop.
Anna Ahnlund – ‘Gröna röda’: A new Swedish artist that deserves all the publicity. This intimate gem puts you out of balance in the most sublime way.
Are there any other Swedish artists that you’d highly recommend we check out?
And finally, what does 2016 have in store for you? What should your fans be most looking forward to?!
We are releasing our new single ‘So Much It Hurts’, so that’s what’s in store right now! So the rest of the year will mainly be focused on the album, especially playing it live. We hope our fans out there look forward to that one…!