London’s foremost Nordic music night will this month (Thursday 25th April!) feature the bombastic R’n’B pop star Truls (Norway), blistering shoegaze from Oyama (Iceland) and heavy electronic rock from producer Slowolf (Denmark).
This month’s mixtape has been curated by Dani Charlton, Nordic music aficionado & presenter on Amazing Radio.
JJJ: What attracts you to Nordic music?
DC: I guess what really stands out in Nordic music for me is an incredible command of melody. I’m a sucker for a great chorus and strong melodies, and the binding thread through the many artists I fall in love with from the Nordic countries seems to be that they’ve just grasped the exact melodic progressions that will win me over straight away. From a killer pop chorus to a ballad of swooning melancholy, to even just a slowly building minimal loop that you don’t even realise is melodic until you’re under its spell, there’s something in the melodies. Much of the Nordic music you come across is in English, but plenty isn’t – and when you can really fall hard for a song in a language you don’t even vaguely understand, it’s down to just the really fantastic grasp of melody that seems so prevalent.
JJJ: Who is your favourite Nordic artist?
DC: I have too many favourites to answer this question seriously, as clearly that would require hours of agonising reflection. The default answer is, or course, Robyn. Everyone loves Robyn. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying, or lying to themselves.
JJJ: Is there anything you think British artists could learn from their Nordic counterparts?
DC: I think a lot of British artists can get lost in themselves a little, and the art suffers as a result. Either becoming victims of their own hype, taking themselves too seriously, over-thinking things… Nordic artists seem less afraid to experiment, regardless of where it takes them, and that’s what makes music coming from the Nordic countries so exciting – even when an artist is on a 4th album, you can never totally know what to expect from them.
JJJ: Who puts on the best live show of the Nordic acts you have seen?
DC: Tough call! For scale and grandeur, Sigur Ros. For mesmerising showmanship either Efterklang or Jens Lekman… but for sheer ear-to-ear grinning, I’d have to say Alphabeat. Sure, they’re probably the cheesiest pop band on the planet, but if you just want to sing dance like an idiot and have a really great time, then you’re going to have an absolute blast at an Alphabeat show. Honorable grin-mention to Team Me as well, last time I caught one of their shows my face hurt afterwards from smiling so hard, which is exactly what you want to come out of a gig feeling.