London’s foremost Nordic music night will this month (Thursday 30th May!) feature cooly catchy electro from Rangleklods (Denmark), pure sunshine melodies from Alfred Hall (Norway) and feelgood tunes from SHINE 2009 (Finland).
Tickets are £6 on the door or £5 in advance from We Got Tickets HERE.
RSVP to the Facebook event to find out more about the night and acts playing HERE.
JJJ: What attracts you to Nordic music?
LS: I don’t tend to lean towards outwardly fun-sounding music unless it’s from Nordic/Scandinavian countries, for some reason! It’s not intentional, but I like my Americans and Brits brooding and knotty, and my Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, and Icelandic favourites to fill in the gaps with vibrant, wild sounds. There’s something about the way those countries do pop – overdriven, warped, of weird voice – that I really love. Particularly when it comes to female voices, as you can see from my playlist…
JJJ: Who is your favourite Nordic artist?
LS: Jens Lekman! I first went to ATP in 2008 for the …vs Pitchfork weekend, and he was playing. I didn’t know him before that, but a friend recommended him, burned me a copy of Night Falls Over Kortedala, and I was hooked from there. I love him at his most hilarious – “A Postcard to Nina” – and also, in his underrated, beautifully sad moments: ‘The Cold Swedish Winter’, ‘F-Word’, ‘Pocketful of Money’. My iTunes entry for him is pretty embarrassing – it contains 29 “albums”, of which You Deserve Better Than a Bum Like Me has the best title. He’s one of two musicians I’ve met in the past couple of years that I felt genuinely girlish and overcome to meet! He has charm to burn.
JJJ: Is there anything you think British artists could learn from their Nordic counterparts?
LS: Every so often, someone will write an article attempting to pin down what makes Nordic/Scandi music so brilliant, which usually ends up mentioning high school music education, the comparatively high proportion of studios to people, and the fact that it’s dark half the time, so you have to occupy yourself somehow during those months. Personally, I think one of the elements behind the surprising, ace nature of Nordic/Scandi music is that although many of the artists sing in English, they live in a country with a non-English-language music press, so it takes a serious breakout song (Icona Pop’s ‘I Love It’, for example) or a stealthy blogger to expose them to an audience outside of that country. This might be a load of rubbish, but I think the low home-to-abroad success ratio might make artists less concerned with trying to “make it” – because the odds are lower, so why waste your energy when you could be making more music to please yourself? – which I think is one of the biggest pitfalls of young British bands, wanting to have the world at their feet immediately.
JJJ: Who puts on the best live show of the Nordic acts you have seen?
LS: Niki and the Dove, no question. I saw their first UK show – at Ja Ja Ja, no less! – and even on the small Lexington stage, they made their performance seem comparatively epic, all daubed in glittery face paint, neon strings hanging from their sleeves, tied around their ankles, pretty amazing 80s pop heartthrob hair from Gustaf and Magnuss… I’ve since seen them in too many places to count, from Maida Vale to a former sex club to their Stockholm rehearsal studio to Brixton Academy, I just love them. I really hope one day that some kind benefactor/label gives them a ton of money so they can put on the kind of stage show that really magnifies their wonderful cosmic hippy vision. That makes them sound like Kula Shaker. I promise they are nothing like Kula Shaker. Though Jens deserves another mention too, I’ve never left one of his shows feeling anything less than totally elated.