Category Archives: kate boy

Five bands that prove Scandinavia is on top of their indie game right now

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This article first appeared on The Daily Listening.

Anyone who has heard my music collection would assume that I just have a thing for Scandinavian indie bands. I swear that’s not the case, but unless someone is planting them on me for the past year or so I seem to be randomly stumbling upon band after band hailing from those parts.

For those of you who were shithouse at Geography, Scandinavia is that part of the world that consists of those countries that are usually cold as hell, either rarely receive sunlight or get too much and are filled with the best looking people you’ve ever seen (according to popular culture). I’m talking about Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

You know what they’re also really awesome at? Exporting epic indie bands. Here’s why.

  1. Say Lou Lou

Alright, so this first one is a half / half. Sisters Miranda and Elektra Kibley-Janssen make up the half Australian, half Swedish (based in Stockholm) electro duo Say Lou Lou. On the front line of the female indie stampede, they’ve just released the latest LP Lucid Dreaming this month and singles like “Games For Girls (feat. Lindstrom)” and “Nothing But A Heartbeat” have looked unstoppable.

  1. Kid Astray

Norwegian five-piece Kid Astray are sounding more like an LA or Brooklyn based outfit than most guys from the deep north. Tracks like “It’s Alright” and “Still Chasing Nothing” leave behind the cold, dark staples of the deep north and opt for a true summertime beat.

  1. Urban Cone

Sweden’s Urban Cone seemingly came out of nowhere, pairing up with the likes of Tove Lo in their most recent tune “Come Back To Me” and hitting airwaves more frequently by the minute. But they’ve been around for quite some time, and proving their long standing brilliance are older tunes like “Freak” and “We Should Go To France”.

  1. Kate Boy

Another Swedish sensation, Kate Boy is an electronic indie inspiration. Her music is scary powerful, filled to the brim with uniquely robotic soundscapes. In 2015, she released a self-titled EP with stupidly epic tracks like “Self Control”, “Higher” and “Northern Lights” and she absolutely needs to be taken to the top.

  1. Satellite Stories

Finally, from the lesser recognised part of Scandinavia, Satellite Stories are a group of indie-loving lads from Finland. They’ve just released their second LP entitled “Vagabonds” and have a bit of a Two Door Cinema Club vibe going on…sometimes. Super consistent indie tunes is their business and if you check out the latest album, it is shit-yourself-good.

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Kate Boy – Higher

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Kate Boy launched at a pretty sweet time for female indie artists. CHVRCHES had risen to fame, others like HAIM, Say Lou Lou and Chloe Howl has started to peak the interest of the bigger labels. But Kate Boy approached it with a thunderous, aggressive style of music that struck a unique chord on the indie blog-o-sphere.

This year she’s released a short EP with the lead single “Higher” beaming with anthemic bravado. Her classic deep female vocal style shines against thumping underground drums and bass and gliding synth. It’s a kind of new wave 80’s style and a great single right out the gate. Maybe after the success of all the aforementioned acts, this one might be the release to break out for this absolutely unreal Scandinavian act. I certainly hope so.

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Issue Ten

It’s almost Christmas. The year is almost out and The Whamtam Ten is hitting double digits with this here being Issue numero ten. Looking back on the music I’ve posted so far I realise how absolutely awesome 2012 has been for music and it’s just gotta make you excited about the future prospects. So many singles released late this year with albums yet to come in the first quarter of 2013 (Gold Fields, Fenech-Soler, Strange Talk & Foals to name a few). All I can say is thank god we live in this time. Bolly.

Apart from that, let’s talk changes. When I started this blog I figured I would (like most blogs I do) get bored quickly and start another one. But to be honest, I really enjoy writing this and have been stoked with the amount of people viewing the posts so far. The original idea for the name of this blog came from a few friends of mine who had an idea about a satirical alternative to lame rap crews like Wu-Tang Clan. As we’ve made it to Issue Ten, I feel like it’s time to shake off the shackles of teenage tom-foolery and begin anew with a fresh name for the blog. These changes will be made towards the new year so keep an eye out; ’cause if it looks like I’ve started yet another blog, it’s most likely not the case; and you’ll miss out on more and more epic tracks as the posts flow. Alright. Enough stalling, here we go with Issue Ten.

10. Hungry Kids of Hungary – Twin Cities

Sneaking back into the top ten again, Hungry Kids of Hungary have released this fun little number that has been gathering a lot of momentum lately and it’s no wonder why. It’s exactly why these guys are one of my favourite Aussie acts. Sporting one of those thunderously catchy riffs they’re quite well known for, if you don’t tap at least one cheeky limb while it chuggs along you are most probably not human.

9. Divine Fits – Flaggin’ A Ride

Most people checking out this blog from Australia would most likely be sick of this song by now. They’ve absolutely abused it on Triple J. Despite this, I’m a pretty tough critic so for at least the first few weeks they smashed it out on the airwaves I really didn’t like this song at all. In fact, I thought it was too simple and unnecessarily dirty without the added plus of being catchy. Alas, the media wins again as the more it was shoved in my face the more it grew on me and now it’s one of my favourite songs; replacing “simple” with genius, “unnecessarily dirty” with deliciously gritty and “boring” with luminous. Poetic really…
8. Ra Ra Riot – Beta Love

Some would say Ra Ra Riot are a tad cheesy. I personally this is what makes them great. If you haven’t heard of them before, just think semi effeminate vocals, electro pop synth and a violinist (who doesn’t feature as prominently in this song but trust me, she’s there). Sometimes I’m a little embarrassed to declare I listen to songs like this, but who am I kidding, I love it.
7. Architecture In Helsinki – Contact High

Yet another brilliant Aussie act that has been in the spotlight for quite some time now, Contact High features on BIRP.fm’s stellar “Best of 2012″ playlist. Not unlike the rest of this album, it is so infectiously fun throughout the entirety of the song and an awesome driving companion. The film clip is a little weird but meh, with a song like this backing it up they can do whatever they damn well want.

6. Mikky Ekko – Pull Me Down (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)

Pull Me Down could definitely go for one of the years best Remix’s. If you listen to the original there’s no way it even comes close to matching up to this fine bit of musical ass. You can tell there’s some sort of R n’ B thing going on in the original but Hemsworth figures out how to mask it with all the best indie and electro vibes in town.

5. ON AN ON – The Hunter

Pulled this one (once again) from the December BIRP! playlist. There were quite a few awesome tracks in the playlist this month and this one stood out as great amongst the good. Nothing particularly stands out about these guys in terms of doing things different, it’s just a really cool song and easy to get addicted. Simple yet brilliant.
4. HAIM – Don’t Save Me

What!? An all girl band making it into this playlist!? I thought the Donna’s had completely ruined it for girl band reputations before they even got a chance to intrigue me. But no, the might that is HAIM stormed it’s way into my peripherals before I got stuck on this song basically all friggen week. They’re all sisters too which is pretty cool. They have been described as heavily influenced by 90’s pop and I agree when they say they would have been instantly famous had they released these songs maybe two decades earlier. That being said, old is new these days and retro, for a while now, has been the on trend thing, sky rocketing new bands doing old things to fame. Does that make sense?

3. Wild Cub – Thunder Clatter

Where the hell did Wild Cub come from? They have a whole album out and everything and I’ve only recently heard this song. It’s one of the coolest, jim jam jivenest tracks I’ve heard all year long (it’s still hip to be square right?). Expect to hear them all around you soon, if only in your own earphones. Thunder Clatter is one of those composition that has taken full advantage of the over the top percussion phase that our beloved music industry seems to be going through and I for one hope it never ends. It’s catchy, fast paced and pumps a wicked tempo that gives it top place on my list of best songs to wake up to.
2. Kate Boy – Northern Lights

Why can’t Scani-Pop just migrate to Australia? Joining the likes of Miike Snow, Urban Cone, Lykke Li and Robyn (and probably closer to the latter two in terms of sound), Kate Boy is without a doubt sure to be the next big breaker into the world mainstream. Northern Lights is her first release ever and has already been nominated for a Swedish Grammy. It melts the essence of a really dark, brooding, haggard verse with a confident stuck-in-your-head-for-days type pop chorus to make what is proving to be an unfathomably amazing debut single. 
1. Foals – My Number

Here is the Foals I know and love! Back with a bloody vengeance, sort of releasing this new  track off their upcoming album Holy Fire. I say sort of because it’s not yet available on iTunes in Australia yet so technically I can’t really say its “been released”. I’ve been killing my data for a few days now just listening to this song over and over. It’s that static guitar and funk-like symphony, together with the almost hollow sounding vocals of front man Yannis Philippakis that made me obsessed with Foals in the first place and have now reeled me back in and given My Number top spot without a second thought needed.
With Ten Issue’s under our belt now, make sure to look out for some small changes and a very special festively seasoned Christmas/New Years edition of The Whamtam Ten to be posted in a couple of days.