Category Archives: urban cone

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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Urban Cone – Sadness Disease

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It looks like 2015 is pegged to be another “Year of the Scando” again as several of my favourite Swedish bands are lining up to release another album. Among them the former Miike-Snow-esque Urban Cone are now sounding fast and hot with the new single “Sadness Disease”.

It’s everything you could want in a track from these guys. Repetitive flowing synth, smooth vocal tones and some fast paced guitar stand-outs. No one paints the long cold winters of Stockholm like these guys, but it’s within the sprinting percussion and bass accompaniment that their dark lyrics actually shine, showing that within the “Sadness Disease”, there is some fun to be had.

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Issue Seven

I think I waited a week overdue to drop this next issue on you. My deepest apologies, but after last issue I thought I left you with enough awesome stuff to last the extra week. I myself was stuck for content after dropping pretty much every awesome thing to come out this month. But never fear, this past week has enlightened me and made me aware of several awesome new tracks to hit Australia. There are a few obvious ones in there from very well known bands but man are they great tunes. This week we’re going pretty rocky in parts and retro-ish in others. It’s good to chance things up every now and then.


10. Funeral Suits – All Those Friendly People

Funeral Suits are the perfect start to this beautiful month of Movember. A touch of gentlemen’s class in the name and sound alike and wonderfully cruisy at the same time. This song particularly is just an easy tune to listen to on days like the last few have been. There’s something nostalgic about it as well. I don’t know whether it’s the actual song and the band name with “Funeral” in it that psychologically connects me to remembrance but whatever the reason, it does the trick.

9. Sea Wolf – Old Friend

This is another one of those awesome nostalgic acoustic tunes. It’s just been one of those months. Sea Wolf has a very rustic old school acoustic vibes about them, something that reminds me of Travis’ first album “The Man Who” which was an absolute classic for me and my dad back in the 90’s. I don’t know much else about this act but I’ll just leave you to get lost in the song.
8. Glowbug – New Vinyl

I absolutely love this song. Something straight out of the 80’s. Glowbug is a favourite of mine as I mentioned I believe in the first issue not only because his songs are consistently catchy but also because the album’s he makes are completely free on glowbug.bandcamp.com! Daniel Anderson, the man behind the bug, is an electronic dream maker, with his crafty use of reverb on pretty much every single lyric and melody he writes, he somehow creates one of the best albums of year in Suit of Swords. So check it out!
7. Fast Romantics – Last Night

Continuing on with our theme of straight up semi-rock. Their bio is a line from an article written by one Clark Kent that quite-fittingly paints the Fast Romantics portrait. He says “picture Elvis Costello being gang-beaten by Arcade Fire, and you’re halfway to explaining the sound of the fast romantics”…need I elaborate?
6. Wildcat! Wildcat! – The Chief

This was also the name of my old Chilean room mates Jeep from when I lived in Canada…soo uh…bit of trivia there for you. But it’s safe to say I was drawn to this for an appearance in a Whamtam Ten issue. Not only because of the connection to my old room mate, but also because Wildcat! Wildcat! have been so awesome since they popped up seemingly from nowhere. They’ve somehow managed to keep a lid on any proper release, only putting forward three epic singles so far and creating a lot of excitement. It’s kind of like when a night club will make people line up forever even when it’s super early in the night to just raise the keen-o-bar and make it way more super when you finally get in all at the same time. But yes, the chief, great track.
5. The Griswolds – The Courtship of Summer Preasley

I personally found out about these guys the other week and straight away went and bought the EP. Every song has its own tinge of greatness and it superb in their own right but this particular track off the album caught me. It sounds a little bit like Vampire Weekend but in saying that I’m picky about Vampire Weekend. More specifically, it’s all the good parts of Vampire Weekend, mixed with some class warfare style passion and a perfect amount of pop…and God dammit I can’t source out the actual track so I’ll have to leave you with their single off the EP Heart Of A Lion. I know, I know, false advertising. But I implore you, go out and buy the EP and check out the tune. You won’t regret.
4. Gypsy & The Cat – Bloom

Three of the top four songs this week I heard within the space of about 20 minutes on the Triple J rotation. i have to say, thank god for this track. I loved Gypsy & The Cat’s first album and was so unbelievably disappointed about the first single of the new album The Late Blue. I shazammed (oh yeah) this track as it played on the radio the other day and was relieved to see that the rest of the album isn’t complete shit. But this song is not just a saviour from bullshit. It’s wicked in its own right.
3. Urban Cone – We Should Go To France

There’s something about the Swedish bands I like. For some reason I keep thinking they sound like someone else. The Royal Concept, who I’ve posted about a few times, sound incredibly similar to Phoenix. Now these guys, also from Sweden, similarly channel an artist by the name of Miike Snow. Not so much in this particular song than with others, but their vibe is quite similar. But whatever, they’re freaking sweet and just released a new album a couple of days ago titled Our Youth which is available at the moment on iTunes. I think this is going to be one of the first singles. I love it.
2. The Presets – Promises

There is no way that I’m claiming The Presets to be undiscovered. Of course EVERYONE has heard and loves them. All I’m declaring in this here blog post is that this new single that is being spun to bits on the Triple J desk is glorious. It’s a bit less club struck than a lot of their other stuff; filtered down with pop and…I don’t know…actual vocal melodies they can be proud of. I’m not the hugest fan ever of the entire collection, but this song has won me over.
1. Clubfeet – Heartbreak (feat. Chela)

Speaking of this weeks retro-fit issue. Clubfeet seemingly popped out of nowhere onto the Triple J hitlist. I heard this song a bunch of times at work and missed the name but was clamming to figure out just what it was! It’s one of the finest collaborations of everything that is good about going retro and Chela absolutely makes this song. I’ve had it on repeat for a looong time now and hopefully after you see it in this weeks number one slot, you will too.
There it is guys. Sorry about the tardiness, but you can’t rush art. By the way, it is the most glorious month of the year, that’s right, Movember and as always I’ll be killing it with a super sweet stash. Might even chuck a few off topic posts onto this here bloggy blog to keep you in tune with the progress. Trust me, it will be worth a peek.

Issue One

Welcome to The Whamtam Ten. A bi-weekly blog post featuring the top ten songs of the fortnight on rotation in my iPod. I’m trying to feature a lot of songs and artists that are not very well known by most people hence why I get unnecessarily excited about showing them to everyone.

Being the first week of doing this, and it being the beginning of the final month of winter, I’ve had a lot of chill/upbeat songs that seem to hypnotize from time to time. But that’s enough typage. Here are the top ten songs for this week.

10. Urban Cone – Freak

These Swedish guys remind me a little bit of Miike Snow for some reason. I started listening to this song a couple of months back which is why it comes in at number 10. However, and it’s still in my rotation and that says a lot!

9. Fixers – Floating Up
 
Fixers are apparently quite big in the UK. I downloaded the full album and didn’t really dig the rest of the songs. But disregard that comment because the single “Floating Up” is wicked and the “woah”-ish stuff in the intro gets stuck in your head in such a good way.
8. Mike Landry – Heartbeat
 
This is pretty much an electro/indie instrumental apparently of another song that I’ve never heard before but I love this version. I caught my sister listening to it earlier tonight and realised it had to go in the top ten somewhere. Great to listen to when you’re just chilling with your headphones in and blocking out everything around.
7. Stepdad – Show Me Your Blood
 
The songs not as evil or hardcore as the title suggests. This synth-pop/good times band has an amazing new album out at the moment called “Wildlife Pop” and every single track is pretty much awesome. This just happens to be my favourite. Listen to the rest at stepdad.bandcamp.com.
6. Glowbug – Heatwave
 
The coolest thing about this find is that if you go to glowbug.bandcamp.com you can download the new album “Suit of Swords” for free. Glowbug is Daniel Anderson and he’s a generous dude giving away most his LP’s free of charge on the net. Heatwave is the single off his album and it’s absolutely wicked. Glad he turned down the reverb on the vocals for this album, it’s a good effect but at least now we can make out what he’s saying.
5. Beat Connection – Saola
 
This song is just straight up fun. You feel like getting out the pots and pans and singing along while you tap on anything around you. Catchy lyrics too. Don’t know too much about their other songs but this one has been on repeat at least a few times a day this week.
4. Little Comets – Language Is Over
 
Well. I am a MASSIVE fan of Little Comets ever since I discovered their single “Worry” and I literally have loved every single song they’ve done so far. It is because of this I’m so excited about their new album coming out called “Life Is Elsewhere”. Before this, they did a small EP in anticipation with one of the tracks being this great emotional piano number. Such a good use of his voice.
3. Future Screens – Don’t Stop
 
These guys also have a great and consistent album that is available on futurescreens.bandcamp.com for only $5. I originally wanted to put a song called “Sidewalk Chalk” up as number 3 but I couldn’t source it from YouTube or anywhere else so here is the single. It’s just as worthy of being number 3.
2. Summer Camp – Better Off Without You
 
I really like this song. It’s been on repeat for a while now and I keep picturing the eighties all the time when I listen to it. I got into these guys because of a really good remix of their song “Losing My Mind” by St Etienne which you should also check out if you have time. But for the mean time, “Better off Without You” is just fun.
1. Kyle Andrews – Sushi
 
This song is so fricken fun I don’t really know how to describe it. I found it as the background song on the trailer for the Isenseven snowboard movie “Lets Go Get Lost” and it’s just stuck in my head forever. It’s such a good song though and it comes in as number one as my attempt to force everyone to like the music I like.
Hope you enjoyed these and maybe discovered some new music to chill to. Until next time.