Tag Archives: Scandinavia

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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Kid Astray – Still Chasing Nothing

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Maaaan, I have yet to be more impressed by a new-ish band in 2015 than I am with this Norwegian powerhouse of indie brilliance. Kid Astray have since released the amazing “It’s Alright”, although I had to go back and check this one out.

“Still Chasing Nothing” reminds me of Australians Tim & Jean, or in a looser way, Passion Pit without the falsetto vocals. It’s got a huge beat and pace, synth pulsating through the middle keeping the vocal melodies in check. in 2015, it’s hard to dislike anything this band have released and I’m very much looking forward to a release later this year.

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Kid Astray – It’s Alright

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I talk a lot about that Scando-sound on this blog. So many cool bands coming out of that area, but they are usually Swedish or the odd-mention of Finnish boys. But we have another inclusion here with Norweigan six-piece Kid Astray; these guys are truly something special. Sounding more like an LA or Brooklyn style indie outfit, they leave the staples of the deep north behind them and bring something beautifully different to the scene.

Their latest effort, “It’s Alright”, is a true summertime beat. Smooshed between wandering bass and a grounded beat is catchy as fuck synth outlays and solid, easy to get behind vocal lines. They’ve been around for a few years and this is my first outing with the group, but I’ll be keeping an eye on them for a new release. A very exciting Saturday afternoon find indeed.

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Satellite Stories – Vagabonds

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Everyone’s favourite Finnish band, Satellite Stories have been hitting the airwaves with a few newbies of late in an exciting start to 2015. I’ll admit, there’s not a lot of Finnish acts that are that well known outside of their country, at least in Australia. But don’t let that take anything away from the incredible set that these guys have put together so far.

Their 2013 debut Pine Trails was an absolute masterpiece. Tracks like “Season of B-Sides” and “Campfire” as well as “Lights Go Low” were eerily similar to powerhouse indie band Two Door Cinema Club, proving their heritage wasn’t anything of a gimmick on this side of the world. Their latest off the new album of the same name, “Vagabonds”, is filled with pulsating guitar, rise and fall synth and beautiful sounding falsetto, fleeting through the track with confidence, while keeping the cold soundscapes we’ve come to adore from acts out of Scandinavia.

The album “Vagabonds” is out now via iTunes and for stream on Spotify.

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Satellite Stories – Heartbeat

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Those indie boys from Finland are back with another single in the beauty, “Heartbeat”. It’s a very Scandinavian sounding track, and I base that on absolutely nothing. Just something about these indie tracks I feel resonates. It’s the same thing I notice in bands like Urban Cone or The Royal Concept and that’s a pretty huge compliment standing next to those guys.

Satellite Stories should be releasing a new album at some point this year and it’s one to be excited about, if you can go from their awesome full length “Pine Trails” in 2013, which had sick beats like “Sirens”, “Campfire” and “Season of B-Sides” on it. “Heartbeat” is the follow up single to “The Trap” which was released at the end of last year and includes their same signature indie-pop style. This one is a little more anthemic though, and shoots through with beautiful soundscapes. I imagine this is what travelling through Scandinavia would sound like if it were a song.

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Say Lou Lou – Better In The Dark

I’m really loving every little piece of music coming from Scandinavia lately. Even the Finnish have some sweet stuff with Satellite Stories pumping out their latest album Pine Trails this year like a polished, Scando take on Two Door Cinema Club. 

In line with other Swedish acts of the sort like Kate Boy and Purity Ring, Better In The Dark, the latest track from the Swedish sisters and lady-duo Say Lou Lou is a brooding electronic fantasy with brilliantly emotive and elevating vocals. The huge drum and bass track bursts through the chorus with intimidating blows, marching in your face to claim attention and shit, it does just that.

I know Say Lou Lou have released a few tracks in the last year or two, but this is the first time I’ve stood up and paid attention. I’m looking forward to hearing more stuff from them.

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