Farewell Detektivbyrån, Hello Martin

You might remember that post about a year ago when I raved on about my new obsession. If you don’t, it’s okay. The post is still up and it is a fast and worthwhile read. I had just been caught up in Detektivbyrån fever, which is a remarkably pleasant sort of fever, though it did result in me buying an old accordion on eBay and inadvertently serenading my neighbors during the summer when all the windows were open.

Yes, it was love – pure, sweet, and beautiful. But like most summer loves, it eventually had to end. The Detektivbyrån brothers, Martin and Anders, announced that they were disbanding and I promptly went into mourning. I was left with a big, gaping, Detektivbyrån-shaped void, which I, in classic ex-stalking fashion, attempted to fill by listening to their albums repeatedly and checking their website every few minutes hoping to find an announcement saying, “just kidding, kids!” No such luck along those lines, but I did find some other pretty interesting things along the way.

First of all, this amazing mix crossed my path at the perfect time and brought me out of my Detektivbyrån slump. It was the perfect transition from my old Swedish obsession to my new. (I love you, Those Dancing Days!) They have been lighting up the Indie Handbook lately, and are so fresh and cheeky. Have a look:

Do I need to remind you to read Eric’s post on “I’ll Be Yours” and “Fuckarias“, if you haven’t already? I hope not. You won’t be disappointed.

Then, I started to follow what Martin Molin, former half of Detektivbyrån, was up to. Apparently not one to slow down, and quite the Renaissance man, he now has his own production company and studio in his home in Göteborg, Sweden, and is working for some pretty interesting groups.

He has produced a lovely little single, Alibi, for Winding Stairs, a cool, soft, synthy, alt pop duo, also from Göteborg. You can hear it on their myspace page. The story goes that they met in a coffee shop and ended up in a recording project together, which is proof that all those hours Eric and I have spent in various coffee shops has not been wasted at all. I will just start thinking about it as a musician’s more delicious version of a social networking website.

Martin is also playing with Maud Lindström & Nåt För Alla these days, a band that sings on all things love, sex, culture, and power and leads some pretty cool creative workshops for schools and artists on living and working as a freelance musician. Was that an accordion I heard in “Vacker vid vatten?” Martin, you are the best.

So in the end, it all worked out. Though my dream of seeing Detektivbyrån tour in the States will now never come true, I do have other things to look forward to. Martin is not going anywhere and Those Dancing Days are certainly going to keep me dancing through mine. Plus, I think I may have found the perfect venue for realizing Eric’s dream to put together a band mash-up recording project a la In a Cabin With. Check out those studio pictures on Martin’s website! He even has a kitchen! 


New Song: Those Dancing Days – ‘I’ll Be Yours’

Those Dancing DaysI was supposed to be taking some time off, you know, working on that opera I have due next month and about a hundred other projects. But then this happens. And who am I to deny my favourite band to ever leave a note for me in a country where I do not live?

Yeah, that’s right. Those Dancing Days are giving away another track from their upcoming album, Daydreams & Nightmares. The new song, ‘I’ll Be Yours’, is more in line with the melodic pop of their debut while at the same time markedly more mature, both musically and lyrically. But I’ll have to stop myself there (after all, I’ve got to save some metaphors for the actual album review…). Why don’t you listen for yourself instead?

Those Dancing Days – I’ll Be Yours by Radar Maker

With each new TDD track I hear, it becomes more apparent that these ladies, young though they may be, are growing increasingly comfortable with the niche they’ve been carving out for themselves, all the while exceeding all expectations and setting new standards along the way. That’s certainly one way to drum up interest in the new album: one I look forward to with greater anticipation each day.

Daydreams & Nightmares is released 7 March on Wichita Recordings. Also head over the band’s website to check out their upcoming European tour dates (and cross your fingers in the hope that they play some shows here in the States in the not-too-distant future).

Best Songs of 2010

It’s that time of year again: the time when I bombard you with list after list of my favourite musical bits of 2010. At first, I thought I might rank them like everybody else does, but I’m too in love with everything on this list to choose any one song over any other. Likewise, I reserve the right to add to this list for at least the next week. For example, in the last 10 minutes, I have realised that I had neglected to include two songs I was absolutely mad about for most of the summer (my sincerest apologies to IDRchitecture and Polarsets). No worries, though, I’ll notify the intarwebs of any amendments to this list.

So, here you go. In no particular order (well, in pseudo-alphabetical order), my favourite songs of 2010.

[Links to streaming tracks, videos, official sites, and any posts I’ve already written are provided wherever possible.]

Allo Darlin’ – “My Heart Is a Drummer” [bandcamp]

Belle & Sebastian – “I Want the World to Stop” [video] [review]

Dimbleby & Capper – “Black Smoke/ Burning House” [bandcamp] [interview] [interview part 2]

Dimbleby & Capper – “Raise It Right” [soundcloud]

Dimbleby & Capper – “Want This”  [download]

IDRchitecture – “Mortimer” [free download] [website]

Math and Physics Club – “We’re So DIY” [youtube] [website] [review]

Ivan Moult – “Fetch Me a Bucket” [video] [myspace] [review]

Polarsets – “Leave Argentina” [bandcamp]

Public Service Broadcasting – “New Dimensions in Sound” [download] [bandcamp]

Secret Sisters – “Big River” [Third Man Records page]

Sarah Kirkland Snider – “Circe and the Hanged Man” [bandcamp] [album] [website] [review]

Super Desserts – “I Only Love You Because You Can Play Guitar” [bandcamp] [album] [review]

Super Desserts – “Crush on You” [bandcamp] [album] [review]

Those Dancing Days – “Fuckarias” [mp3] [review]

BONUS: because I failed to place it in it’s proper place in 2009 (and because there is an official video now) . . .

The Black Atlantic – “Fragile Meadow” [bandcamp] [album] [website] [review]

Those Dancing Days – ‘Fuckarias’

Normally, I wouldn’t dedicate an entire post to one song (that’s what the Tumblr page is for), but I’ve been nothing short of obsessed with ‘Fuckarias’—the new song and video from Those Dancing Days, released this morning—all day.

For a long time, I was on the fence about Those Dancing Days. Was my love for them grounded in the music they make, or was it simply the manifestation of an immense crush on Linnea Jönsson? But hearing ‘Fuckarias’ for the first time this morning has left me with no doubt whatsoever. It is definitely the music.

Cissi Efraimsson
Cissi proving my point. How hot is that, eh?

Catchy as ever but more driving than anything from In Our Space Hero Suits, if this is the direction the girls are headed, then their future is exceedingly bright. And, as her performance on ‘Fuckarias’ will once again attest, Cissi Efraimsson is easily one of the most solid (and under-appreciated) drummers in pop music. Seriously. Watch the video.

As if I needed another reason to be depressed about missing Bowlie 2…

Those Dancing Days are set to release their sophomore album, Daydreams and Nightmares, on the first of March. For now, download ‘Fuckarias’ for free.

God, I love these ladies!

Catching up with Ce-ci-ci-cilia

First, do me a favor and try out these links and tell me if they work: theindiehandbook.co.uk and theindiehandbook.net. You should automatically be redirected to this page, but it has only worked on half of the machines I have tried so far. (If anyone can explain this to me, please do.)

So, anyway, where was I….Oh, yeah!

I love Sweden! It’s gorgeous (as are the people), they design some of the sexiest furniture I have ever seen, and once, in Göteborg, I found dark chocolate infused with Earl Grey tea. Now, I’m not quite prepared to live there (no offense, but walking around at 21h45 in broad daylight kinda freaks me out) but the unbelievable music is almost enough to make me change my mind. (Third largest exporter of pop music in the world, Sweden is, after the US and the UK.) They have provided us with a lot of great music over the years (the Cardigans; Peter, Bjorn, and John; ok, fine, ABBA, too), but I don’t think any has struck me the way Hari and Aino have.

Hari and Aino came up on my last.fm playlist about a months ago and I liked it. Then, last week, I heard “On my usual catch up with Cecilia” and I am telling you all, I have not been this excited about a band since I first heard The School three weeks ago (if you listen to them both, you should have no trouble telling which direction my tastes are trending these days). I loved it so much that, after listening to their MySpace on repeat for two hours (and “Cecilia” at least a dozen times), I bought their self-titled CD which doesn’t even have “Cecilia” on it (you can download the track by clicking here: \”On my usual catch up with Cecilia\”, however, and several other tracks are available for free on MySpace and last.fm).

“Cecilia” (from the digital compilation put out by eardrumsmusic.com called Birdsongs,Beesongs–volume A available here for free) is admittedly a wee bit bouncier than the other tracks (I believe the technical term is “twee as f*ck”), but they will all make you smile. And they all feature Andrea Dahlkild’s stunning vocals (a cross between the color of Leigh Nash of Sixpence None the Richer and the laid back delivery of Linnea Jönsson from Those Dancing Days, though Andrea’s phrasing is far more relaxed and natural), nice, clean, pseudo C86 guitar, and, wait for it, GLOCKENSPIEL!!! (actually, it could be a xylophone, it is definitely a mallet struck idiophone; I’ll let the band correct me if I’m wrong).

Ladies and gentlemen, listen to this. Listen to it now. This is Friday music, folks. And today is FRIDAY! I guarantee, you will be hooked from the moment you hear Andrea linger on the name “Ce-ci-ci-ciliaaa”. What more could you want?

Also, word around the Twitterverse is that Hari and Aino would like to make a trip out to the States to play some shows. If you love what you hear (and you will), go to MySpace or Twitter or Facebook or wherever and tell them how much you want them to come here. If you don’t love it, just tell them how much I want them to play here.

And download the Birdsongs, Beesongs compilation. It also includes another favorite band of mine, Mockingbird, Wish Me Luck. Also, did I mention it’s free?