Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Awards Lists - the season of....

You might imagine that I'm going to tell you about the headline ones, but I'm not.  It is easy to forget just what an important part in popular music Scandinavian artists have played.  If you are thinking simply of Abba and A-Ha you are in a 1970s - 1990s buy-in that however remains perennially popular and that is fine - and without doubt Scandinavia has produced some of the most successful and, importantly widely accessible, pop for about forty years now.  That does not even include the influence of the Scandinavian writers who, without fail, wrote hit after hit for the likes of Britney Spears and many, many others...

Scandinavia should not, and has chosen not to, rest on its laurels: on the other hand do you remember either of these albums?

 The former was released in 2008, the latter in 2007  and both are well worth a listen.
If the answer is no then you could simply argue that my point is irrelevant. On the other hand could you name a Scandinavian artist, or better still three, that made an impact on UK, European or - to make it harder still - US music in 2010?

Neither of the above albums are eligible, as it is for 2010 releases, so they do not prejudice my opinion.
That is why the 2011 sees the first ever Nordic Music Prize and here is the list of nominations:
Dungen - Skit i allt
Paleface Helsinki - Shangri-La
Frisk Frugt - Dansktoppen møder Burkina Faso i det himmelblå rum hvor solen bor, suite
Susanne Sundfør - The Brothel
Robyn - Bodytalk
Jónsi - Go Do
Efterklang - Magic Chairs
Serena Maneesh - S-M 2: Abyss in B Minor
The Radio Dept. -  Clinging to a Scheme
Ólöf Arnalds - Innundir Skinni
Kvelertak - Kvelertak
First Aid Kit - The Big Black and The Blue

I'll tell you something straight away - I haven't heard half of these, even in part. I like that; and I like the fact that between those that I have heard I would be hard pressed to decide.
Equally invalid in the above reckoning, as it has yet to be released, is the second album from Swedish female five-piece 'Those Dancing Days'. They have thoroughly deconstructed the, somewhat Pipettes-reminiscent but arguably rather more endearingly retro, sound of their 2008 début offering. Their second album  promises something rather different and the track on offer (see link below) features vocalist Linnea Jönsson apparently now in the mindset of a polar bear on a fast-melting floe. No longer is logic or reasoning a realistic option.

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