How to collect Nordic pop music, part three: the Swedish course

Last week we came to the slightly awkward realization that most of our five essential Nordic pop acts – four out of five – come from Sweden. That says a lot about how much of a force Swedish music has become, although we’re keen to stress that there’s a lot of interesting music from their neighbors too. But that’s in the coming weeks. This week we square in more on Sweden, because it’s such an obvious place to start, yeah? That, and it’s worth realizing that Swedish music has been an intrinsic part of Western pop for decades.

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How to collect Nordic pop music, part two: the essentials course

How to Collect Nordic Pop Music

As with the last couple of years, the second week of our seven weeks of How to Collect… will look at the essential acts of the place we’re focusing on. This year we’re doing the Nordic countries, but while assembling these essentials I worried that the focus is too much on Sweden. A bit disproportional, but then, Swedish acts have been more prominent than its neighbors. You’ll have to forgive that so-called transgression, but you’ll find a good spread of acts this week, and in the coming weeks, when we focus on one country at a time. Starting with, well, Sweden, next week.

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The Local Outsider #21: IV of Spades, Cheenee Gonzalez and Bita and the Botflies

Time again for my monthly catch-up with the more interesting things Philippine music has to offer, and, well… you know what I’m going to say here. But then this month’s column is a little unusual in that I have had an idea of who to write about for a while… and then let it boil, knowing there will be more ahead. I find that whenever I finish writing one of these things, one of the acts I just featured would be up to something. Guys, this doesn’t mean I have inside scoop or anything, all right?

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The Local Outsider #20: Pamphleteer, Carousel Casualties and Morissette Amon

This is the twentieth installment of the Local Outsider. Twenty. That number feels big already. I’ll admit I had apprehensions about whether I can continue with this column – and sometimes I still do, something evident in the themes I find myself often flirting with in succeeding releases: how I’m busy, how I’m always late… but, well, that’s the point, right? So, until I get really busy or really annoyed, we carry on. This is the twentieth installment of the Local Outsider. The usual things, then. Like any of us expected anything more from this self-proclaimed outsider…

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The Local Outsider #19: Ube, Athalie and the imminent return of Orange and Lemons

Yeah, yeah, once again, I am cramming this. Will things be better next month? I have a big event for the day job and it’s three weeks away and I am juggling without being a trained juggler. Perhaps that’s what someone who follows the local music scene feels sometimes. You either have to juggle all these new acts coming in – not to look cool, I hope, but just to add more variety – or you stick with the usuals and, well… look cool anyway. But that’s me forcing a transition to this month’s Local Outsider, which features an assortment of acts that I am pretty sure does not have a theme.

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