Yes, there is a part eight to this. I was surprised to see more interest than expected on this seven-week series on Nordic pop, and I got a message from the folks at Nordic Music Review looking if they can contribute. Why not? Now, to wrap up this series nicely, that blog’s editor, Andy Worsey, breaks down just how Nordic music has made an impression around the world.
We’ve (almost) reached the end of this seven-week series on Nordic pop, and this time we land in Iceland. It’s interesting, this: the country’s physically isolated from most of the world, even its Nordic neighbors (although you can argue Greenland is Denmark, and they’re closer there). That’s meant the country’s had a chance to evolve its culture on its own terms. Just think of Björk, who we wrote about a few weeks back. But also, her musical journey’s involved a lot of genres: in recent decades the country’s also seen its fair share of outside influences, and yet its music is, in a way, distinctly Icelandic.
Last week Finland marked a hundred years since it declared independence from Russia. “What timing,” I thought. But digging around for Finnish pop music for our seven-week dive into Nordic pop hasn’t been easy. Unlike its neighbors, Finland has kept a much lower profile (at least for the most part) and so it was a bit more difficult looking for easy entry points to the country’s music. And then it all clicked into place, somewhat. Like its neighbors, they have had a presence in our collective musical consciousness – we’re just not aware of it.
We’ve reached the point where things get tricky, slightly. Now we’re past Sweden and Norway – two Nordic countries that have contributed a lot to pop music around the world – we’re heading to countries that are more… incognito, shall we say. But then I have a soft spot for Denmark – my first dip into Nordic pop, at least for this blog, was with this country – and, for a country so small land-wise, it’s also given us a lot. I’m honestly surprised at how many acts I have dug up while researching this week’s installment. So, here we go, then. Denmark.
Now, it’s on to Norway as we continue to go country-by-country for this seven-week look at Nordic pop. Despite being significantly smaller, population-wise, from Sweden – five million people, roughly, as opposed to nine million – musically it’s also contributed a lot. Like Sweden, there’s a lot of Norwegian music on the radio and you wouldn’t realize it… at least until the time you finish going through this. Unless you already knew about it.