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.
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.
We’ve done this for the past two years: a seven-week series looking at a music scene of a particular country. We don’t do it particularly well, but we feel we provide a good idea nonetheless. This year we go bigger: we look at five countries. Well, arguably it makes things easier, because we’ll go one country a week in a couple of weeks, but on the other hand we’re diving into a region that has provided a lot to popular music around the world, and a region which we’ve dipped our toes into occasionally over the five and a half years of this blog. Welcome to the north. Welcome to the Norden.