Time Magazine Recommends Some Scandinavian Music Acts That You Need To Listen To Right Now

Forget Ikea and Volvo: some of Scandinavia’s greatest exports are musical. First came ABBA, with striking blonde looks and inescapable disco-infused pop beats that created an international phenomenon in the ’70s. In the ’80s, Roxette’s contribution to the Pretty Woman soundtrack made them a chart-topper; Ace of Base and The Cardigans continued the trend into the ’90s.

The musical scene in Scandinavia—Sweden, Norway, and Denmark—has gotten even more interesting, or perhaps just more accessible, in the last decade. The Internet has given the world the opportunity to see what bands from towns like Bergen, Norway, and Gothenburg, Sweden, are creating (luckily for those of us who don’t live there). Artists like Icona Pop, Robyn, The Knife, and Peter Bjorn & John, who all hail from Sweden, have already found some mainstream success, but there are plenty of other Scandinavian artists angling to join them.

Here are some Scandinavian artists you should be listening to now:

Lykke Li

Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden

Lykke Li is one of the most respected artists working in Scandinavian pop right now. While she hasn’t achieved the fame of Icona Pop or Robyn—who both found international acclaim after being featured on HBO’s Girls—Li is one good song placement away from breaking through in a big way. Her debut album Youth Novels was the perfect blend of pouty pop and bleak ballads, sometimes all in the same song. Her second album, 2011′s Wounded Rhymes, reveled in an intense youthful yearning and a slightly edgier, less sugary sound. Her music is accessible and inviting and it seems clear that Li is ready for her close up.


Hometown: Bergen, Sweden

For years now, Röyksopp, a.k.a. Svein Berge and Tobjørn Brundtland, have quietly been putting out some of the most darkly textured dance music around. Their music blurs the line between pop and experimental music to create powerful songs that propel people onto the dance floor. On their 2009 release Junior, the veteran duo teamed up with both Robyn and Lykke Li, giving their songs a pop lilt. The album earned them some well-deserved international recognition, which they cemented with Senior, their first all-instrumental album. It peaked at number one in Norway, the band’s fourth consecutive release to do so.


Hometown: Vordingborg, Denmark

While you may not have heard of Anders Trentemøller, Depeche Mode has: the DJ-turned-producer-turned-Grammy-nominated musician was handpicked to open for Depeche Mode across Europe this summer. That gig is sure to earn Trentemøeller more fans just as he is about to release a third album of wide-ranging visionary dance tunes. His music shifts from shoe-gazey introspection to stripped-down club tunes with surf beats. Fans of Kid A-era Radiohead should find more than enough to keep them interested.

Miike Snow

Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden

You may not know it, but two-thirds of Miike Snow are responsible for some of the biggest pop hits around. Producers Bloodshy & Avant (a.k.a. Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg) have worked with everyone from Britney Spears and Madonna to Jennifer Lopez and Kylie Minogue. In Miike Snow they team up with singer Andrew Wyatt to make irresistible pop music that’s slightly less radio-friendly but just as catchy. The songs on their eponymous debut and the 2012 follow-up, Happy to You, are irresistible lighthearted pop gems with undeniable hooks and playful percussion. The band knows how to craft a song, so the tracks skillfully avoid sickly sweetness.

Niki & The Dove

Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden

Niki & The Dove are Malin Dahlström and Gustaf Karlöf, two Swedish music vets who reinvented themselves as electro-pop musicians and made a splash with their 2012 debut album Instinct, on venerable grunge label Sub Pop. The duo’s dance music is edgy EDM with a healthy pop sensibility that seems to take equal parts inspiration from Stevie Nicks and Prince. Their tunes are crafted with an ear toward the organic instead of the metallic beats that many electronic musicians favor, which makes them stand out in a sea of electro-pop artists.

Two more Scandinavian artists recommended for you at the ( SOURCE )

While I certainly approve of the choices mentioned--mainly because I already listen and know of the artists selected--I am honestly shocked the list doesn't include fierce Danish kweens Oh Land (above gif) and the amazing Tina Dico (photo below)...

Which Scandinavian music acts do you like to listen to, ONTD?