Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged Swedish

Love Is Not Pop

While listening to the recently released album from Swedish pop artist El Perro del Mar (Sarah Assbring), I quickly realized I was being pulled into a cathartic experience evoked by Assbring's ethereal vocals and repetitive, melancholic lyrics.

Survival Strategies in a Modern World

There are many things to like about the county of Liechtenstein: its tax haven status, its unusually small size, its ski slopes, and its firm resolve to stay out of the European Union. I happen to love the EU in principle, but have an equal amount of respect for wealthy countries that opt to steer clear of large political unions. Did you know that the EU anthem is “Ode to Joy?” Would Beethoven approve? To me, the ideals of a tiny nation like Liechtenstein could easily be represented in a rock band.

Gold Dust on His Shirt: The True Story of an Immigrant Mining Family

When you think about migrant memoirs of North America, stories of moving north from Latin America often come to mind more than those detailing moves east and west. Flipping around that common assumption, Gold Dust on His Shirt tells the story of Irene Howard’s Swedish-Norwegian immigrant family’s tumultuous life in Canada at the turn of the twentieth century. After the death of her first husband in Norway, Howard’s mother Ingeborg immigrated to Canada.

Loney Dear (4/5/2009)

It is so ridiculously obvious why the kids are flipping out about this impressively under-the-radar Nordic crooner. It doesn’t matter if gnat-attention-span hipsters can’t name his influences, the history that brought us to now. It doesn’t matter if they forget the album tomorrow (though it’s clearly their loss). What does matter is when amazing music comes forth. What matters is keeping it in our hearts once the fair-weather fans have moved onto the next big college radio hit. When I was coming up, Polyvinyl was a key player among emo purveyors.


The Concretes are Swedish and adorable. They also have a band name that is part cool ("the" is so money) and part tough cookie (you get it...). Which has nothing to do with the music, really, but come on; you and I have both picked up CDs because of a cutesy band name or cool cover art. Most of the time our whirlwind expenditures result in creepy death metal rock operas or grandma music, which then result in another set of beer coasters. The Concretes, though, deliver every time, even when they're releasing a b-side album to get some stateside love.