Archive for the 'Sweden' Category



08
May
11

The ice continues to melt

I discovered Simon Hassle earlier this year and fell in love with his song “Now Is Here”. It is topical and addresses the world’s concerns about the environment. It proves that a good pop song can still deliver some social commentary. Simon has sampled part of Oren Lyon’s famous “the ice continues to melt” speech to the UN Millennium World Peace Summit – with permission of course.

The song is available on iTunes around the world including Australia so I’m happy. I’m hoping this isn’t the last we’ve heard from Simon Hassle.

If you’re interested, you can read the speech by clicking here.

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08
May
11

The Brandur video is here – The Illusion Of…

Back in January I mentioned the new single from Brandur, the Faroese singer based in Stockholm. The song is “The Illusion Of…” and is a high powered piece of electropop.

The video is now out and is a classy affair featuring a lot of feathers, balloons and a good/evil thing going on with what appears to be Celtic undertones. Brandur himself is shirtless throughout and looking good in what might be an attempt to pitch him at the teen market but don’t let that put you off. Brandur is a very talented singer/songwriter and I’m sure he’s going to be around for many a year.

The song is available digitally at iTunes internationally. I was able to buy it here in Australia which means that it should be everywhere.

29
Mar
11

Ted Gärdestad – Take Me Back To Hollywood

Ted Gärdestad from Sweden is one of my favourite singers. Enormously popular in his homeland, it was decided to launch him internationally in 1978. The result was the English language album “Blue Virgin Isles” (his previous albums had all been in Swedish) which was even released here in Australia.

The lead single from the album was the song “Take Me Back To Hollywood” and I remember seeing the clip once on Countdown. Unfortunately, the song wasn’t a hit and I never saw the clip again – until five minutes ago for the first time in over 30 years.

You Tube is a wonderful invention and allows one to see things that you would never dream of seeing. This is one of them.

A young Molly Meldrum (minus the hat) intro-ing and outro-ing “Take Me Back To Hollywood”. He mispronounces Ted’s name terribly!

20
Mar
11

Harpo från Duvemåla

Long before the musical “Kristina från Duvemåla” was devised, another Swedish artist had already used Vilhem Moberg’s Emigrants series of novels as a musical inspiration. Harpo released the song “On The Other Side Of The Atlantic” in 1986, both as a single (in Swedish and English) and as an album track on the under-rated “London” album.

I was surprised to find the English version of this beautiful song on Youtube. Someone has done a great job of putting together a slide show of scenes from the Emigrants movie as well as modern day immigrants.

They were poor, didn’t have anything
Hunger and thirst, what else could the future bring
They left the old world far behind
Didn’t know what they would find

On the other side of the Atlantic
They were looking for a new kind of life
Maybe it’s the same today
We are looking for a new kind of life
On the other side of the Atlantic
They were looking for a new kind of life

They never gave up, so it seems
Bright hopes, impossible dreams
The bible has said, search and you will find
So they left the old world far behind

On the other side of the Atlantic…

Maybe it’s the same today
We are looking for a new kind of life

On the other side of the Atlantic…

Maybe it’s the same today
We are looking for a new kind of life

13
Mar
11

Congratulations Eric

Congratulations to Eric Saade for being chosen to represent Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011. His song “Popular” won by an overwhelming majority and sees Sweden with a real chance to win in Dusseldörf.

12
Mar
11

Melodifestivalen final – here we come

Tonight, Swedish time, sees the final for Melodifestivalen which will select Sweden’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2011. It seems that the two favourites, Eric Saade and Danny Saucedo, are getting overly friendly in the picture above. This shot has been appearing on schlager blogs all over the net so how could I resist such a shot. Sadly, as the following video shows, it’s just the two guys mucking about at a press conference. But it does embody the spirit of Melodifestivalen. The friendly rivalry and the fun that the participants bring to the atmosphere, one could almost say a sense of family.

I have read quite a few schlager blogs complaining about the final line up of songs. I actually think it’s a good and varied line up, a bit of something for everyone. The Swedes actually have a range to choose from which should make it more interesting.

I have already commented on Sara Varga (my favourite in the final) and Eric Saade (the one that should go to Dusseldörf) but I thought I would give my impressions of the remaining eight songs for what it’s worth.

Danny – In The Club

Eric Saade’s closest rival, I think this club tune will give Eric a run for his money. It’s modern and would appeal to a younger audience (as long as they are the ones voting). I’m not that keen on it myself (I must be getting old) but I’m sure it would do well at Eurovision.

The Moniker – Oh My God

A lot of people seem to hate this very happy pop song but I quite like it and certainly won’t be skipping it when I get the CD. Kinda like Mika but not done as well, still it’s fun. I don’t think it’s a contender.

Brolle – 7 Days and 7 Nights

I really like this slice of rock pop from Sweden’s so-called answer to Elvis. I find myself singing it a lot. I have a feeling it will do well at the final but not well enough.

Linda Bengtzing – E Det Fel På Mig

Linda has entered Melodifestivalen a number of times in the past but this would have to be her weakest entry yet. I know I should like it but I just can’t. I think the only reason it made it to the final was the general low standard of the songs in the fourth semi final, one of the worst semi finals since they introduced the semi final format.

Nicke Borg – Leaving Home

I don’t like this rock ballad from the lead singer of the internationally known Backyard Babies. I think there will be an audience for this song but I just don’t think that the fans of Backyard Babies are the kind of people to watch Melodifestivalen or Eurovision.

Swingfly – Me And My Drum

Although I don’t normally like rap, the chorus of this song is so damn catchy it could get through. It would be one of those annoying summer hits that Europe seems to love so much. If it does get through, it could even manage a decent placing at Eurovision. Certainly not a favourite by far but not the end of the world if it ended up representing Sweden.

Sanna Nielsen – I’m In Love

Although Sanna does have a loyal fan base and this schlager number is quite listenable, I don’t think it will do too well.  Nothing wrong with schlager of course, but voting audiences seems to be moving away from it.

The Playtones – The King

This rock ‘n roll pastiche is catchy and should do well but I think it would be regarded as too much of a novelty song by European audiences.

Part of the fun of Melodifestivalen is and Eurovision is not really knowing which way the voters will swing. Since the semi finals were brought in, the eventual winner of Melodifestivalen  has always come first in their respective semi final. This would mean that only Danny, Sanna, Eric and Linda are in the running. But the real unknown factor this year is that for the first time, 11 international juries will be voting and will make up half the vote with the general public making up the other half. Watch the sparks fly in the Swedish media if the jury vote changes the general public’s choice!

Still, all things considered, I think Eric Saade will be eventual winner and that he could very well take out the Eurovision crown for Sweden. I guess that time will tell.

12
Mar
11

Run for your life – Sara Varga

This is my favourite song in this weekend’s Melodifestivalen final and my second out of all the entries for 2011. Sara Varga sings this sad but slightly upbeat number about escaping domestic violence and self-empowerment in a laid back, jazzy style which is hard to resist. It is one of only two songs to be sung in Swedish at the final. It is called “Spring för livet” or “Run For Your Life”.

While I don’t think it’s the best choice to represent Sweden at Eurovision, it is still a wonderful song, deserving of a wider audience. I had a go at translating the lyrics so apologies if I stuff any of it up or miss any of the nuances.

Run for your life

You say that you have changed
That you never meant to hit
You say that everything has changed
If I wanted to then I would understand

You don’t hurt the one you love!
The one you actually say that you do

I live with my memories
And the wounds that no one can see
I live with my memories
Trying to forget is no use

You don’t hurt if you love
The one you actually say you do

Run for your life if you hold yourself dear
It’s not worth it to hit back
You cannot change
You will never understand
The only thing you can do is go
The only thing you can do is go

You totally broke my spirit
You said that I always did wrong
You complained about my whole existence
Until I was no longer whole

You don’t hurt if you love
The one you actually say you do

Run for your life if you hold yourself dear
It’s not worth it to hit back
You cannot change
You will never understand
The only thing you can do is go
The only thing you can do is go

And I love life
You may not take that away from me
For if hatred is now the motive
There is no hatred within me

Run for your life if you hold yourself dear
It’s not worth it to hit back
You cannot change
You will never understand
The only thing you can do is go
The only thing you can do is go

The only thing you can do is go




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