the oh so quiet show

When the Sign Language Interpreter Is the Star

This sign language interpreter is giving it ALL HE’S GOT. And he’s got a lot. I guess this song by Swedish metal band Dead by April demands it.

First Aid Kit – ‘The Big Black and Blue’

The Big Black and Blue

Last night while curled up in a ball under my sheets in my flu-ridden attempt to fall asleep, I put on my earphones and listened to The Big Black and Blue by First Aid Kit. Did it put me in snooze-land? Not so much—I think my body was way too high strung to be put to sleep by anything. But that late night listening session made me appreciate the album more.

First Aid Kit is the Swedish sister duo of Johanna and Klara Söderberg. Johanna is 19 and Klara is 17. Oh god—what was I doing when I was 17? Nothing this good. (Note to self: Find time machine, tell 17-year-old self to do something awesome.) I first got into First Aid Kit about one and a half years ago when they put up their beautiful cover of “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” by Fleet Foxes. Just two sisters wearing flannel, harmonizing in the forest (and even though I can’t see what they’re sitting on, in my mind they’re sitting on a giant log). And then I got hooked on their EP, Drunken Trees. And then just a few weeks ago I got their debut album The Big Black and Blue, a few months later than it came out because I’m just not “with it” when it comes to new music anymore, as evidenced by the lack of updates in this blog. Oops.

But better late than never. Initially, the only song that really drew me in was “Hard Believer,” but after repeated listenings I realized, “Oh nevermind, I like the whole thing.” So there’s your review: “I like the whole thing.” Yeah, I’m really selling it. If you like catchy tunes and sweet two-part harmonies and acoustic guitar and autoharp (er, that might only be on one song, but whatever) then you should be down with this.

Here’s another song few yew:


First Aid Kit – Waltz for Richard

They’re touring around North America in June. Perhaps I will be pulled out of my no-concert-zone. (If anyone wants to see them on June 15 or 16 in NYC, let me know!)

The Field

I didn’t get into The Field the first time I listened to them, but now they’re growing on me.  Or providing a good background soundtrack that provides my brain with some stimulation without taking away my editing abilities.  Skitterish and floaty.  A nice distraction.


my leaves…let me show you them

Pelle Carlberg has a bunch of albums, none of which I have listened to. Yet. But I have listened to his band Edson thanks to a friend who gave me their poppy album For Strength some years back and they’re quite peachy. So I assume Pelle in solo form is also peachy. Bursting with juicy…happiness inducing…Swedish…flavors…of some sort…thatIhaven’tidentified…um.


Edson – I Am the Ostrich

This song is actually kind of depressing. I can bend the lyrics to fit my life’s problems at this very moment, and….JESUS, I’M DOOMED, AWESOME, ok. [sobs in a corner for a while]

Oh, so Pelle is doing a little tour in the US, two dates in NYC, for his latest album In A Nutshell coming out in the US on July 3rd.

May 27 – Luna Lounge, Brooklyn, New York
May 29 – The Supermarket, Toronto, Ontario
May 30 – Small’s, Detroit, Michigan
May 31 – Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio
Jun 2 – The Delancey, New York, New York

Loney, Dear

I’m supposed to be studying for my computer programming final that will kick my butt in less than 12 hours, but…

[beep boop] BEGIN PROCRASTINATION TIME [beep boop]

album cover
Loney, Dear

I don’t remember whether I talked about Loney, Dear before, but judging from the infrequency of my posts, I’m going to assume, “not so much.” Here is a song that I quite like from Solonge:


Loney, Dear – I Lose It All

Oh, am I supposed to convince you to download this song? Besides, “Because I like it”? Well…

bun bun

BECAUSE BUNNY SAYS SO. You can’t resist the bunny. Do as bunny says. Bun bun bun.

(Where did bunny come from? My housemate got her as a gift for our homestay family. I told her it wasn’t a good idea, but my god, this bunny melts our icy cold hearts with fluffy fluffness goo. It’s sick.)

[beep boop] END PROCRASTINATION TIME [beep boop]

The Mary Onettes

Too lazy to write a real entry. This will be short ‘n sweet.

The Mary Onettes
The Mary Onettes

Inspired by guitar pop from the 80’s and indie bands from the 90’s they sound like a Swedish relative to Echo & The Bunnymen, New Order och The Jesus and Mary Chain from the future.


Why am I obsessed with this song?


The Mary Onettes – Lost

Their only release so far is a 4-track EP on Labrador. You can listen to 75% of it on their myspace page.

Peter Bjorn and John

a semi-impressive skyline

Although I’ve only had Peter Bjorn and John’s latest album Writer’s Block for two days, I’ve already decided that I like it enough to unlazify myself and tell you why you should buy this album.

…Because I said so!…okay I didn’t think that would work.

I’ve only heard of PB&J (ohh god, how can I not think of peanut butter and jelly?) in the past few months, mostly on Norwegian radio (the band is Swedish) in the form of the the whistle-y bongo shaker-happy single “Young Folks”, which you can listen to at their myspace page. Thankfully, that’s not the only infectious song on the album, although it’s probably the one most worthy of happy head-bopping. Since there’s no way I could come up with a succinct, adequate description of their music, I’m going to pull one from The Sunday Times:

…all Gallic 1960s pop, 5th Dimension harmonies, Beach Boys cooing, whistling, lo-fi DIY studio non-fakery, melodies and lyrics that pass through you like a warm midsummer breeze.

Yes, that sounds good to me. My main thought was, “This music…sounds old,” “old” in the sense of something my mum might have listened to growing up, as opposed to “old” meaning something stale and smelly. Not old! Nor smelly!

Here’s one song that I am particularly fond of for its dreamy hazy “I’m not sure if I’m awake” feeling (mainly in the chorus):

Peter Bjorn and John – The Chill [removed]

…Or maybe it’s just me.

The following song, “Roll the Credits”, has a similar tranquilizing effect by bathing your head in oohs, ahhs, a soft drum roll and a neverending tremolo played on acoustic guitar. And bells! …Bells are good. It’s a fluffy, six and a half minute layered cake of comforting sounds.

I could stay something nice about every song, but that would spoil it, besides that I don’t really feel like it. Aside from the music, I also like the lyrics. I’m usually oblivious to lyrics, unless they’re notably bad, like finding something inedible in your otherwise inoffensive salad (which hopefully happens less often than hearing a song with bad lyrics). Otherwise, the words moosh together with the rest of the stuff and it sounds right…or it doesn’t. (It’s not like more people care what Sigur Ros are saying, right?) I like this bit from “Objects of My Affection” (listen on myspace) in particular:

And the question is, was I more alive then than I am now?
I happily have to disagree;
I laugh more often now, I cry more often now, I am more me

Granted, I probably wouldn’t like it as much out of the context of the song, but…it’s in a song. And I like it. If you don’t, you can leave. [points to a virtual door]

But I hope you like it. US-based Scandinavian music blog/shop/label/possibly something else It’s a Trap has many PB&J releases in their shop.

whistling and more whistling

norwegian flag
weegie flag

Oh well…that was fun. [sniffle]

Aside from Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie”, the song I heard the most in Norway on the radio was “Young Folks” by Swedish band Peter Bjorn and John. (It’s kind of odd that I’ll forever associate the Shakira song with Norway, but…eh, there ye go!) The song features…a lot of whistling. And a simple drum and bass line. And some bongos. And slightly spacey, tired vocals, 50% courtesy of Victoria Bergsman. And overall catchyness. I’m afraid listening to this song too many times will result in insanity, yet that’s exactly what I’m doing. You can do the same at their myspace page.

the song I listened to a million times

It might be a good thing that I can’t understand the lyrics to “Rosor & Palmblad” by Kent. (Because it’s in Swedish…yes, I do know English at the very least.) Sometimes I like songs less once I actually figure out what they mean. I’m weird; don’t ask. (If you do know what the song means, don’t tell me. Unless it’s really cool or something.) But I love the song to death, and since I don’t know what it means I can make up my own meaning. TAKE THAT…SWEDEN.

don’t look at me–I didn’t design the cover

If you haven’t heard their album, Du & Jag Döden, you are missing out. A lot.

So here’s that song I like:


Kent – Rosor & Palmblad

It took me a few listens to appreciate it. Maybe I like the key changes. Or the lilting-ness. Or the twinkles. Or horns. Or all the “ahhh”-ing. I hope one of these things appeals to you. Or maybe you just like the way Swedish sounds.

I am officially going to Bergen, Norway from June 8-16 with D. I wasn’t planning to do any music-related things there, but I should probably look that stuff up.


Band that I really like right now: Edson. How come I’ve never heard of them before until a friend gave me their album? First listen: oh, this music is really cute. How nice. Second listen: still good. 50 listens later: Why can’t I stop listening? OH GOD. More on that later.

If I still went to Vassar, I’d see CYHSY at The Mug. I don’t recall any semi-famous bands playing there in the past two years, but I could’ve been really unobservant. Of course, overall I like living in NYC more than Poughkeepsie. HAVE YOU BEEN TO POUGHKEEPSIE? The end.

Sigur Ros tomorrow!