Swedish is a beautiful language, quiet as it might be kept. With it’s rolling “r”‘s, tonality and it’s quirky idioms (i.e. “not for all the milk in SmÃ¥land”, which is meant to say that there are a lot of cows in the SmÃ¥land region and many Swedes who would rather not do many things, not even for all the milk those crazy SmÃ¥land cows make). But I digress. The point is that for all the Swedish exports that we here in the states are receiving — not nearly enough of them are sung in the nation’s mother tongue. Enter Vapnet–with all the same poppy, magical goodness of their Swedish-made but English-speaking brethren, but with all the pluck and grace of the oft-maligned Swedish language. Where Peter, Bjorn and John might say ” Vapnet? Very good!”, Vapnet says (with pride) bara bra! Finally, we at the ‘Hive can’t always find you a download of our very favorite songs (oh how we try), but I would highly recommend a visit to the Vapnet myspace page where you can find a brand new track featuring the lovely Mr. Jens Lekman.
Sarah Assbring is a Swedish woman, from the very musical city of Gothenburg, who records as El Perro Del Mar (which translates to “The Dog of the Sea”). I don’t think “ass” means the same thing to the Swedes as it does to us Americans, but nonetheless, she has the voice of a person who has been through… something. This pick definitely falls into the “3hive better late than never” collection, since her album has been making the rounds for some time now and before the album she was collaborating with Jens Lekman, but its time now. High time. El Perro Del Mar is all about keeping it a little offbeat–she has a non-traditional voice (haunted, a little rough, singing like she’s *this close* to a breakdown even when she’s singing “lalalalala”), she’s old school in a way that not many are these days and she named herself “El Perro Del Mar”–but she’s also really tethered to the ideal of making music that people want to, and love to, listen to. Bonus points for the sweetest little animated music video that side of the Atlantic. Seriously, I dare you not to like this video. I double. dog. dare. you.