October 17, 2014
Sirena - Chemicals

Written about the little things that make up life, “Chemicals” is the title of Spanish/Swedish songstress and self-proclaimed “spiritual-pop” artist Sirena’s latest track. A protege of the flame-haired, Swedish songwriter Noonie Bao, Sirena’s latest takes a cue from her clunky-pop mentor crafting incongruent pop sounds between the track’s surging wavelike melodies. Music always provided a sense of escapism for Sirena, and “Chemicals” describes her feelings of getting in touch spiritually as if in a drug-like high. You can check out the track below:

October 15, 2014
Disaster in the Universe - Now We’re Gonna Learn to Swim (No Worries, It’s Alright)

In a video of stark contrasts, the latest video from Disaster in a Universe could be described as worlds apart. Their latest video  ”Now We’re Gonna Learn To Swim (No Worries, It’s Alright)" juxtaposes two very different scenes; the first being Norwegian children learning to swim in a leisurely environment and the second being a sink or swim situation for refugees hoping to find a better life in Europe. It’s a bit of a political commentary on the band’s behalf showing something as trivial as learning to swim can be, and almost satirical given the track’s upbeat nature and funky guitar riffs. However as frontman Dosser Schmidt explains the song came about  as a dark realization on what some do to reach the "promise land". The result of a nightmare which he had, Dosser dreamed he was aboard a sinking ship and decided to teach people how to swim. Here’s what Schmidt had to say about the "bad dream":

"This was a period when I had read and heard a lot about "boat people" who drown in the Mediterranean. On average, there are about 7.8 people that drown there every day and it has been like that for several years! These people drown on their way to the dream of a "promised land" but instead are on their way to a Europe that doesn’t care about them, nor want them and has no idea what to do with them. We do not claim to know any solution to the problem, but we believe that if enough people are shining a light on an issue and garnering enough attention to a cause, then that’s a step in the right direction" 

You can check out the video below:

October 15, 2014
Beatrice Eli - Moment of Clarity

With just a week before the release of her debut album “Die Another Day”, Beatrice Eli seems to keep the momentum going with her latest single “Moment of Clarity”. A video with a couple of wardrobe changes and a lot of steamy makeout sessions, Beatrice Eli Blennberger’s latest single is minimalistic yet upbeat, trading her earlier balladeering sound (eg. 2011’s "The Conqueror") for short, quick bursts of staccato-like vocal. Simple yet effective, “Moment of Clarity” races in the dark against the morning sun behind a backdrop of raunch and general mischief. Particularly brilliant is a splendidly-inserted brass section capping off Beatrice Eli’s bouncy and heart-racing single. Check out the video below:

October 15, 2014
Tove Styrke - Borderline

Finding herself on the cold, desolate archipelago of Svalbard, Norway, Tove Styrke puts together a steady-jiving single featuring reggae-infused pop to one of the most remote corners on the planet. Taking place in the Russian-owned ghost town of Pyramiden, Tove Styrke’s “Borderline” carries its lukewarm melodies bringing life to abandoned hallways and empty swimming pools. With her simple and easy-to-follow pop hooks, Tove and her crew radiate the dimly-lit backdrops with their youthful energy singing along to the words, “I’m borderline happy and I’m borderline sad”. An infectious single and a stunning video, you can check out “Borderline” below:

October 10, 2014
Oh Land - Head Up High

Not long since her last year’s release for “Wishbone” (which we were more than thrilled to write about as one of our favorite albums of the year) is Danish pop princess Oh Land’s first track from her upcoming album “Earth Sick”. Using a crowd-sourced pledge project to launch her “Wishbone” follow-up, Oh Land’s Nanna Fabricius penned her latest bedroom track “Head Up High”. Despite the bedroom-pop setup, Oh Land’s single is indeed quite the opposite: it’s a much more “structured” dance-pop track ringing with a more beat-driven sound and heavier pop hooks. Check out the tracklist and her first single “Head Up High” below:

1. “Machine” / 2. “Favor Friends” / 3. “Head Up High” / 4. “Earth Sick” /   5. “Nothing Is Over” / 6. “Doubt My Legs” / 7. “Half Hero” / 8. “Daylight” / 9. “Hot ‘n Bothered” / 10. “Little Things” / 11. “Flags” / 12. “No Particular Order” / 13. “Trailblazer”

You can still pledge to get Oh Land’s album “Earth Sick” with proceeds going to Greenpeace’s “Save the Arctic” campaign. Album drops November 11, 2014.

October 10, 2014
iamamiwhoami - thin/chasing kites

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With only a month away before it’s release, iamamiwhoami will be releasing her latest album “Blue” on CD, vinyl and a password-protected website called “The Blue Island”. Anyway album release news aside, Jonna Lee and company have thrown at us not one but two videos for us while the world anticipates the release of “Blue”. The first titled “thin” is a slow and spacious track with its bubbling melodies abruptly cut by heavier beats and iamamiwhoami’s ghostly cries overarching. The second titled “chasing kites” takes a lighter approach with a gentle dance groove and over uplifting electropop hooks. The videos are picturesque, feature sun and sea and as always slightly absurd albeit enjoyingly so. 

October 9, 2014
Korallreven - Spirit Away (ft. China)

Summoning Balearic songstress China Yggström to their aid, is Korallreven’s latest track “Spirit Away”. Riveting with its rave-like sensibilities, “Spirit Away” is an airy and distant haze-pop track gently blends the two vocalists’ voices together. However, it’s not the first time the two have worked together as shown through Daniel Tjäder’s production work on China’s previous track “Hide”.

You can check out “Spirit Away” below:

October 9, 2014
ENA - All Over Me

Filmed in Saravejo, Elena “ENA” Carli Čosović, the Danish emcee behind rap duo Fagget Fairys finds herself back her native Bosnia for her latest video after fleeing the country in 1991. Titled “All Over Me”, the song clings to the memories of better times, like what one feels when one first falls in love. Speaking about the track ENA describes the song as being  about “being overwhelmed when your love for someone has died down”. As Čosović explains, “it’s about having all the intimacy lost in a vacuum  and then the realization of losing it”. It’s a grim feeling but ENA still keeps things sharp and snappy with her soothing voice and her spitting rap verses against the melancholic bass-pumping production of Lasse Lyngbo and Pato Siebenhaar. Check out the video below featuring the picturesque concrete valleys of Sarajevo below:

September 28, 2014
Merely - Interview - September 25th, 2014

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There something about Sweden’s Merely, although we’re not really sure what it really is. While there isn’t much said about the mysterious 26-year-old experimental pop artist besides a few mentions of Pokémon and her membership in Team Rockit, her music speaks for herself. Meshed against aggressive hardstyle sounds, Merely’s crystalline vocals dabble in everything from the trivialities of everyday life to Scandinavian folklore. Curious to learn a bit more, we wrote to the Gothenburg-based archaeology student about how she’s digging up her own mythologies with her latest record “Nirvana”. She wrote back to us about her creative process and how to really connect with yourself emotionally… in pink and purple font of course.  

September 28, 2014
Words: Peter Quincy Ng

Hey Merely! Good to hear from you as always! 

Right back at ya!

Well for most people who know you, you joined Team Rockit shortly after their first album “1988”. How has working with Gregorian and Ikaros that changed your creative outlook knowing that your sound was quite different that what you initially put out?

When I met Ikaros & Gregorian everything changed, so I guess that also maybe changed or created a new way to express myself, but not like it’s been anything but a natural development. Our friendship and the music we make is probably the most important thing in my life. I think the making of “Anima” made me a better producer as well and everything that has happened in the last two years has made me more confident with my sound and voice. Eric (Berglund) and (label) Sincerely Yours have been a great part in that. My manager and close friend Emilio has supported me everyday too and it really just feels like me all the way now.


Well it must have been good experience. Gregorian and Ikaros are tattooed on your shoulders for Team Rockit’s album artwork.

I didn’t really tattoo their names for the artwork though. I mean it was more like to get my shoulder bear tha truth.

About your new album it’s sonically quite a jump between the dazed-out sound of your first EP “Semblance” and your current work on “Nirvana”. I guess the first observation that comes to mind is that appears to be a much more emotionally-intense album. How has the process of making your  album “Nirvana” differed from the last?

"Nirvana" emotionally took my whole life to make, because it’s about my whole life. Everything that has come near me in one way or the other has made me understand who I am and not understanding everything in life - that is okay. "Semblance" is a very important part of that process of course: the way to (album) “Nirvana”.

The process however is a bit different because it took me like three months to produce “Semblance” and three years to produce “Nirvana”. The most significant difference however is probably that I produced “Nirvana” with Ikaros and Gregorian.


You mention that you used to play your songs for your father and if he cried, then you’d know it was good. What do you think makes a good song? What should be in your mind when you listen to Merely? 

Whoever cries to my songs gives me great evidence that I’ve created something important. But I mean, it must not only be tears: feelings show in very different emotions and expressions. I’d rather say whatever makes people feel something is good for me. About other songs, I never know before I hear it and there’s no red line. It always changes. It’s (those) cosmic decisions.

I think there’s a certain rawness that comes with your music. I think I’ve quoted you in the past that there are such thing as guilty pleasures and only what you like and don’t like. Do you ever get worried that you wouldn’t be taken seriously musically? What do you think today’s youth are missing out in terms of self-expression?

Trust yourself and don’t fall into that gross system where you pretend to be someone you’re not. Norms of nothingness exist alongside everything without meaning, it’s so sad. Whatever you believe in or whatever you do: you are you. 

So it’s hopelessly stupid to live by rules and the system that too many insecure, frightened and lazy people came up with as a quick solution to fit in. “Fit in”, it sounds pretty stupid right? When we literally know nothing, what’s there to fit into? If we at least try some bigger perspectives without clear answers and have respect for nature, I think we can get something beautiful back.

I think it’s a hard concept to grasp, because the music industry is such an image-based one. Take Yung Lean for example, a lot of people think he’s ironic because he raps about Arizona Iced Tea and playing Pokémon cards, but the thing is that’s the reality of many teenagers in Sweden being obsessed with American culture and Japanese anime. In some ways you could say he’s just keeping it real. 

We don’t need to understand everything because for God’s sake - we feel. I see people that fall down to the grey zone of humanity, and it makes me anxious when I see that people like me and my friends not being taken seriously there, both musically and as a person. But then I “come home again” and I only feel sad for them. Of course  I’m indoctrinated to this weird social drama and that has taken me a long time to break free from. Some days are harder than others. This thing is a cycle, some get it and some just don’t and it’s no difference to teens today. 

Although I think the kids can take a cue when you say Chikorita is your favorite Pokémon, you’re also a person of many interests. I hear you were a pretty good figure skater when you were young, but that you’ve that also studied archaeology and are into things like folklore and collecting minerals. What can you tell about us about what we’re missing out on?

I don’t know very much about Pokémon though, I only played the cards only a few times. I love cute things and Pokémons are cute, so when Vice asked me I just said one, but Gregorian & Ikaros have loved Pokémon since like forever.

You seem to know pretty much what’s up, but then I have to tell that I really love animals: all kinds of them. Right now I don’t have any pet, so but I really want a dog. That’s something I think about like all the time. I think I’m gonna get on this year: a Sheltie.

Anything else you wanna tell the world before we leave you?

Dark angels come with peace.

Check out Merely’s “Nirvana” on Spotify below:

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