Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages

Scandinavian Pop

Wigwam: Dark Album; Jim Pembroke: Corporal Cauliflowers Mental Function

Review by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, August 1978

OUTSIDE THE range of rock's organised trendy-treats industry, alien settlements and sentiments remain. Resolved. ...

a-ha: Scoundrel Days

Review by David Quantick, New Musical Express, October 1986

HERE THEY are again. Norway's finest and the group who cleaned up after the chart fragmentation of Culture Club, Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran, a-ha ...

The Leather Nun: The Vikings Are Coming

Interview by Neil Perry, Sounds, May 1987

THE LEATHER NUN are going to rape your houses and pillage your women. NEIL PERRY looks forward to the event. ...

The Sugarcubes, The Very Things: The Very Things/The Sugarcubes: Camden Workers Social Club, London

Live Review by Jane Solanas, New Musical Express, October 1987

IT WAS A pretty respectable turnout considering that the Camden Workers Social Club is hardly a familiar location for gigs. ...

The Sugarcubes: First Love Last Rites

Interview by Robin Gibson, Sounds, May 1988

The ink fresh on a US record deal, and their debut LP, Life's Too Good, just out, the big money beckons for resolute indie artists ...

The Sugarcubes: Ladies and Gentlemen, The Icecubes from Sugarland

Interview by Mat Snow, Sounds, December 1988

Paying the price of fame and fortune, The Sugarcubes have talked and I smiled themselves through a seemingly endless round of interviews and gigs. Now ...

The Sugarcubes: Sugarcubes: Yule Never Björk Alone

Interview by Chris Roberts, Melody Maker, December 1988

THE SUGARCUBES' BID FOR WORLD DOMINATION IS ALMOST COMPLETE. FOR CHRISTMAS THEY'LL BE RETURNING HOME TO ICELAND TO START RECORDING THE FOLLOW-UP TO THE LIFE'S ...

The Sugarcubes: Joyriders On The Storm

Interview by Andrew Mueller, Melody Maker, February 1992

"The shock of the renewed" is how ANDREW MUELLER magnificently greets Stick Around For Joy, The 'Cubes' return to the forefront of the fray. Hang ...

The Sugarcubes: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, March 1992

HIT THE NORTH ATLANTIC ...

The Sugarcubes: Nordic By Nature

Interview by Stephen Dalton, New Musical Express, March 1992

Hamsters of the gods, inventors of hip hop, Phil Collins fans extraordinaire… life's still too good for reality on the planet of The Sugarcubes. Stephen ...

ABBA: The Munich Philharmonic Orchestra Plays ABBA Classic (Atlantic)

Review by Chuck Eddy, Rolling Stone, April 1992

IT'D BE REAL easy to make fun of this one. But think about it: It was ABBA, after all, that most successfully turned postrock pop ...

The Sugarcubes: Still Crazy after all these Beers

Report and Interview by Bruce Dessau, Vox, September 1992

IF IT'S 4.30 on a Friday afternoon, it must he Reykjavik. Actually, it turns out to be Keflavik, 40 minutes away from Iceland's capital city ...

Björk: A Quiet Storm

Interview by Simon Witter, Sunday Times Magazine, February 1993

A brief interview piece from early '93, just before her album Debut came out. Nobody, least of all her, had any idea how huge it ...

Björk: Debut (Elektra)

Review by Tom Graves, Rolling Stone, September 1993

MONTHS BEFORE the Sugar Cubes' first album debuted in the United States, a heavy buzz began to circulate about the group's lead singer, Björk. ...

Björkabout

Interview by Graham Reid, Vox, April 1994

From earthquakes in LA to cyclones Down Under, wherever Björk walks, mesmerized crowds and natural disasters follow ...

Björk: An International Word

Interview by Andrew Smith, Ray Gun, May 1995

HER HOUSE is set back from the street, on a wide avenue in Maida Vale. A pair of imposing, wrought iron security gates shield it ...

Björk: Björking Girl

Interview by David Bennun, Melody Maker, June 1995

NOW HERE'S what you know
 about Björk. She's tiny, elfin, mad as a rabbit, childish, arty, trendy and Icelandic. ...

Björk: All Together Now

Interview by Stuart Maconie, Q, September 1995

ICELAND, OR Lydvelid Island to give it its native name, is the westernmost state of Europe. It is a land of magnificent geo-physical architecture; three ...

The Cardigans: First Band On The Moon (Mercury) ****

Review by Jason Cohen, Rolling Stone, November 1996

IN THIS WORLD of cookie-cutter,post-alternative bands, the Cardigans are fueled by a deep and abiding faith in novelty. ...

Sigur Ros: Sigur Rós

Interview by Roy Wilkinson, Select, January 2000

Expansive Icelandic weirdists and pro-dental fishing and anti piss-and-bollocks ...

Sigur Ros: Iceland's Magical Visionaries

Interview by Andy Crysell, New Musical Express, January 2000

ASK PARENTS on Iceland's northernmost shore, and they'll say the kids are alright when Sigur Ros arrive. Their trademark mix of gently persuasive confidence, humble ...

The Wannadies: Dingwalls, London

Live Review by Keith Cameron, Guardian, The, January 2000

THE OLD ADAGE says that a pop song is only truly popular once postmen are heard whistling it, but the approbation of bar staff isn't ...

Jennifer Brown, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Neneh Cherry, Robyn, Stephen Simmonds, Titiyo: Swedish R&B: Home Brew

Report and Interview by Amy Linden, Vibe, May 2000

In the urban global village, SWEDEN is holding its own — pumping out some of today's most popular chart-topping teen R&B tunes and boasting its ...

Björk: SelmaSongs (One Little Indian TPLP1 51 CD)

Review by David Toop, Wire, The, November 2000

THE FIRST admission to make is that I haven't yet seen Lars Von Trier's Dancer In The Dark, the film that stars Björk and features ...

ABBA

Book Excerpt by Phil Hardy, Dave Laing, 'Faber Companion to 20th Century Popular Music', 2001

Benny Andersson, b. 16 December 1946, Stockholm, Sweden; Agnetha Fältskog, b. 5 April 1950, Jönköping; Anni-Frid Lyngstad, b. 15 November 1945, Björkasen, Norway; Björn Ulvaeus, ...

A-ha

Book Excerpt by Phil Hardy, Dave Laing, Faber Companion to 20th Century Popular Music, 2001

Magne Foruholmen, b. 1 November 1962, Norway; Morten Harket, b. 14 September 1959, Norway; Pal Waaktar, b. 6 September 1963, Oslo ...

Roxette

Book Excerpt by Phil Hardy, Dave Laing, Faber Companion to 20th Century Popular Music, 2001

Per Gessle, b. 12 February 1959, Halmstad, Sweden; Marie Fredriksson, b. 29 May 1958, Halmstad ...

Sigur Ros: So good they make you vomit

Report and Interview by Andrew Smith, Observer, The, April 2001

ON THE OTHER side of the door is a sprawling south London estate gathered round an old factory turned business park, as oppressive an environment ...

Björk: The Last Great Pop Star

Interview by Nick Coleman, Independent, The, August 2001

She thumps reporters, wears funny clothes and thinks she was born in the wrong century. Now she's made an album about her kitchen. Nick Coleman ...

Björk: Radio City Music Hall, NYC

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, October 2001

IT'S RARE WHEN a pop star is also a prophet. The awesomeness possessed by those few who transcend celebrity to enter the echelons of cult ...

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives: The Soundtrack of Our Lives: Welcome to the Infant Freebase

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, October 2001

FIRST, I'D LIKE to devote a little time to talking about schizophrenia. There are those who toss the word around often, especially those whachamacalit academic ...

Sigur Ros: Sigur Rós: Cool Band from a Cool Place

Profile and Interview by Chris Campion, Daily Telegraph, 2002

THE MUSIC OF Iceland has a presence on the world stage that far outstrips its influence as a country, a phenomenon of which the country's ...

Sigur Ros: Barbican, London

Live Review by Ian Watson, Yahoo! Music, September 2002

YOU OFTEN hear the invisible when you go to see Sigur Ros live. As the bowed white noise fades into an eerie serenity or the ...

Sigur Ros: The New Ice Age

Interview by Will Hermes, Spin, March 2003

Do you suffer from skammdegispunglyndi? For many Icelanders, the cure for this brand of wintertime depression — in addition to drinking — is making weird ...

Röyksopp: Cloud Eight

Interview by Dorian Lynskey, Word, The, July 2003

Success came swiftly for Röyksopp, their smart, guileless electronic pop becoming ubiquitous on high-earning TV soundtracks. But this doesn't sit comfortably with a complex Norwegian morality. "We're ...

Björk: 'This Time It's Intuition Only – No Brain, Please'

Interview by Robert Sandall, Daily Telegraph, August 2004

Icelandic singer Björk has made a compelling new album that contains not a single musical instrument and is named after the Latin for 'marrow'. Robert ...

Björk: The MOJO Interview

Interview by Martin Aston, MOJO, November 2004

"Elfish Icelandic pixie" Björk made her first LP at 11, then dived into Crass-approved "existentialist punk jazz". Now, fresh from playing to four billion people, ...

Turbonegro: Clowns Of Evil Go on the Rampage

Report and Interview by Chris Campion, Observer Music Monthly, May 2005

THE STREETS OF Hamburg are awash with piss and broken bottles and cock-eyed sailor boys with queer intentions. A two thousand-strong army of Turbonegro fans ...

Sigur Ros: The Icemen Cometh

Profile and Interview by Robert Sandall, Sunday Times, August 2005

SIGUR ROS aren't big on putting what they do into words: this, after all, is the band who called their most recent album ( ), ...

a-ha

Interview by Stephen Dalton, Times, The, November 2005

IN 2005, there are few cooler pop names to drop than a-ha. Coldplay and Travis are not just avowed fans but sometime collaborators with the ...

The Knife: A Curious Exoticism

Report and Interview by Chris Campion, Daily Telegraph, April 2006

YOU MIGHT NOT have heard of the Swedish brother-sister duo the Knife, but there's a fair chance you've heard their music. ...

Stockholm Syndrome

Report and Interview by Jude Rogers, Guardian, The, September 2006

SWEDEN'S INDIE BANDS are invading the UK, armed only with talent, style, ambition and government grants. Time to surrender, says Jude Rogers ...

The Raveonettes: Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Interview by Ken Scrudato, SOMA, February 2008

THEY WERE a glorious sight, appearing gorgeously on the horizon. Modern day Vikings, they came from the land of Hamlet, pastry and strikingly progressive politics ...

Björk Week on The Lipster

Interview by Jude Rogers, Lipster, The, March 2008

BACK IN OCTOBER last year, in the misty early days of The Lipster, I e-mailed Björk's publicist, telling him about the plans for our website, ...

Annika Norlin, Hello Saferide: Modern Stories from Östersund: Annika Norlin

Interview by Lindsay Hutton, Rock's Backpages, December 2008

YOU MAY NOT be familiar with Annika Norlin's name yet but I hope that one of these days you will be. The organic rise of ...

Robyn, Röyksopp: "There's This Idea That You're An Oddball, Far Up At The Top Of The World"

Profile and Interview by Jude Rogers, Guardian, The, June 2009

Love songs to robots, cement-mixer music, trios with houses on their shoulders… No wonder Scandinavian artists get noticed. Jude Rogers kicks off our Scandipop special ...

The Cardigans, The Concretes, Fever Ray: Sweden: State-sponsored Rock Valhalla

Overview by Nick Hasted, Independent, The, July 2009

IN POP MUSIC at least, Britain still imagines it rules the world. The Beatles, Kinks, Bowie and Blur are looked on as an unassailable heritage ...

a-ha: Even Better than Spinal Tap

Retrospective and Interview by Johnny Black, Music Week, September 2009

FOR 25 YEARS, Norway's pop gods have harboured a deep, dark secret that even the most dedicated News Of The World smut-sleuth would never have ...

A-ha: Synths For The Boys: A-Ha: The O2, London

Live Review by Joel McIver, Quietus, The, December 2009

Laugh all you like. "Norway, douze points", declares Joel McIver ...

Robyn: Body Talk Part 1

Review by Will Hermes, Rolling Stone, July 2010

"DON'T FUCKIN' tell me what to do," chants reformed teen-pop prodigy Robyn. No worry, girl, things are under control.  ...

Altaar, Årabrot, Ihsahn, Mayhem, Noxagt, Okkultokrati, Shining, Thorr's Hammer, Turbonegro, Wardruna: Order And Chaos: Norway In Noise And Metal

Overview by John Doran, Drowned in Sound, October 2010

THIS LIST HAS been designed to upset you. It's not a best of Norwegian metal. It doesn't offer a comprehensive guide to any Norwegian genre ...

Björk: Is Björk the last great pop innovator?

Comment by Simon Reynolds, New York Times, The, July 2011

EARLIER THIS YEAR I interviewed Amanda Brown of cult band LA Vampires and was surprised when she announced that "every day I wake up and ...

Björk: A New Map to Björk's Music

Report and Interview by Evelyn McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, October 2011

IT'S A SAD IRONY: The digitization of music has impoverished the average listening experience. Not only do compressed files sound meagre compared to the sonic ...

Sigur Ros: Takk That!

Report and Interview by Nick Hasted, Independent, The, May 2012

SIGUR ROS vanished four years ago. In their absence the band who are, after Bjork, Iceland's biggest musical export, saw their atmospheric music, with singer ...

Björk: Thrall of Sound: An Elemental Conversation With Björk

Interview by Ken Scrudato, Filter, January 2013

"They only live who dare." ...

Lykke Li: I Never Learn

Review by Ian Gittins, Virgin Media Music, May 2014

ON HER TWO previous albums, Youth Novels and Wounded Rhymes, Li perfected a strain of forensically intense Scandi-pop that majored in brooding atmospherics, glacial synths ...

Lykke Li: Village Underground, London

Live Review by Kieron Tyler, Arts Desk, The, May 2014

A bold night of new songs from Sweden's sorrowful singer-songwriter ...

back to LIBRARY

COPYRIGHT NOTICE