Breezy strings, doom-drenched death-metal, synth-pop, submerged harmonies, summery ukeleles and icy xylophones are - as this playlist attests - just some of the sounds of the Nordic region, compiled as part of Nordic Day to celebrate DiS curating a Nordic night tonight in London info.
What is the sound that binds Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland? It seems odd that such a huge region would cohere at all but amidst the below list, there's a thread of similarity. At one end of the spectrum (Death Metal in particular), there's a shared bleak humour, perhaps bought on by seasonal affective disorder due to the darkness of those endless winter nights. Meanwhile, the parties beneath the midnight sun need a thumping soundtrack. Somewhere, in the Venn diagram between the two, you'll find most a mixture of dreary-disco (Lykke Li, jj, 120 Days..) and somewhat glacial post-rock (Jeniferever (who until recently were signed to the DiS label), Sigur Ros, Album Leaf, Efterklang...). Then there's the rockist contingent, the leather-clad garage-rocksters and the floppy-fringed post-hardcore lovers. There's a trance scene but also a love of Depeche Mode, a heritage of world-defying pop that's both camp and eccentric and a sense of social responsibility, entwined with a closeness to and respect for the natural world. Not to mention the context that this music is created in: there's the high-tech boom, the high-price of living, the need for escapism, the gulf between the rich and the poor, the barbaric history, the otherworldliness of trolls, houses made of sweets in forests, the extreme weather, the Northern lights...
What I'm trying to say is, a lot the music on the following Spotify playlist is dear to my heart and, judging by the response in this thread, music from the Nordic region is incredibly important to many of you too. There's so much good stuff and I hope exploring this 7-hour adventure you discover some new favourite bands (™ The Hives). Play it however you like, start at the start or skip to something you know and listen to the bits around it. If you're in the mood for something chilled start with 'We Have a Map of the Piano' and drift your way to hugely under-rated Nicolai Dunger. Or jump down to Randy and have your face rocked off.
Nordic by Drowned in Sound
The Raveonettes 'You Want The Candy'
Mew 'Am I Wry? No'
The Kissaway Trail 'Smother + Evil = Hurt'
Loney, Dear 'Airport Surroundings'
Jens Lekman 'Sipping On the Sweet Water'
The Radio Dept. 'Strange Things Will Happen'
Erlend Oye 'Sudden Rush'
Lykke Li 'Dance, Dance, Dance'
Peter Bjorn And John 'Nothing To Worry About'
The Knife 'Heartbeats'
Fever Ray 'If I Had A Heart - Fuck Buttons Remix'
Karin Ström 'Silent Night - Pacific! Remake'
Kings Of Convenience 'Little Kids (Ladytron Fruits Of The Forest Mix)'
Lindstrøm 'Breakfast In Heaven'
Name The Pet 'American Boys'
Trentemøller 'Take Me Into Your Skin - nudisco Edit'
Björk 'Declare Independence'
Refused 'New Noise'
The Hives 'Die, All Right!'
The (International) Noise Conspiracy 'Smash It Up'
Sahara Hotnights 'Alright Alright (Here's My Fist Where's The Fight ?)'
Sudden Weather Change 'St. Peter's Day'
Love Is All 'Talk Talk Talk Talk'
Those Dancing Days 'Those Dancing Days'
The Concretes 'Seems Fine'
Shout Out Louds 'The Comeback (Big Slippa Mix By Ratatat)'
Kotchy 'Sing What You Want (Rusko's Skwee Remix)'
Junior Senior 'Move Your Feet - Radio Edit'
Datarock 'Fa-fa-fa - Radio Edit'
Dntel feat. Erlend Oye '(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chang (Safety Scissors Spilled My Drink Mix)'
The Wannadies 'You And Me Song'
a-ha 'The Sun Always Shines On T.V.'
The Cardigans 'Hanging Around'
120 Days 'Come Out, Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone'
Röyksopp 'The Girl And The Robot'
Annie 'I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me'
Lake Heartbeat 'Mystery'
Mugison 'I want you'
Hanne Hukkelberg 'Berlin'
Frida Hyvönen 'today, tuesday'
Diskjokke 'Folk I Farta'
Mum 'We Have A Map Of The Piano'
Sigur Rós 'Sigur 3 (Untitled)'
Ólafur Arnalds '3055'
Taken By Trees 'Sweet Child O' Mine'
Jeniferever 'Closing In'
The Album Leaf 'On Your Way'
Diefenbach 'Make Your Mind'
*ef* 'He Came, He Stayed, Fe Fell'
Johann Johannsson 'Fordlândia'
Magnet 'Last Day Of Summer'
Nicolai Dunger 'I'd Rather Die'
Kings Of Convenience 'I'd Rather Dance With You'
First Aid Kit 'Hard Believer'
The Embassy 'It Pays To Belong'
I'm From Barcelona 'We're From Barcelona'
The Lost Patrol 'No New Manifesto'
Mari Persen 'I'm Gonna Get You'
Sondre Lerche 'Don't Look Now'
Dungen 'Har Du Vart I Stockholm?'
Simon Says No! 'Sleeping Heart'
Benni Hemm Hemm 'Fridthofur & Ingibjorg'
The Soundtrack of Our Lives 'Sister Surround'
I Was A King 'Norman Bleik'
Kent 'Nålens Öga'
El Perro Del Mar 'Jubilee'
Casiokids 'Postcard From Congo'
Abba 'Money, Money, Money'
The Sounds 'Rock n Roll - single version'
Randy 'Punk Rock High'
Disco Ensemble 'Drop Dead, Casanova'
The Rasmus 'In The Shadows'
Ungdomskulen 'Modern Drummer'
Madrugada 'I Don't Fit'
Burzum 'Lost Wisdom'
Gorgoroth 'Teeth Grinding'
Noxagt 'Gravy & Blood'
Jakobinarina 'His Lyrics Are Disastrous'
Cats On Fire 'The Smell Of An Artist'
Division Of Laura Lee 'The Truth Is Fucked'
Hjaltalín 'Suitcase Man'
Turbonegro 'Don't Say Motherfucker, Motherfucker'
Backyard Babies 'Made Me Madman'
Danko Jones 'Code Of The Road'
Kaizers Orchestra 'Maestro - Album Edit'
Yello 'To The Sea'
Lo-Fi-Fnk 'Steppin' Out'
Air France 'No Excuses'
Damon Albarn '101 Reykjavik Theme'
Gusgus 'Northern Lights'
WhoMadeWho 'Delirium Tremolo'
Slagsmålsklubben 'Brutal Weapons'
Jaga Jazzist 'Oslo Skyline'
Listen: Nordic by DrownedinSound.com
DiScuss: Which tracks would feature on your Nordic mixtape? Which acts have we missed?