Having finally heard "Säkert! på engelska", it's no wonder that Annika Norlin was reluctant to translate her work to English. This is wordy, complicated stuff and while she did a more than admirable job making it work, it's still kinda messy at times, much like the emotional content of the material. Fitting, I suppose, though perhaps not quite as poetic as the original. Still, even less-than-stellar Annika is far, far better than most, whether it's with Säkert! or Hello Saferide or whatever else she sets her mind to, and I'm sure that all of us with lackluster Svenska skills are more than glad she took the time to bother.
I haven't been posting any new editorial content lately for the simple reason that I've just been way too busy doing other things, mostly work. Daily news updates... those are mindless and need to be tended to lest I get way too far behind. New things are in the works though, should I get on top of my massive task list. Anyhow, I do have a new track for you today -- I hinted awhile back about a few choice albums on regular rotation and hopefully you had no trouble guessing, but just in case, I happily admit that one of them is Säkert!'s latest work "Facit". I love Hello Saferide and I love Isolation Years and the combination continues to succeed on album #2 to no surprise whatsoever. I just wish I knew more Swedish because, unlike those bands' other records, I know I'm missing out on quite a lot. For example, artists such as Håkan Hellström are able to communicate without translation, but when Annika Norlin sings in her native tongue, the result is far more nuanced and delicate. I'm to the point where I can pick out bits and pieces, but I know I'll be needing to spend a lot more time with this one before I feel like I really truly "get it". Still, songs do stick out and "Köttet är svagt" ("Flesh is weak") is one. Very recommended!
Last weekend, Filter Magazine staged the Culture Collide Festival -- a veritable United Nations of indierock, and (if my opinion as one of their freelance writers is to be trusted) a freaking genius idea. Among the weekend's standout international sets (Might I suggest KAMP! and Casiokids for all your dance party needs?) was Hello Saferide (Annika Norlin to her friends) who, with Andrea Kellerman of Firefox AK, made her Los Angeles debut with three intimate shows.
While the size of the venue -- really the backroom of French restaurant Taix -- made it a bid difficult to call her Saturday night performance a case of taking the city by storm, those present were treated to an all-too-brief intimate performance an incredibly skilled storyteller. (Heck, she didn't name her sophomore album, "More modern stories from Hello Saferide" for nothing.) Replacing the album's electric guitars for an acoustic axe and a kick drum, Norlin breathed new life into the material -- most notably during "Anna", and the onomonopia-dense "Arjeplog" where the stripped-down version elevated Norlin's art of the broken heart.
From apologizing to an über fan parked in the front row for playing the same set three days in a row (he didn't seem to mind), to telling the audience about her wacky Los Angeles pen pal ("She slept with all these hockey players and then wrote to me about it. I was thirteen!") Norlin came across as an every-woman worth knowing. Here's hopping Los Angeles was listening. - Laura Studarus
Is 80s AOR on the way back? Check out new Swedish act Houston, a collaboration between vocalist Hampus "Hank" Erix and drummer Freddie Allen aka Fredrik Hultgren (Hello Saferide, Fibes, Oh Fibes!, Ludwig Bell, etc.): http://www.myspace.com/houstontheband
The band's new single "Truth slips" comes out August 18 and will be followed by their self-titled full-length debut on September 3.
Filter Magazine is putting together a festival in LA this coming October called "Culture Collide" which will feature a large, international array of artists include early confirmations such as Hello Saferide and Casiokids. More info: http://culturecollide.com/
It never occurred to me until my wife mentioned it last night, but Monzano sounds a heckuva lot like Hello Saferide. It's true: same wistful tone, same literate lyrics, even the same vocal range. Similar instrumentation and production too, though that's far less striking in the vast ocean of guitar-based indierock. Guess it's no surprise then that I consider their album "By this time last year everything will seem younger" to be one of 2010's best releases. Six months later and I've still got it on regular rotation.
Annika Norlin's (Hello Saferide) Swedish-language project Säkert! has recorded a new album entitled "Facit" which will be released on September 15. Look for the lead single "Fredrik" in August. More: http://www.razziarecords.se/news.asp?id=907
Listen to a YouTube preview of the brand new Juni Järvi single "(I love it when you call me) Baby", featuring guest vocals from Annika Norlin (Hello Saferide, Säkert!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPyiuXpN_hE
The official release date for said track is May 26 and it will be followed by the album "The gospel" in early September which will feature guest appearances from Markus Krunegård (Laakso) and others.