Welcome to the Nordic by Nature Tour of the Northern Regions! Consider this your off the road guide to Scandinavia, we’re taking you past the tourist shop and down the back alley, into the other cities on offer. Everyone knows the major players when it comes to the cities that produce the most Scandinavian talent (Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen etc), but there’s more to a country than it’s capital. So get your walking shoes on and follow the umbrella, as we take a look into the musical wilderness of Scandinavia:
Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark and yet still has a population smaller than Neukolln. But we all know size doesn’t matter (apparently) and rightly so they don’t let that stop them from producing some fine talent. The town plays host to the annual SPOT Festival, which has been going since 1994, with acts such as Mew & Junior Senior previously on the bill. It’s the hometown of singer song writer Tina Dickow, along with Keep Camping, NbN’s favourite blondie & pop royalty Asbjorn and electro pop group Marybell Katastrophy.
Look at Bergen, with it’s clean Norwegian water and fancy boats getting all arrogant! It’s got reason to be arrogant though, when you’ve given birth to bands like Kakkmaddafakka, Kings of Convenience & Röyksopp, nurtured & raised them as one of your own, only for them to fly the nest, develop into little starlets and only come back at Christmas. They all proved so successful, they started their own wave, The Bergen Wave! But now there’s a new generation of talent for the city to be proud of! The mysterious Hawkon, Her Royal Harness (best name ever), the electro kid Pandreas and Put Your Hands Up For Neo-Tokyo.
Literally the best photo I could find of the place, really! This Swedish University town is way up north and is home to what Rolling Stone call ”one of the ten most important hard and heavy bands“, Meshuggah (no me neither). Back in 1997 Umeå was named Pop City of the Year by Swedish radio station P3. Since then it’s run it’s very own music festival in the name of Umeå Open, which this year has a line up with First Aid Kit and my 2 favourite women in the world Robyn & Yelle. As for home grown talent, it can add to it’s list Tiger Forest Cat, folk rock band Winhill/Losehill & last but not least everyone’s favourite, Frida Hyvönen is from nearby Robertsfors.
Trondheim wins the prize for the most picturesque google image selection. While I struggled to find any half decent photos of the other cities, as they hide themselves away behind some pixelated pics from 2006, this city is proud of her assets and is flashing them for the interweb world to see! The city hosts the yearly music festival Trondheim Calling, which focuses on upcoming raw Norwegian talent. Previous line-ups have included Highasakite, Heyerdahl, & shoegaze band Dråpe. While they take over the town once a year, the artists who are Trondheim born and bred consist of pop singer Margaret Berger, lo-fi trio Angelica’s Elegy, producer Autolaser, and chillwave artist Intertwine.