For Day 2 of our Staff Picks Playlist, we bring you a set of songs that’s a bit more diverse than the first time around. By chance, it is a European heavy selection, with a few tracks from Sweden and one from Berlin.
First up is Billie the Vision and the Dancers, a Swedish pop band who do indie pop songs like only the Swedish can. How is it possible that these Scandinavians all seem to have the power to make the sweetest, most poignant songs in their second language? I am confounded again and again as I hear Swedish bands beating their American counterparts at their own indie game. Billie the Vision & the Dancers skews more to the twee side of indie than say, The Shout Out Louds, but you get the feeling that if they felt so inclined – that if they weren’t feeling quite so emo over a girl – that they could be be rocking out a lot harder. We’ll save that for another playlist though, because “You’d Better Watch Out, ‘Cause I Like You” is a tasty slice of pop.
Air France is actually another Swedish band (despite their name). Signed to the Sincerely Yours label, which is run by the two members of The Tough Alliance, the crank out the easy breezy Balearic electro pop that makes you wish it was still summer.
A Smile and a Ribbon are another Swedish pop band (is there no end to them?). “Pebbles” is an effortless, feather light song that whisks you along. Singer Rebecca Mahlman’s voice endears her lyrics and works well with the atypical instrumentation.
Holy Other hails from Manchester, UK but is currently a resident of Berlin, German. He produces dark, ethereal electronic music. His beats are certainly influenced by the whole UK dubstep thing going on now, but he puts his own touch on the song (no pun intended) imbuing it with a unique sound.