• James Booton

The best emerging artists from Scandinavia ft. Soso! Thea Wang, Casper The Ghost & More!









Soso!


Cross-genre Gothenburg duo Soso! are full of energy and sunshine coated sounds. Their debut single 'twentyfourseven!', released back in 2020, gained the pair instant attention with its infectiously smooth Dream Pop melodies. They have become renowned for their bright vocal melodies and richly intertwining instrumental textures and have leaped into 2022 with a string of three exciting singles.



'What' came in March and showcased the more abstract side of their creative minds. The funky, fractured rhythms delivered through thick basslines and retro synth melodies. It is bold and brash, a great return to releasing music. 'Big Bang' followed in April with what is perhaps there biggest chorus to date. The track is led by a rich piano line and vocals that are glimmering with expressive optimism. However, in trademark style, they overlay some fuzzy electro textures to pack out the sound. The chorus sees the vocals warped through a high-pitched vocal effect and all the instrumentals kind of meld into one sonic swarm so that you almost don't know what;s going on, you just have to sit and let the euphoria wash over you. We can guarantee this one will be stuck in your head! Most recently, 'Simp Song' completed the trilogy with a bouncing, danceworthy rhythm and 00s Indie coming-of-age riffs. By the sounds of these three tracks they are turning down a more Indie Pop road, packing the same intertwined textural noise yet with more distinct hooks and melodies that will ear worm into your brain all day.


Daniella Binyamin


Indie Pop songwriter Daniella Binyamin has immediately gathered attention for the uplifting cinematic sounds that her first single creates. 'Grand Hotel' begins with a playful piano line that pits deep chords against bright, dreamy melody. Meanwhile, Daniella's vocals intersect with an innocent and angelic tone comparable to Sigrid's more introspective moments. There is an audible cute smile radiating from the opening sound and that smile is infectious. However, it is not long before a more contemplative mood takes over with a slight atmospheric change in the piano and the lyrics "I don't wanna go losing feelings, getting old". This debut demonstrated her emotional versatility and intelligent songwriting.



Now, her second single 'Toothpaste Kisses' has arrived and it has backed up the widespread industry claims that she has something special to offer. This new track dances along with a bright piano line which becoming her instrumental trademark. Her vocals land a little less intimate this time round though, matching the upbeat energy of the piano with a melodic flourish. The song then grows in confidence and drama. Strings swell in the background and anthemic orchestral percussion peppers. It culminates in a fantastically dramatic soundscape packed full of emotion and wonder, the perfect soundtrack to your favourite TV show's big finale.


Casper The Ghost


Hailing from Ljusdal, Sweden, Casper The Ghost are a genre-melting duo made up of Casper Brodin and Victor Hillbom. Their debut album 'Ghoststories' shot them into the Scandi spotlight back in 2018 with huge global hits such as '.bound' and 'Fugazi'. Since then they have consistently been grabbing attention with singles that have lingered heavily in the emo rap and electro hip-hop corners of their vast array of styles. Yet their new EP 'Holding on for dear life' sees them burst into a much more expressive and wild arena.



Although the opening track 'The Box' carries some of the melancholic textures that ran through their earlier singles it has an added hint of angst inside it that is matched by the high-tempo. This angst then really comes to life in tracks like 'Out of Sight' and the EP's closer 'SUPERFICIAL'. The retro, gritty tones of classic Pop Punk shine through in both performance and production. It seems that the pair have been inspired by the recent alt/pop punk revival that has risen in the rap world thanks to the likes of Machine Gun Kelly and The Kid LAROI. It is forceful and empowering from the offset and provides some frenzied moments perfect for a moshpit. However, the song that best sums up their trademark blend of genres has to be 'Cool Kids'. The vocals are tightly wrapped, delivered like the aforementioned Pop Punk/Rap artists yet they have an Indie Pop commercial appeal. The chorus combines layers of electro and acoustic instrumentals as well as multiple vocal lines to build an uplifting coming-of-age chorus perfect for summer graduations and carefree parties.



Emas Jade


Although the opening swirl of deeply tones, immersive guitars in the new single from Emas Jade may lure you into a state of tranquility, this blissful soon bursts into a rolling Indie joyride. The Swedish songwriter has sprung onto the scene this month with her debut track 'Oh Leo' yet it sounds like she has been writing music for years!


These rich guitar flicks and subtle hooks persist throughout to add a tangled web of sound underneath yet it is the bouncy rhythm and crisp vocal delivery that grab your attention straight away. With the combination of floating instrumentals and smooth Indie vocals it feels like Peach Pit and Big Thief have teamed up. At ties these instrumentals seem abrasive, jarring with each other as strange off-key chords crash around you, yet they always come back together in this lush, silky debut.



Lunar Wells


Finish songwriter Lunar Wells keeps his cards close to his chest. His Spotify bio merely reads "thanks for stopping by". However, if you dig a little deeper through his socials you'll find a string of Tik Toks that explore his creative process and all the hours that go into messing around with guitar parts, placing beats, recording vocal lines and simply just sitting back and mulling over creative ideas. He is pretty new on the scene, having only one track to his name yet it has already provided us with a good understanding of where his influences lie and where he may be heading.



If the track title 'Velvety Dreams' doesn't give you a clue at what the song has in store then the first few notes certainly will. Retro synths shoot through a thick, funky bassline to create a fuzzy and colourful sonic experience. Dreamy Mac Demarco esc vocals then sail on top of this instrumental bed, caressing your ears with a soothing melody. This track is super catchy and although it may be his very first single, it shows that he has a particular love for creating the silkiest bubblegum dreamscapes. Enjoy!


Thea Wang


Norwegian Singer Songwriter Thea Wang has quickly become one of the most sought after Scandi artists known for her blissfully intimate acoustic performances. Her debut release 'Tell Me About It' instantly indicated that she is an artist with capable of producing a stirring sound. Playing with themes of loneliness, chance encounters and love, the song transports you into a deeply emotive yet tranquil realm where you feel temporarily disconnected from the business of the outside world. 'While He Is Still Asleep' was just as blissful as her debut. The tone of the acoustic guitar is so raw and personal that you feel incredibly immersed in the sound. Her words land gently in a soothing style and are structured loosely so that it feels as though it is unrehearsed. This is not to say that it feels unfinished or shoddy by any means but rather, this improvised feel beautifully enhances the honesty and emotive impact of each line.



Her latest offering 'Word On The Street' continues with her refreshing honest and somewhat vulnerable aesthetic that feels completely unfiltered. A stream of consciousness that is full of longing pours out over the top of a gentle yet richly tones guitar line that is perfect for a rainy day. Whether you want a lazy Sunday in bed or a late night of introspection, Thea Wang may just be the perfect artist to help you drift away...


The Moniker


Swedish singer-songwriter The Moniker (Daniel Karlsson) has been ever-present in the Scandinavian music scene for the last 10 years following his debut album that featured the hit single 'Oh My God!' that announced his bold and colourful feel-good brand of Indie Pop that rang of Euro stars such as MIKA. Since his 2015 album 'Don't Fly Too High' he has been sporadically making music singing in his native tongue. However he has now returned with a brand new English track taken from his upcoming album 'Pink Harbour'.



Over a decade on, The Moniker continues to sound as vibrant and fresh as when he started as the new track 'Thank You for the Summer' radiates a sunny wave of joy that justifies its namesake. Horns, pianos and layered vocal harmonies combine for an uplifting wave of pure happiness. The verses are somewhat reminiscent of the songwriting greats like Elton John and The Beatles with the vocal/piano interplay yet the chorus really comes alive and sounds like a house full of hundreds of friends all joining in the fun. Try and listen to this track and be miserable, we challenge you!


Leoblu


Originally from the little known island gems belonging to Finland, the Åland Islands, singer, songwriter, and producer Julia Carlsson has become somewhat of a sonic adventurer and has performed across the globe from Madrid to Buenos Aires. Her contemplative single 'Still Dancing' gathered attention after it was featured on the Netflix series 'The Protector'. She is now carrying this momentum into 2022 with her brand new track 'running // circles'.



In both lyrical content and sonic theme the track aims to capture the confusion, beauty, ugliness and grief that comes with leaving your old self behind and creating a new you. From the first notes you can feel this emotionally complex thought process swirl around inside the walls of the track. The vocals also manage to capture contrasting ends of the emotive spectrum as she sings with a soft delivery that radiates both hope and hopelessness; both optimism and downtrodden melancholia. As the song grows so does her vocal confidence. This builds an empowering sonic texture that will encourage you to search for a better you. Even the music video manages to capture that complex internal wars that are at play in Julia's songwriting which just demonstrates the thought and creative intelligence that she has to offer.


About Yesterday


About Yesterday is the one-man indie project by Danish songwriter Jakob Stougaard Wang. Appropriately for his artist name, his songs reflect thoughtfully on past experiences. His 2021 demo 'Almost Lost Myself' provided a teaser for what he had in store. Winding Dream Pop guitars and soft vocals suggested that his project would develop into a hazy conglomeration of silky soundscapes packed with subtle melodies that wash over you with ease. However, his new single 'Chestnut' has taken a more direct approach.



It still begins with a kind of warped synthesized texture that radiates a bittersweet tone. However, his vocals come through a lot stronger on this track. The electro effects on them give them a slight ethereal quality that lulls you into a dream state before the piercing playful keyboard punches through. Ringing of the Indie-elecro greats such as MGMT, a combination of thick drum beats and instantly memorable synth hooks ensues. Here he has found a magical balance between dreamy textures and attention grabbing melody. Perfect for a summer chillout!

 

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