Our favorite singer songwriter of 2013. Best New Band for sure!
Best New Bands of 2013 HUMMINGBIRD AWARD #3: Dustin Tebbutt
Every year there is one stand-out singer songwriter that turns our heads here at NBD. We recognized Justin Vernon or Tallest Man on Earth in 2010 or 2011’s James Vincent McMorrow. All of them had one thing in common, they went into isolation, vacuum packed their sadness and record EPs or LPs of wonderment. Justin went to the Wisconsin hills and Dustin Tebbutt packed it up and moved from his home in Australia to Sweden where he isolated himself in his songwriting. I’m sure all of them had a sad break-up or some tragic failing in life, if I could bottle it and sell it I would be a millionaire. It’s amazing that across the globe men suffer sadly in isolation and they all record beautiful records, usually somewhere very cold. Dustin recorded an EP of beauty and we can’t wait to see what he delivers in 2014.
Hometown: Australia to Sweden
Members: Dustin Tebbutt
Sonic Soulmates™: James Vincent McMorrow, Justin Vernon, Tallest Man on Earth
Trackables™: The EP released in 2013The Breach
Listen to “The Breach” & “Where I Find You”
Is this becoming the year of selfish band names? I Break Horses bring home cooked Swedish dream pop.
Uncorked™ I Break Horses
When we listen to music, we often joke here about how it made you feel. It most cases, we don’t feel anything. In some cases we tap our toes and in the rare case we get that chill up our spine and the hair on our head tingles. I’m not a scientist, so I can’t explain why that happens, but I can say that’s a good thing. I remember the first time I heard all of my favorite bands. I Break Horses isn’t your typical dream gaze XX/XY duo. Fredrik Balck, is the instrumental guy, and Maria Lindén who handles the vocals met in 2008 under unusual circumstances: both self-professed hypochondriacs, visited the same online medical sites, discovered they shared friends as well as a passion the same music. Their tracks aren’t layered in heavy shoe gaze wall of sound, rather, they take the Washed Out route and keep the instrumentals simple. Maybe two-three layered tracks with Maria’s beautiful voice adorning the sound. They use their fear of dying as inspiration for their lyrics, focusing on the fragility of life. I will say that the first time I heard Hearts that chill ran up my spine and NO I wasn’t worried that I had some rare spinal virus…Thank you again to AZ Turk for adding them to his Top Gems of 2011
Vitals: Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden Members: Fredrik Balck, Maria Lindén Sonic Soulmates™: Washed Out, Jesus and Mary Chain, Echo Lake Trackables™:
Well I was and still am but soon to be outed closet fan of Smashing Pumpkins. Many bands have attempted to rewrite the dueling lead guitars or the searing solos of Iha and Corgan. Jimmy’s anthemic drum beats were one of kind. I miss the Siamese Dream version of SP, it all fell apart when they decided that ego and bravado was more important then writing and producing a good record. Melancholy can suck it, it’s greatest value was it’s Lenny Kravitz like karoke tracks, but we’ll always remember the perfection of Siamese. It wasn’t a surprise to hear several bands ripping off the early SP sound, CandleBox, etc, but rarely did you see a band that literally named themselves after a demo track. Jeniferever is a band from Uppsala, Sweden formed in 1996. Their music is ambient indie rock, it’s melodic, and each track drives to anthemic finishes. They’re Sigur Rós in English. They’ve released several EPs, a two full lengths with the third that just hit stores last week. Silesia, is triumphant and it’s brilliance is why we feature the boys of Jeniferever. We love the “Waifs and Strays” and you little buzzers will too. Listen and love like we did. By the way JE is our first Swedish band of 2011. We featured almost a dozen last year…LET’S GO NORDES!!!
Hometown: Uppsala, Sweden
Sonic Soulmates: Sigur Rós, My Vitriol
“Waifs and Strays”
The Tallest Man on Earth changed our world that's why he is the Hummingbird
Best New Bands of 2010 Hummingbird Award: #1 The Tallest Man on Earth
Yep, this is it…the Number 1 Hummingbird. The voice, the songwriting, the perfection that is the final Hummingbird is The Tallest Man on Earth. Why, you ask? Well, the Swedes dominated music this year, with artists like The Radio Dept., Sambassadeur and Little Children being a key source of our favorite bands. Hell, two out of our top three Hummingbirds come from Sweden. Kristian Matsson is an exquisite songwriter/poet:
Why are you stabbing my illusion?
Just cause I stole some eagle’s wings
Because you named me as your lover
Well, I thought I could be anything.
His lyrics stitch together stories of potentially impeded regal dreams, the coming of Odin’s Wild Hunt, death, heartbreak and love diverted. His voice is ashy, with a nasal flare, similar to great Dylan tracks, but when you hear his live sessions, he loses the falsetto and you hear a pure beauty. His comparison to Dylan is not just of the vocal nature, but how he exposes you to the colors of words through song. You get lost in his words forgetting it’s just a man with a guitar, he’s a story-teller. This was a year that The Music Muse and I went to many shows, but no other show captured our souls more than seeing TTMOE at the Brookdale Lodge in the Santa Cruz mountains. He wrapped his words around the crowd of 200 and we were all shaken. He didn’t stop creating either, he did showcases, EPs, LPs, etc. He produced quality music the entire year.
He is the reason why I love music, why I love to share music, why we endure the crap…he is the gem that was excavated one Winter morning back in February, and now he is THE MOST IMPORTANT NEW ARTIST OF 2010. Thank you Kristian for making and creating.
Hometown: Dalarna, Sweden
Members: Kristian Mattson
Sonic Soulmates: Bob Dylan, John Vanderslice not too many others can be compared to him
Tracks of the Year:
“King of Spain” – Regal dreams are the best dreams, but not when you’re lover is trying to hold you down.
“You’re Going Back” – Seriously this is just one guy and his guitar.
“The Wild Hunt” – One of the greatest opening tracks of an album. He’s waiting for Odin to arrive and he’ll be leaving in the fall.
The Radio Dept. Will be the biggest band from 2010
Best New Bands of 2010 Hummingbird Award: #3 The Radio Dept.
They were our favorite band of 2010 mid-year. We anointed them perfect because their album was and still is perfect. It is our album of the year, but they were surpassed. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t worthy of our #1. The band was a pure concept in 1995, named after a gas station in Lund, Sweden, they disbanded soon after, then in 2009, they reformed with new members and became pure perfection. With an ode to the synth modern wave rock of the 80’s with bands like The Pet Shop Boys or The Cure, their music is tightly arranged allowing for airy simplicity in the synth. It isn’t sad or morose like the My Bloody Valentines, but relaxing and fun like The Pet Shop Boys. So sad they’re not #1, but there are two bands that just did it better in 2010. We love The Radio Dept. and we know they will be one of the 2010 alums that will be BIG BIG BIG!!!
Hometown: Malmö / Stockholm, SE
Band Members: Daniel Tjäder – Keyboards, Martin Carlberg- Guitar, Johan Duncanson – Guitar and vocals
Sonic Soulmates: The Pet Shop Boys, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine
Tracks of the Year:
“Heavens on Fire” – My favorite new song since 2000.
“Domestic Scene” – Best opening track to an album since “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Moto Boy is Oskar Humlebo from the coastal town of Malmö, Sweden. He’s a “Swedish ice cream loving francophile musician with the ability to grow goosebumps on your body with my voice, melodies and romantic arrangements.” His voice is marvelous and it reminds me of Jeff Buckley a sprinkle of Rufus Wainwright and a splash of Wild Beasts. Not as bombastic as WB, but clearly in a league all by himself with the voice. If you want your heart ripped out and gently placed back into your chest, then Oskar is your man. His arrangements are sophisticated and heart-wrenching without taking away from his pop appeal. I find Moto Boy to be the high-brow choice for artist of the year. Thank you to our Nordic Music Excavator Bristian for uncovering this masterpiece.
“When My Heart is High” – Clearly the most POP worthy track from his new album Lost In The Call
Today is a huge day, a day we celebrate because we have a new music excavator. Someone to own The Nordics, digging ever deeper to find us the best new music from the great North. Bristian comes to us from Lund in southern Sweden, he’s a music junkie and he’s been introducing us to new music for sometime now. Please read his bio here
With Little Children, Linus Lutti’s musical alias since early 2009, the tone is the quiet, emotional and sincere. He’s from Stockholm and his voice is soft. The low-key style is his thing, it’s an unmatched tone, but the arrangements of sparse guitar, horns and woodwind instruments could rival that of Bon Iver. Add a jazzy touch like that of John Legend or Jamie Cullum and you have the perfection of Little Children. See Little Children touring London in November…
“Hold On” – This song will make our top 25 for the year.
I’m in a female vocalist mood this week. Stumbled on three very good bands led by females this week. Sambassadeur are a Swedish pop band formed in 2003 in Gothenburg actually in Skövde, a much smaller town in Sweden. Anna Persson has a silky voice with a twinge of attitude. The band are signed to the Labrador label, releasing three studio records. Their third album, European, was released in February 2010. I think I’ll call them The Younger Sibling of The Cardigans with a flair for the Metric, Emily Haines dramatics. Best description I have. “Albatross” is a great track and makes the album download worth the listen.
I love José González…bottom-line, he’s inventive, his voice is soft, elusive but pure. He’s made me cry before and his music has been there with me through some pretty amazing moments. I think his music has made those moments amazing. So when I heard that that Junip, his original trio of very talented folksters prior to his Zero 7 fame, were releasing a new single, I couldn’t wait. “Rope and Summit” is exactly what you would expect from José González and his trio of all-stars. It has the perfect blend of acoustic guitars, synth and drums to perfectly set the undertone for José’s voice. JUNIP are amazing in that you can’t help but wonder who provides the music. In most José González tracks you get lost in his voice and the sounds comes second. But in JUNIP you don’t get that. Elias Araya is on drums and Tobias Winterkorn plays keyboards.
I recognize that she’s famous for covering probably one of the greatest rock songs of all time. I recognize that her latest album came out in September 2009. I also recognize that the music industry is a bitch to crack, so I want to refresh all of our memories as to why Taken By Trees is so special. Taken by Trees is Swede, Victoria Bergsman, the former lead singer for the Concretes. She’s recruited bandmates from as far as Pakistan, she’s worked with fellow Swedes Bjorn Yttling and John Eriksson (of Peter Bjorn and John), and her soft supple voice carries the mandolin, zither, guitars, strings or all of them together. The complicated world sounds are perfected and simplified with Victoria’s perfect vocals. Buy her record, tell her you love her and truly make her YOUR NEW FAVORITE BAND!
“Greyest Love of All” – I think this might be a nominee for my favorite song of the year.
“My Boys” Yep that’s right, it’s the fantastic Animal Collective song sounding even better with a Jamaican island influence and Victoria’s perfect voice.