In my next life, I want to be a Scandinavian.
I want to be born in the cool Kingdom of Pop and fill the world with sweet glistening melodies, as though it were one giant ultraviolet snow cone begging to be licked. How do they [and on a greater/more accurate scale] the Nordic Region manage to get it so right 99% of the time? (I know what you’re thinking and no, I actually quite enjoyed Lordi…) Do the midwives threaten to return every newborn to their mother’s love-oven if they don’t agree to a life of Eurovision Song Contest auditions, or join some sort of ABBA-worshipping disco coven by the time they’ve grown their first pubic hair?Not that I condone violence in any way, but if you’ve a Scandinavian friend or family member with musical talent, try jabbing them with a toothpick to see whether they bleed the aurora borealis. If they yell “why?!” and curse at you loudly, just tell them Robyn telepathically told you to, and it’s OK, because you think they’re more magical than a Disney marathon at Christmas.
So what’s got me singing Nordic pop’s praises today, more than we all do the other 364 days of the year? Well the sun is out for one, so naturally, living in the UK and receiving such a rare treat, I’m giddier than a virgin at a prison rodeo – but secondly I’ve spent a
great deal of time listening to Frida Sundemo’s “INDIGO” EP on repeat…
Taking time out from her medicine studies, Gothenburg’s Frida Sundemo decided to turn her hands to a different kind of surgery, the synth-pounding electro kind to be exact. Cutting cutesy yet defiant pop gems in the shape of Robyn and Vanbot, the übercool starlet is set to establish her own place on Sweden’s proud sonic podium before the year is through, starting off with her ‘Indigo’ EP which was released back in March.
The EP’s title track is a sugary anthem of self-affirmation, building you up while bouncing off the walls with its ice-cool vocals and elastic beats. Frida’s voice is sweet, airy and easily ingested; like powdered neon fizzing along your ear canals or pouring down your throat like angel delight. Male backing vocals also help lift the track to loftier ‘love thyself/you rock’ heights, with the sort of air-punching-rib-tackling-rebellion found with The Naked & Famous. Stick this on with Icona Pop’s “I Love It” before a job interview and you’ll bound into the room like you’re Peggy Mitchell post-coitus with Superman. “Unfolded planes can’t fly away,” Frida sings sagaciously, advising us to realize our potential…Yeah that’s right, Scandinavians can fly too bitches.
The second single lifted from the stunning 5-track release was “Home”, featuring choral singing (or at least more hardy backing vocals) roaring drums and soaring strings that are right up there with Kleerup’s lustrous production on “With Every Heartbeat.” Capped with a cold wintry sadness, “Home” still manages to melt the blues away with more of Frida’s trademark spiritedness, her lyrical courage dripping in spades. This woman was bold enough to put her degree on pause in order to pursue making music, so it’s no surprise she can dish out lines like “I am wide awake when dreams are everything we’ve got” with such stirring conviction.
Scandinavian songstresses (that’s not an easy word to say when you’re drunk) like Frida Sundemo seem to have such a knack for turning even the darkest of their emotions into a celebrative song of catchy & invincible fortitude – or simply and more err, Britishly, they sure know how to make melancholy sound rather jolly! (This is certainly Frida’s preferred choice of remedy and it works wonders.) Perhaps it’s the long winters, polar nights and magical folklore that bestow them with the special powers and fearless
armour to go forth and create such a genuine pop phenomena. Whatever it is, I want more and I want in – but knowing my luck, I’ll come back as a tone-deaf howler monkey.
“Indigo – EP” by Frida Sundemo is available to download now on iTunes.