Girl with headphones on. Photo by Alice Moore on Unsplash
Recommendations,  Review

5 Scandi artists you need to hear


5 Scandinavian artists you need to hear 

Calling all Ikea lovers, fans of the Hygge way of life, Scandi-noir tv series aficionados, and viking god worshippers! When I hear the word Scandinavia, I think of the strikingly minimalist and effortlessly cool vibe the Nords emit and dark artic landscapes. The same can be said about their addictive music; inexplicably cool, chilly melancholy lyrics and a chic and catchy musical backdrop.

How is it that the Nordic countries have some of the best musical sounds out there? Maybe it’s those long, dark winters having to spend an age indoors that leads to the writing of such catchy songs! In Britain, this would just mean hushed utterances of “Winter is coming”, and everyone secretly hoping the cold sticks around so we always have something to chit chat about in the morning.

In the land that gave us the wonderfully experimental Björk and the infamous ABBA, there’s a plethora of future musical obsessions to be had with the latest generation of musicians.

So, here’s my deep dive into my 5 favourite Scandi musicians from 2018.

1: Highasakite
Highasakite performing in 2012. Image by NRK P3 via Flikr

Image by NRK P3, licensed under CCPL

Norwegian indie-rock/pop trio Highasakite was recommended to me by a friend who road-tripped across Iceland to their music. A mix of anthemic and electro-pop explosions, creating an atmosphere that makes you want to thump on your chest and scream “I am Woman!”…just me?

Expect a dark and haunting mixed in with a synth beat across their ‘Camp Echo’ album (my favourite).

Play them when: you want to warrior dance like nobody is watching. 

2: Kaleo

Kaleo performing live. Image by RTP via Flickr

Image by RTP, licensed under CCPL

Folk and Blues influenced rock band, Kaleo are from Iceland. Their signature sound is both foot-thumping and bass guitar pumping with the odd acoustic song thrown in (especially the song Vor í Vaglaskógi in their native tongue).

I was lucky enough to see them play at the iconic Camden Roundhouse last year, trust me when I say, you can feel that bass in your bones!

Play them when: you want to strut like a bad-ass and own any room you walk into.

3: Albin Lee Meldau

Albin Lee Meldau. Image by Dreadfari via Wikimedia commons

Image by Dreadfari [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Sweden’s Albin Lee Meldau is all about the storytelling.

Gut-wrenching emotions, stories and what it means to be human is woven into every facet of his soul meets pop sound. This is particularly true for his Lovers EP and most recently his debut album, ‘About you.’

The Gothenburg crooner is so convincing he’ll have you welling up with emotion for a break-up you didn’t have!

Play him when: you want to ugly-cry over your ex….or running out of bread (I’m telling you he draws emotion out).

4: Robyn

Robyn performing at Boston calling 2016. Image by Andy Moran via Flickr

Image by Andy Moran, licensed under CCPL

No Scandi list would be complete without the Swedish singing-songwriting and producing queen, Robyn. With the recent release of her first solo album in eight years ‘Honey,’ Robyn shows us she’s still a master of commanding emotions on the dance-floor.

With Robyn it’s not just mindless electro-dance raving, there is an emotional complexity to her songs with an impossible catchy layered dance beat that builds.

Play her when: you want to dance it all out and forget the world for a bit.


Aurora slottsfjell 2017. Image by Tom Øverlie via Flickr

Image by Tom Øverlie, licensed under CCPL

Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora encapsulates haunting falsettos (that rival Florence Welch) and traditional Nordic sounds (influenced by living in the woodlands surrounding Bergen). Her voice and music are a thing of other-worldly beauty for someone so young (only 22 now?! post two album releases). It’s hard to even categorise what genre Aurora falls into, the best I can do is folktronica.

There is a consistent concept of telling what the world experiences running through her two albums; ‘All my demons greeting me as a friend,’ and  ‘Infections of a different kind – part 1.’  While there are some anthemic feminist tracks in there, Aurora’s work reads like championing a united world!

Play her when: you want to get in touch with nature and channel your inner flower-child

Leave some of your favourite Scandi artists or songs in the comments and I’ll add them to the playlist, so don’t forget to follow it on Spotify!


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