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3

Lars, Lilly and Pablo meet Billie the Vision & the Dancers

Our next tribute to the Swedish pop scene is one of my favorites. A 7-piece band from Mälmo, Billie the Vision & the Dancers are the epitome of pop, from chamber to folk, indie and twee…just add pop next to it and you’ve got their sound spot on. From their first album back in 2004 I Was So Unpopular In School and Now They're Giving Me This Beautiful Bicycle to their latest I Used to Wander These Streets this year, the band’s songs revolve constantly around Lars, Lilly and Pablo; three semi-fictional characters with obvious personal references. Their music will instantly bring Belle & Sebastian in mind but if you give them more than a chance you will see that they have so much more to offer. They are upbeat, crazy, melodic and come in a free package (you can download all their albums from their site here). This is one of best independent bands (still haven’t signed to a major label after all these years and recognition) I’ve come across lately..if you don’t take music too serious all the time!

Someday, Somehow


Nightmares


A Man from Argentina


Nobel Square



Artist.Site Buy.Amazon



Too many meetings...check out The Tough Alliance in the meantime!!

Today I've been in and out of meetings all day so I've had no time to write a proper post about my next Swedish band (although a number of them are piled up). However, the next one doesn't need much introduction since it is quite well known. Hailing from Göthenburg, Henning Fürst and Eric Berglund are the indie/electro/pop/rock duo behind The Tough Alliance. Since 2003 they have already managed to record three successful albums, numerous hit singles and also start their own label titled Sincerely Yours (with our favorites Air France currently on their artists list). Check out their debut The New School (2005 on Service label) and last year's New Chance (out on Playground Music label) for some genuine Swedish synth pop. Enjoy while I get back to work...

The New School


Lucky



Artist.Site Buy.Amazon



5

Starting off another week...Sambassadeur style...

Another week starting off here at work with our usual rounds on the blogosphere for new (and old) albums. I given it a lot of thought, and decided to continue my Swedish quest for a bit longer (although TV on the Radio's latest album may briefly interrupt this cause it's really worth it...if you can't wait then read KostasK's post on it). So, back to Sweden then and let's kick start this week with a quick clip/tune by Sambassadeur to cheer us up with That Town..


PS. More on Sambassadeur later on this week



0

Giving Swedish pop another chance – The Legends

Continuing on this week’s quest of re-discovering Swedish pop bands, today we’re looking back on a man who has been associated with numerous Labrador projects, Johan Angergård. From Acid House Kings to Club 8, Johan is one of the most successful Swedish producers/musicians. However, in this post we are looking at one of his other projects, The Legends.
The Legends started off in 2004 with their debut LP Up Against the Legends, which became an instant success. This was followed a year later with Public Radio, which unlike their up-lifting debut, was more self-indulged and slow tempo, alienating a lot of Johan’s fans and receiving numerous negative reviews. Thankfully, Johan was quick to respond the following year with Facts and Figures by returning to his original sound, with more pop melodies and 80’s synthesizers, a real trademark of Swedish pop. He’s currently working on new material, with a new single titled Seconds Away coming out on November 5th.

Seconds Away


He Knows the Sun


Closer


Make it all Right



Artist.Site Buy.Amazon



4

Indie-pop with the French-Swedish stamp of Envelopes

Envelopes is an indie-pop band consisting of members from Sweden and France, two countries with deep heritage in pop music. They made their debut back in 2005 with Demon and followed it up with Here Comes the Wind back in February of 2008.
Their music is the epitome of musical influences, evident throughout their albums and sometimes even on a single song. From Talking Heads to Pixies and Stereolab they mix post-rock with twee-pop in order to form their unique sound that we can only tag as indie pop with a very wide spectrum. This isn’t the most straight-forward pop for most people, but for those like us seeking anything that differs, their sound is a pleasant surprise (which we admit we missed the previous couple of years…although some of their songs did show up on our hard drive!)

Party


Boat



Artist.Site Buy.Amazon



0

Little Bear gathers an Army of Trees

I came upon Little Bear from the usual paths (myspace, promotional email etc.) today and thought it was worth posting a couple of lines. Not much can be found about Nick Principe (the main/only man behind Little Bear) except that he recorded his debut EP Army of Trees (which you can download for free from here) in upstate New York before moving to Santa Cruz, California. His work is lo-fi rock with atmospheric, instrumental and folk influences. We’ve only had a few tracks on our hands, so we’ll be waiting for his debut LP before we can say more (although the start is promising enough to keep him on our to-look-out-for list).

The Beaverkill


Smaller Trees


Artist.Site Free.Download



0

Sunday spin with Rodes

For a Sunday change I though of posting a Greek track from one of my favorite bands to come out of the local hip-hop scene, Rodes. The track Kubrick is from their sophomore album Silent Disco and it fits nicely with this rainy weekend here in Athens. The album is out on Archangel Music (the same label of Monika).



2

Reaching off to M83

I thought of digging up the 2-by-2 concept but actually transforming it into a 4-by-1 for once. This is another post regarding what I’ve been listening to this past couple of days, which is no other than M83. From their stunning debut album Dead Cities, Read Seas & Lost Ghosts back in 2003 to their follow-up in 2004 with Before the Dawn Heals Us (which saw the departure of Fromageau) and this year’s acclaimed Saturdays=Youth, M83 offer shoegazing ambient pop similar to their countrymen Air. Their last album is more synth pop rather than ambient, still it manages to travel us into their personal galaxy as in their previous albums (although the very first trip with Unrecorded remains unforgettable). The band (or Gonzalez to be more precise) is visiting us here in Athens on the 4th of October and we are looking forward to some more on-stage space trips this time. Until then, enjoy 4 videos from all 3 of their albums.












Artist.Site Buy.Amazon



5

Defining Mellow Pop and Discovering Antarctica

KostasK's comment yesterday initiated a typical google search for Mellow Pop. The result? Oslo Swan, another duo (Stefan & Guyroots ) all the way from Antarctica this time (first band I think we host from over there in Athens66) which was formerly known (or unknown) as Mellow Pop. The guys are still unsigned and haven’t released any LP or EP (that I know of), yet they have been able to get 117979 page views and 46515 friends on myspace (damn…these guys or their agents know how to thrive in social networks). Needless to say their music is simply put Mellow Pop! Interesting stuff from Antarctica

Dreamin


Doesn't matter what you say



Artist.Site Artist.Myspace



3

A Hive for Vanilla Swingers

Vanilla Swingers are London’s latest duo (Miles Jackson and Anne Gilpin). They come in a great melodic pop format with lots of nostalgic pinches and charming melodies. The duo has crafted a wonderful debut (out on August 11th on Radio Ballad label and available to download for free from here or if you rightfully prefer to a order a copy you can from Rough Trade) which slowly unveils the love/life story of a couple across time. Their music bonds the synthesizer baseline with guitars, while the duo alternates on vocals as the stories unfold. If you’re into mellow pop like me, you will instantly get drowned into their sound and start travelling into past (or present) love stories. If again this isn’t your usual cup of cake, I’m sure it will be hard not to be won over after a while. Vanilla Swingers has been a nice surprise for me and a welcomed change from the Scottish dominance (at least in this blog). For the non-believers, just give Goodbye Lennon a listen. Pop lives on..

The Hive


Goodbye Lennon



Artist.Site Order.RoughTrade



5

Lindstrøm - Where you go I go too

Hans-Peter Lindstrøm entered the dance scene a few years ago as a remixer and producer and quickly rose to stardom, thanks in part to his collaboration with Prins Thomas. Together they created a new sound, now known as Space Disco, which besides the obvious musical satisfaction also helps (as we recently discovered) productivity in the office. Or perhaps that’s just me…
Anyway, after his solo debut back in 2006 with Feedelity Affair, Lindstrøm is back with another space disco journey titled Where you go I go too (out August 19 on Smalltown Supersound and his own label Feedelity Recordings). If you’ve never heard any of Lindstrøm’s space tracks before then you’re up for something really different. To start off, the album contains only 3 tracks, with the opening Where you go I go too lasting more than 30 minutes! His music is a mix of of 70’s disco, French house and late-night star-gazing. Once you enter each of the records tracks, you are slowly lured into a cosmic trip of endless dreaming, interrupted by a number of house calls (French house that is) and electronic beats. It’s hard to explain it better; one has to give in to Lindstrøm’s sound to understand the real power of Space Disco. This is definitely one of the best electronic records of the year, and will definitely remain high in our top picks for this year in general.

Grand Ideas


Artist.Site Buy.Amazon



2

Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground

While I was ready to prepare (been saying this to myself for 2 days now) the space disco review I promised to Elafini, today's post by Muz!cOn just reminded me of another story I've forgotten to write about.
A couple of weeks ago I managed to see Nina Persson's film Om Gud Vill from back in 2006. The film is quite good (but not too original) and what is perhaps even more interesting is Nina's wonderful cover of White Stripe's Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground. Yeap..Nina is just getting better and better with time...



2

Morning Update from our fellow Bloggers

In an attempt to wake up and get back to working, I managed to do my casual blog roundup while sipping my morning coffee. Two posts (beside the death of Don Lafontaine) caught my attention and got in the mood for re-posting them.
First one (although BLR will curse me once again for this), the new Obama campaign spot titled "Signs Of Hope & Change". We fully supported the guy from the start, but now comes a political spot based on National’s Fake Empire to top it off!! (posted on Salad Days Music and originally on Stereogum)


The other post was from Stereo Sancity and is (finally) the trailer of Gus Van Sant’s eagerly awaited (probably mostly by me) new film Milk, starring Sean Penn. Our favorite director is back in Hollywood form and is ready to once again hit big time after many years of experimental films (although we loved him mostly for those).



0

Working with Noir Désir

Almost falling asleep at my desk (yeap..still at work at 3:43am and counting) at least I have some music to accompany me. From my old addiction, Noir Désir's cover to John Lennon...



2

Preaching The Contact

Once again caught up in the midst of work so it’s hard to keep up with new albums coming out (although I’m trying to find some time for Of Montreal’s newly leaked album). So instead, I’m giving a go with anything that I stubble upon. Such was the case with The Contact.
I have to say, I actually gave the guys a chance mostly cause they come from Halifax, Nova Scotia. It then turned out that the band is part of the Christian music scene (what the fuck?). In spite of this, their sophomore album Canvas Tears (released last year on Square Eyes label) is not that bad. It is a bit more mainstream and fine-grained produced than I would prefer, but nevertheless not that bad. The Contact actually sound a lot like Muse in this album, and that is probably up to your personal preferences to decide if it’s a good or a bad thing. Can’t really see myself as a follower, but wouldn’t actually mind listening to them on the radio or at some local event. But then again..Christian rock?

Canvas Tears


My Divine



Artist.Site Buy.Amazon

The Team

Athens66 started off as a common project by a bunch of friends but quickly turned into almost a personal blog (although some remains of previous posts can still be found). Currently, the Team has been narrowed down to two members, who besides being old friends and schoolmates share the same joy for Music, Movies, Alcohol and Pro Evolution sessions.

The sole purpose of this blog is to shout out whatever comes in mind about movies, music, reality, fantasy and all the rest. Nothing posted here is to be taken seriously, but then again what is? Since this blog is still quite fresh, we are definitely open to suggestions and directions (although most of them will just be ignored)

Team Members

Recommended

High Places - High Places vs. Mankind Titus Andronicus - The Monitor Caribou - Swim Sambassadeur - European The Radio Dept. - Clinging to a Scheme Portugal. the Man - American Ghetto Local Natives - Gorilla Manor Errors - Come Down With Me Hot Chip - One Life Stand Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago Royal Bangs - Let it Beep Magnolia Electric Co - Josephine Phantogram - Eyelid Movies Digits - Hold it Close Au Revoir Simone - Still Night, Still Light Kordan - Fantasy Nation Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport Dial M for Murder - Fiction of her Dreams Throw me the Statue - Creaturesque Atlas Sound - Logos Noah and the Whale  - The First Days of Spring Delorean - Ayrton Senna Reverie Sound Revue - Reverie Sound Revue Portugal the Man - The Satanic Satanist Pony Pony Pony Run Run  - You Need Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse - Dark Night Of The Soul Camera Obscura -My Maudlin Career Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Pains of Being Pure at Heart Antony & The Johnsons - The Crying Light Franz Ferdinand – Tonight Norma – Book of Norma Belle and Sebastian - The BBC Sessions Vanilla Swingers – Vanilla Swingers Lindstrom - Where you go I go too Black Kids – Partie Traumatic Beck – Modern Guilt The Old 97s – Blame It On Gravity Monika - Avatar Sigur Ros - Me? su? i eyrum vi? spilum endalaust Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Lie Down In the Light Shearwater – Rook Okay – Huggable Dust Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer Lykke Li - Youth Novel Los Campesinos – Hold on Now, Youngster Metric - Grow up and Blow away No Age - Nouns Battles – Mirrored The National - Boxer Foals - Antidotes British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music? The Kills – Midnight Boom

Write to Us!

If you want to recommend us a new group, advertise on our blog or just bitch about the things we post, just send us an email at martdnv [at] gmail [dot] com and we'll get in contact with you!

Disclaimer

The content provided on this blog is for promotion purposes only. If you like the music, please support the artists and purchase the CDs of the music you like. Files should be deleted within 24 hours. Athens66 is not responsible for anything you may download. If you find any content that is violating the copyright law, please send us an email at martdnv [at] gmail [dot] com and the material will be removed.

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