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Tag: Things That Are European (21-30 of 33)

ABBA: New album on the way! (Well, sort of.)

Ever since I saw 2008’s Mamma Mia! — an all-time great music movie, and I don’t care who disagrees — I’ve been wishing ABBA would reunite already and write some new tunes that were half as much fun as their old ones from the ’70s. Well, I might be waiting for a while on that one. But! At least I can look forward to the Benny Andersson Band‘s Story of a Heart, due March 2.

Benny Andersson, of course, is one of the original Bs in ABBA. The other B, Björn Ulvaeus, co-wrote every song on Story of a Heart with him. Think it’s a stretch to call this an ABBA reunion without their ex-wives Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog? I admit their absence is a shame, but take a listen to the title track from Story of a Heart below and tell me that’s not the classic ABBA sound you’ve been missing. Make sure you stick around til the chorus kicks in around the 0:55 mark. There, now that sugary Scandinavian pop hook is going to be all up in your head for the rest of the day, like it is in mine.

Any other ABBA fans out there excited by this news? (Don’t be ashamed, you can admit it.) Am I kidding myself to think this is as close to a new ABBA album as we’re likely to get?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from’s Music Mix:
Taylor Swift wins Album of the Year: Did the Grammys get it right?
Lady Gaga and Elton John: What did you think?
Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks’ Grammy duet: out of sight, or out of tune?
Grammys pay tribute to Michael Jackson with help from his kids: A fitting salute?
Grammys: the complete list of winners
Grammys backstage report: which star ‘thought I was going to fall on my nude butt’?

Hear part of Swedish indie darlings the Knife's operatic foray: A collision of electronics, arias, and Charles Darwin

The opera that Swedish synthpop duo the Knife helped to write last year is finally getting an official release—so those of us who didn’t have the jack to fly to Copenhagen last fall can hear what we missed.

But if you require immediate gratification, a ten-minute sample of Tomorrow, In a Year is now available online. What does it sound like? Well, it’s about as kooky and cool and you would hope—after all, this is an opera inspired by Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species with music composed by everyone’s favorite oddball Swedish brother-sister band.

The leaked track—“Colouring of Pigeons,” done in collaboration with Mt. Sims and the informatively-named Planningtorock—begins with same stop-start operatic vocal bursts that kick off Einstein on the Beach, the Philip Glass masterwork which also merged opera and electronic music. Listen to it here:


Swedish dance-rockers kent: we don't know who they are, but we like their taste in music

Sweden’s massively popular alternative rock group kent is guesting on Sirius XM’s Nordic Rox radio show this weekend. What? You haven’t heard of the one-and-only kent?! Actually, us neither. But the solid DJ playlist they came up with for their radio guest spot got us interested enough to look them up.

Turns out they’ve been around since the ’90s, doing the whole Pavement/The Bends-era Radiohead thing. Lately, however, they’ve moved toward a dark dance-pop sound, which you can hear on “Töntarna,” the first single from their new album, Röd:

Their growing affection for indie electro-pop is clear from their DJ set list, which balances the likes of MGMT, Friendly Fires, Phoenix and the Faint with the abrasive electro noise of MSTRKRFT and French future-glitch of Parisian Busy P.

Kent’s interview/in-studio performance/DJ guest set will air on Sunday, November 15 at 8pm ET and will be rebroadcast on Wednesday, November 18 at 11pm ET on SIRIUS channel 18 and XM channel 45.

More from’s Music Mix:
Solange covers the Dirty Projectors, delivers a little bit of awesome
‘American Dad’ to welcome My Morning Jacket: Two-Tone Tommy gives us the scoop!

The Killers’ Brandon Flowers on live albums, vampires, and Sinatra: A Music Mix Q&A
Exclusive Monsters of Folk video: ‘The Sandman, the Brakeman and Me’
Yeasayer’s ‘Ambling Alp’: A psych-pop bubble bath

Electro-pop chanteuse Roisin Murphy gets 'Orally Fixated' on new single

Irish dancefloor iconoclast Roisin Murphy’s new single “Orally Fixated” doesn’t physically come to the U.S. until November 17, but its synthetic charms are already wending their way through the internet’s many channels.

If you think that Roisin is singing about an oral fixation because she’s nine months pregnant—meaning she eats a lot of pickles, right?—well, bless your sweet heart, and try to tune out the words while you listen to the lyrically NSFW song after the jump.


Ellie Goulding: The Music Mix recommends

Today in the Venn diagram of Things We Love and Things Europe Has a Lock On: sprightly blond glitch-pop pixies. The magical continent that brought us Robyn, Annie, and Lykke Li has yielded yet another Girl Wonder: 22-year-old Welsh songstress Ellie Goulding.

Goulding has already found some fame over there, collaborating with the likes of Mark Ronson and FrankMusic and touring with Little Boots; honestly, she had me at her covers (Bon Iver’s spooky campfire sketch “The Wolves (Act 1 and II”) rendered in stunning a capella; a Bjork-meets-mad-Chipmunks take on Sam Sparro’s techno-romantique torcher “Black and Gold”). Then mournful little sonic icicle “Wish I’d Stayed” sealed the deal; she sounds like The Never Ending Story’s Childlike Empress, post disco-bender comedown. Delightful!

Her debut isn’t actually due in England until June of next year, with no word yet of a U.S. release; in the meantime, find several tracks streaming on her MySpace (including the aforementioned covers), and listen to the enchanting “Starry Eyed,” below:

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW’s Music Mix:
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Adam Lambert vs. Rihanna: Battle of the bizarro album covers!

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Fever Ray in concert: A pagan laser-fest at granny's house

What does a Fever Ray concert look like? Well, imagine stumbling upon a pagan sacrificial ritual in a misty forest under the blanket of night… if a laser-tag game was raging the heavens. Oh, and don’t forget a touch of Grandma’s house, maybe some antique lamps scattered around the stage. It might look something like that.

Fever Ray—Karin Andersson of the beloved Swedish electronic duo The Knife—put on two otherworldly, thrilling shows at New York’s Webster Hall this week.

Not that you can really see her; a furry black cloak swallowed her head for half of the show, so it often felt like jamming to one of the creatures from Where the Wild Things Are in concert. But nothing could take away from her inimitable voice, which was in great form—she went from a child-like whine to a god-like boom within the space of a single verse, whether singing “the hit” (“When I Grow Up”) or standout album tracks like “Seven” and “I’m Not Done.”

Her onstage entourage of musicians were dressed similarly: If she was the high priestess, they were the druids lurching to her eerie synths and tribal electro weirdness. The whole thing seemed ancient and subhuman, as if it was transported from some lost pre-Christian civilization.

Which is to say, ‘S wonderful.

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Sufjan Stevens’ ‘Enjoy Your Rabbit’ Osso cover

Pearl Jam tops the albums chart
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Amy Winehouse rapping: How many seconds can you stand before you press stop?
New Andrew Bird video, ‘Anonanimal’

Tokio Hotel, 'Noise': An exclusive Music Mix stream

The Germans are coming! Kraut-pop juggernaut Tokio Hotel have a new album, Humanoid, due October 6 — and as twins Bill and Tom Kaulitz themselves recently told EW, they never expected the level of success they’ve found internationally (“We came from a small village … It was a lot of happy and lucky moments for us, and we are totally happy that we got the chance to do all this.”)

Listen to an exclusive snippet of the song “NOISE,” from Humanoid, below. and see if makes you feel happy and lucky:

A little background on the track: Producer David Jost tells us: “Bill and Tom had the initial ideas for ‘NOISE.’ They roughly captured their ideas in their home studio in Germany and then sent them over to me and my partners in LA. A few days later Bill stood in front of the mic in our old recording studio in Hamburg. We could see him on a big screen in our LA studio, while we recorded him in real time.”

Adds Bill Kaulitz (pictured): “Two weeks later, Tom and I took a flight to LA, where we all finished the track together. When the song was done Tom was so pumped! Actually, the track almost became our first single.”

What do you think, readers — how does it compare to official first single “Automatic”?

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Michael Jackson’s new song and album release
Glee’s version of ‘Somebody to Love’: Awe-capella!
‘New Moon’ soundtrack: Hurricane Bells singer explains how he got the gig
Jay-Z tops the albums chart again

Wildbirds & Peacedrums: The Music Mix recommends

Last night, Wildbirds & Peacedrums—a married couple from Sweden who make folk music weird enough to match their band’s name—played New York’s Bowery Ballroom. Although they were the openers for Britain’s Fanfarlo, who performed a set of thumping Arcade Fire-esque anthems that justified their growing buzz, W&P were the evening’s focal point.

Like Björk or Kate Bush, it’s hard to imagine anyone else touching the strange, fantastic place these two Wildbirds tap for inspiration. And crazily enough, they relay their weird world using not much more than Mariam Wallentin’s soulful vocals and her husband Andreas Werliin’s tribal drumming. Check out one of their vids after the jump.


Tokio Hotel: A Music Mix Q&A

A pair of twins who only just turned twenty are leading Germany’s latest musical blitzkrieg. Bill and Tom Kaulitz are half of the emo-pop foursome Tokio Hotel, and with the release of their second U.S. album Humanoid this October, the European superstars seem poised to finally break into America’s mainstream.

Why is this group of Hot Topic Deutschlanders leagues ahead of the competition? Maybe it’s lead singer Bill Kaulitz’s thick Robert Smith makeup and Mad Max punk fashion aesthetic. Or does the combination of twin brothers (and self-described soul mates) in a band truly make for emo magic?

We talked to them about guitarist Tom’s secret hip-hop recordings(!), Bill’s Twilight obsession, and why they named their band after a city they’ve never even been to.

Entertainment Weekly: Did you ever think you would end up so successful so quickly?

Bill Kaulitz: No, we never, ever expected that. We came from a small village and there is no music business there. We never expected it—it was a lot of happy and lucky moments for us, and we are totally happy that we got the chance to do all this. There was never a plan behind it. We just did our thing and try to be good.

EW: Does your success change the way you approach writing music? Do you ever go into the studio thinking, “I should I try to write a hit”?

BK: We try to push the pressure away. It’s not good in the studio if you think, “Oh, I have to write a hit like ‘Monsoon’ or something.” You just go ahead and write your thoughts down. Just try to do things you love and I think then it’s always good. If you like what you do then it’s fine.

EW: Tom, I hear you’re into hip-hop—would you ever try to incorporate that into your sound?


The Script talk about opening for Paul McCartney and U2

Two months ago, guitarist Mark Sheehan of Irish trio the Script got a call from the band’s manager. “He said, ‘Oh, I had to cancel these other gigs that you really wanted to do,'” Sheehan tells the Music Mix. “I was like, ‘Aw, dude, why’d you do that?’ He joked around with me for a while, just made me feel terrible. And then he went, ‘Well, because Sir Paul’s asked: Will you guys support him?'”

“Sir Paul,” of course, is Paul McCartney, who was looking for an opening act for several of his American dates this summer. The Script — which includes singer/keyboardist Danny O’Donoghue (pictured, center)  and drummer Glen Power (right) along with Sheehan (left) — accepted the former Beatle’s offer without hesitation.

They finally met McCartney face-to-face last Friday, right before their first show with him at N.Y.C.’s Citi Field. “We were kind of wondering, would we bump into Sir Paul in the hallway?” says Sheehan. “Should we go up and say hi? Do you call him Sir Paul, Macca, Paul, Mr. McCartney? We didn’t want to disrespect him! And then we were sitting [backstage] and all of a sudden the door opened and it was actually Paul McCartney standing there.” Sheehan and his bandmates eagerly drank up the older musician’s career advice. “He goes, ‘What is it like for you guys, coming from being a very small band? ‘Cause we as the Beatles had to go through that.’ The way he said that alone, we were like, ‘The Beatles!‘ He said, ‘John would do this and this…’ By the way, this John he’s talking about is John Lennon! Amazing.”


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