10 Songs We Loved In 2019
This is not necessarily quite our 'Top 10 Songs of 2019', because we've probably missed something, but they are all tracks that we particularly loved over the 12 months, but are not covered in our 'Favourite Albums' list. It's in no particular order.
1. Treemer - 'Meeting'
From one of our favourite EPs of the year, new Finnish band 'Treemer' (with an old 'history') made a great impression with the title track from their EP 'Meeting'. With a band influenced by some fantastic artists such as 'The Cure' and 'Teenage Fanclub' (plus a mastering engineer whom we discovered loves Cardiacs), this was always going to be out type of thing.
2) Minru - Windmills
Swedish musician 'Minru, who is based in Berlin, really captured our hearts with her song 'Windmills', with dreamy vocals and delicate melodies - check out her EP 'Yearnings' that came out earlier this year too.
3) Vilnes - 'Play with Me'
We introduced Norwegian musician 'Vilnes' back in 2018, and he returned in style with a great indie pop track 'Play With Me' in March. He also released a self titled EP towards the end of this year, and all his songs are worth listening to.
4) The Flavians - Eloise
Lots to look forward to in 2020, including an album release from part Swedish band 'The Flavians'. I really like their releases so far including this track 'Eloise', which has a different to it, gorgeous 60's influenced melodies and instrumentation.
5) St. Bennett's - Oh Sweet Devil.
We really enjoyed the trilogy of songs which charted the story of the poor farmer in 'St Bennett's' 'The Devil Awaits' EP. The Bergen band really found their feet with these songs, the highlight being the opener 'Oh Sweet Devil', but once you've listened to this you'll want to hear the conclusion of the story.
6) Astral Brain - From Above
With a hint of bands such as 'Melody's Echo Chamber' and even 'The Mummers', the sounds of 'Astral Brain' were always going to be appealing. The duo went on to release a 2nd single called 'Five Thousand Miles' before the end of the year, and an album is planned in 2020.
7. When 'Airy Met Fairy - Blanket of Sorrow
Just before the end of the year, lcelandic / Swiss duo 'When 'Airy Met Fairy released a powerful track and video that I guess was an 'alternative' Christmas song. We really liked it, and we'r definitely looking forward to their album in 2020.
8) Army of Moths - Not Alone
So I guess the 2 rules of Nordic Music Review are that tracks have to be from a 'Nordic' artist, and that we really don't like too much profanity in songs. The Army of Moths are from Glasgow / Manchester and their song 'Not Alone' (released at the end of the year) is full of expletives. But it's also bloomin' fantastic and expertly mixed by Norwegian Andre Lund...so it definitely qualifies for inclusion.
9) 'YOHIO' - 'Defeating a Devil a Day'
'YOHIO' released a stream of singles in 2019 that we loved almost as much as his huge following, but 'Defeating a Devil a Day' was a particular favourite and reminded us of bands like 'Jellyfish' and 'Jackdaw 4', albeit written to an inconceivably large scale. His album in 2020 will be simply massive.
10) The Stillwalkers - 'Concrete Heart'
Probably my favourite Nordic track of the year, 'The Stillwalker' returned with an epic 6 minute song entitled 'Concrete Heart', which is blistering and blissful in equal quantities. We are, of course, eagerly awaiting their 2nd album but in the meantime, out of nowhere, the tracks from their unreleased EP 'Slow Moves' have popped up on Soundcloud.
11 Elisif Norrman - Feathers
OK, here's a bonus track, from Swedish artist Elisif Norrman, which we liked for the lovely quirky instrumental arrangements. She also released an EP at the end of 2019.
Apologies to all the artists we've missed, from the likes of 'I See Rivers' to 'Amini' and 'Merriment and Dirt', but we look forward to writing about them in 2020. Best wishes everyone again for the year ahead!