Sweden. Land of Volvos, ergonomic furniture, nude saunas and cataclysmically successful electronic artists. The rise of acts like the Swedish House Mafia as well as new hopes Cazzette and KillFM have in recent years created a surge in curiosity as to what appears to be a kind of Stockholm syndrome for electronic music.
Sweden however, appears ready to present a wider offering music wise to the Scandanavian war drums we’re all now accustomed to. This August sees Way Out West Festival , held annually in Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg, featuring a wide spectrum of artists, including Azelia Banks, Local Natives, Beach House and Bat For Lashes alongside known electronic acts. Having run successfully as a national fixture for some time, this year the Swedish Tourist Board are reaching further out, in the hope of putting the festival, and Gothenburg, on the international radar.
As a result, this week saw the launch of Gothenburg Presents, held at Electrowerkz, Islington. The expansive multi-roomed venue (including a bar made out of a converted tube train) hosted representatives from Gothenburg’s fashion houses, club owners and two of their latest indie offerings Say Lou Lou and Lune .
The two groups offered very different takes on live performance. Say Lou Lou , twin sisters backed by a drummer and a guitarist, played a melancholic, echoey set that seemed to fit the smoke-filled, dark main room of the venue perfectly. With perfect harmonics and a kind of anger in their delivery despite the soft backing, it’s easy to see the duo’s sound becoming popular both on different live line ups and also on the remix circuit.
Meanwhile Lune , proved to be quite a unique animal. Having done vocal work for the likes of Adrian Lux and Sebastian Ingrosso, singer Linnea Martinsson’s debut was as bizarre as it was powerful.
Appearing on stage kneeling, in a full motocross outfit with stickers on her face, Lune proceeded to go through around an hour of deeply haunting songs, backed by heavily filtered electronica and soft kick drums, all the while with a male assistant shining torches in her face and wrapping blankets around her. Whilst the live act may indeed be eccentric, the quality of performance was straight up well delivered.