Music Monday: Oscar Soul Experience

Happy Monday! I am alive! I apologize for not posting last week. It’s been a rough part of the semester with midterms going on but I’m feeling pretty good now. This week seems like it will be pretty low key so I am hoping to write an update soon!

I am super excited about the band this week. I know I say that every week because I haven’t found any music that I don’t like. I just had a lot of fun seeing them perform on Friday. My friend and I randomly decided to go to a Facebook event that was recommended. We headed to Södra Teatern without knowing what to expect and had an absolute blast! If you want to join me on November 15th, I will be going to see them again because it was an incredible experience.

About the Band

This week, I am talking about Oscar Soul Experience. The band is made of several members which include: bandleader Oscar Ögren (Vocals & Guitar), Lucas Johansson (Keys), Niklas Krantz (Guitar), Oliver Löwenham (Bass), Noa Svensson (Drums) as well as members on the trombone and saxophone (I couldn’t find their names). The band was started in 2016, since then they’ve has played over 200 shows and toured around Sweden, China, Finland, the UK, and the USA. They are passionate and talented performers who bring everything they have to the table and aim to spread their love for music and soul to bring people together.

Their Sound

The band’s sound is rooted in old school soul and funk with influences from other genres such as R&B, rock, and jazz. Their sound is inspired by artists such as Bill Withers, Al Green, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, and D’angelo. Besides playing covers, they also write and perform original music. No matter what type of music you are into their music will get you off your feet and dancing all night long.

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Music Monday: Mind Us

It is a beautiful Monday here in Stockholm. It might be the sunshine, the fact that I am no longer sick, I have had a great weekend or that I’ve been surrounded by great music. I think its all of the above…

One of my friends and I needed something to do on Friday night and so we decided to head to Eataly in Stockholm and see Mind Us perform. We got some great pizza and gelato and made friends (maybe?) with the guys in the band.

I am so excited to highlight their band this week. Unfortunately, I don’t have too much information about them to share except that their music is great and everyone in the band is so sweet and of course, Swedish 😉 I might be a little biased since I know Mattias (he’s my LLC coordinator, there will be info about it soon!) but that shouldn’t sway you from listening to them!

About the Band

The band, Mind Us, is made up of four friends: Hjalmar Paulsson Rokke (guitar, lead vocals), Erik Jalkéus (bass, vocals), Kalle Hammarberg (percussion, vocals) and occasionally Mattias Olofsson (jazz guitar).

Their Sound

We actually had a great conversation about genres and what their band might fit into. (if you’re curious about genres, these two sites are interesting, one about history and one that’s explorative ) My first thought was they have a sound that’s similar to John Mayer. The chill singer/ songwriter vibes with a little alternative blues and pop sounds. I think the genre neo mellow actually works really well for them. They have a sound that’s easy to listen to at any time of day, whether it be with morning coffee or an evening dinner.

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Music Monday: Shout Out Louds

If I could shout, I would be shouting about how great this band is. Unfortunately, I can’t because I am still sick, but I suppose that’s how it goes once it starts getting cold and when I choose to go out too much (see my post last week).

I would absolutely love to see this band live, but the night they are playing I will be leaving for Geneva, Switzerland for my core course long study tour (Stay tuned for a post about that!) So if you’re in Stockholm and looking for something to do October 27th, check them out, and let me know how it was!

About the Band

The band, Shout Out Louds, is made up of childhood friends Adam Olenius (vocals), Ted Malmros (bass), and Carl von Arbin (guitars), as well as Eric Edman (drummer) and Bebban Stenborg (keyboard). The band originally started as a hobby in 2001 but has since grown to be internationally recognized (in my opinion, not enough). They’ve gone from playing small bars and clubs in Stockholm to signing with Capitol Records, one of the biggest record companies in the United States. They’ve played at festivals such as Coachella alongside bands such as Weezer and Coldplay and have toured with The Strokes, The Magic Numbers, The Rosebuds, and The Essex Green.

Their Sound

They encompass what it means to be an indie-pop band but with a slight alternative sound. They have an upbeat and melodic sound and almost seem to make sad songs sound happy as well as the other way around. One of their popular songs, Jumbo Jet, reminds me a little of the band Cage the Elephant. When I listen to them I just imagine summer and sitting outside by the fire or watching the day go by on the porch. I feel like this band is perfect to listen to whether you’re studying, working or just hanging out.

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Music Monday: Den Svenska Björnstammen

Here in Stockholm, it’s starting to get a little cooler which unfortunately means that people are starting to get sick. I am now in this category of sick people, apparently going dancing two nights in a row can have consequences to your health. Did I learn my lesson? Probably not… But, a positive effect of that is finding out about this band!

Some friends and I went to a night club and the theme for the night was “Party like its 2007-2011.” The oddly specific time period and the fact that it was September 21st, drew us in because we needed a night to remember. A song started playing and I took a minute to use my handy dandy phone to Shazam it, turned out it was Trumma Trumma by the band Den Svenska Björnstammen.

About the Band

The band’s name, Den Svenska Björnstammen can loosely be translated to, The Swedish Bear Tribe, I think… The band is made up of 7 members: Dan Brännvall, Mattias Göransson, Kim Dahlberg, Ambjörn Göransson, Klas Isaksson, Petter Frisendahl and Åke Olofsson. Their breakthrough came in 2011 with the release of their song “Vart Jag Mig I Världen Vänder,” which reached number 1 on the Swedish Top Hits chart.

Their Sound

Their sound can be described as a mix of techno or electronic with pop. There are some slight hints of Indie rock as well, depending on what song you’re listening to. With their range of different styles on their several albums, it’s easy for anyone to find something they like, whether you like casual listening or dancing. If you’re interested in the sound and content of their lyrics on their new album Iskanten, check out this post! (Will need to translate from Swedish)

Iskanten (The ice edge) off their newest album “Iskanten” released earlier this year in May.
Fun Facts:

With the debut of their first album, “Ett fel närmare rätt,” in 2012, they released a 30-minute documentary containing many of their songs. It received mixed reviews from many music critics, but this trend of film type music video has been taken up by many artists within the past few years.

Their newest album “Iskanten” was released on what I think is a wooden box? Supposedly the only way to win it was to play and win a game they created. Shout out to their creativity!

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Vaxholm

One of my first Swedish Adventures was to a city called Vaxholm. My roommate Val and I wanted to go somewhere in the Swedish Archipelago so we did some googling about recommended places to go. Found the website about the archipelago (found here) and got on a train and then a bus to get to the city. We had no idea what to do or what we wanted to do, besides see what the hype is about.

Getting there

From my house, Vaxholm is only 24 miles away, but it took less than an hour and a half to get there. We ended up taking the Red 14 line almost to the last stop and taking a bus. The bus ride felt a little on the longer side since it was somewhat crowded with people.

The bus ride wasn’t all bad we had some nice views for part of it!

What To Do?

We had no idea what we wanted to do once we got there and just figured it out as we went which was a fun way to do it. We saw lots of cute buildings and boats!

We were also intrigued by this round building that we later found out is the Vaxholm Fortress. We took a ferry over to the island to check it out.

Fun Fact: The fortress was used as a movie location for the 1970’s movie, “Pippi in the South Seas” which features Pippi Longstocking on an adventure to hunt for her father who’s been kidnapped by pirates.

We didn’t get a chance to tour the museum or walk the plank (I’m a little disappointed it wasn’t available…) BUT we did walk up several flights of stairs to see the view from the tower.

We also found some great photo spots, one with a sea mine and the other at a random table that was kind of cute.

Lunch

After walking up all those stairs we worked up quite the appetite. We found a restaurant that wasn’t going to hurt the wallet too much because we are still students with tons of debt even if we are studying abroad. I didn’t end up getting the name of the place because we were very hungry.

I wanted to be adventurous and get a traditional Swedish meal and a Swedish beer of course. I got fried herring and mashed potatoes with some lingonberries and a salad on the side. I thought it was alright, the herring was a little too bony for me, but I would be willing to try it again.

I’ll be back to the Swedish Archipelago at some point and get to see a few more islands, until then…

See ya later, Vaxholm

Music Monday: Veronica Maggio

This weeks artist is often referred to the Queen of Pop, if you don’t know already know, it’s Veronica Maggio! The best way to blend in like a local in Sweden is to be singing any of her songs, just not out loud on the t-bana because they will think you’re crazy…

I actually already knew this artist but rediscovered her while I’ve been here. A few years ago I made a playlist with Scandinavian artists to help me with my listening skills to help me learn Norwegian and she was on the playlist, so when I heard her song at an event I surprised myself that I knew it.

Veronica Maggio @ Stadion, Stockholm, 2016-08-13 Foto: Sofia Blomgren/Rockfoto

About the Artist

Veronica Maggio is a Swedish singer and songwriter from the city of Uppsala (which is only like 45 miles from Stockholm). One of her many claims to fame was that she helped write the 2013 hit “Hey Brother” for Avicii. Shes won several Swedish music awards including the 2007 “Årets Nykomling” (Newcomer of the year) at the Grammisgalan and later in 2012 won “Pop of the Year” along with many other awards.

Her Sound

Despite her songs being in Swedish the melodic lyrics easily get stuck in your head. Her sound ranges from an energetic unapologetic pop beat to a sweet heartfelt ballad. Much of her songwriting is based on a “write what you see” perspective and often contains lyrics regarding every life such as restlessness, parties and hangovers and relationships. If you need a new song to dance in front of the mirror to, I’m sure you could find a favorite within Veronica’s discography. Jeg kommer (translates to: I’m coming) has been one of my favorites lately!

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Music Monday: Summer Psychosis

This weeks featured artist is a band called Summer Psychosis. I happened to just stumble upon this band while looking for something to do with my Friday night. I was walking around with a friend and heard some music coming from inside a bar and decided to check it out.

Summer Psychosis performing their newly released EP at Bar Brooklyn in Hornstull, Stockholm

About the Band

It turns out it was an EP release party for the band Summer Psychosis. Since they are just starting out there isn’t a whole lot of information about them besides that they are a Stockholm based band and the band consists of Sagah Larsson on vocals, Jonas Lundquist on bass, Anton Fernandez on drums and Leon Fernandez on guitar.

Their Sound

Summer Psychosis is a grunge/ alternative rock band. Their music is heavily influenced by 80’s grunge genre and has strong influences from Nirvana, Radiohead and Stone Temple Pilots. If you like reminiscing about your days as an angsty teen or just like rocking out, I would recommend you check them out.

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Music Monday: Menke

I thought it would be a fun way to document my time in Stockholm through music so every Monday (hopefully) I will make a post relating to some type of music or artist!

The first artist I am highlighting was one I got to see perform at an adorable bookshop called Rönnels Antikvariat. It was an extremely intimate experience and I had the opportunity to sit right in the front, less than a foot away from her.

Menke’s set up included an acoustic guitar, piano, banjo, lyre, and several wine glasses. She was accompanied by a bass, electric, and acoustic guitar as well as drums!

About the Artist

Menke is a Swedish singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. She uses somewhat unconventional instruments such as the lyre (a small harp-like instrument) and wine glasses to give a unique and atmospheric sound to her music. Her 2017 debut single “Moln” is a musical interpretation of the poem by the renowned Swedish poet Karin Boye. Many of her other songs are also interpretations of poems or songs that she has written herself.

Her Sound

Her music falls into an abstract atmospheric category that can also be described as “Soundscape.” She manages to create sounds that surround you and take you to another world. The bright melancholy vocals could easily lull you to sleep. If you’re looking for music for your nap playlist or just chilling out and watching the world go by, I would highly recommend you add her music to your playlist immediately!

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What Are Field Studies And What Do You Do For Them?

I know that when I first read that every Wednesday, instead of having class, we have field study days, I had no idea what that meant or entailed. Depending on what course you are taking, they are usually events that pertain to a topic or topics in your class. For example, for my Psychology of Loneliness class, we are meeting with a mindfulness instructor to guide us through mindfulness exercises and discuss how they can help with loneliness

I decided not to go to a bunch of museums when I first got here, just in case I go to any for my field study days and to give me something to do in the winter. One of the places I wanted to go to and happened to go to for my first field study was to Fotografiska, The Museum of Photography. I went with my core course Public Health and Migration to see the exhibit Memories by James Nachtwey.

Memories by James Nachtwey

James Nachtwey is a world-renowned photojournalist who focuses on war, conflict and social upheaval. His images capture the effects and injustices that war and man-made and natural disasters can have on people in a powerful way.

We were looking at his exhibit with the lense of public health and migration. For example, seeing how disasters may influence outbreaks or reasons why people may migrate to other countries.

WARNING: Some individuals may find the images below disturbing

The other exhibits at Fotografiska were equally thought-provoking and impactful, but you’ll just have to come visit Sweden to experience it for yourself!

Lunch at Hermans

Following our class trip around Fotografiska, our professor was kind enough to take us to his favorite place for lunch, Hermans, which is a delicious vegan/vegetarian restaurant. I actually found out afterward that one of my friends who has been to Stockholm had it on her list of recommended places! It’s right up the hill from the museum and has a beautiful view that overlooks the harbor.

It’s great to explore the city by yourself and with friends but the field studies give you a great opportunity to connect the new place you’re living with your studies and experience things you may not have thought to do or would have been able to do otherwise!

Tack så mycket! (Thanks so much) I’m starting to learn a little bit of Swedish! Locals are not fooled.

‘Holm Away From Home

Fika, Music, and More

Settling into Stockholm has come pretty naturally. Surprisingly, I am already unpacked, a characteristic that is somewhat unlike me at home but has helped me settle in much quicker. Besides pack, one of the first things that I did with one of my new roommates was go for a walk and explore the area we were going to be living in.

We found a lot of really nice parks behind our house where we saw lots of people running and enjoying the last of the summer weather as well as a bunch of boats and boat rentals. I can’t wait to go kayaking!

One of the ways my roommate and I got to know each other was by getting Fika (more about this later!) together at a cute cafe down the street.

Fika at Sthlm Raw a super cute vegan cafe. Fun fact: Oat milk is one of the most popular milk options in Sweden since it was created here. It makes a great latte since it foams up so well!

I also got the opportunity to go on an exploration tour during orientation. I made a group with some other students and went to Gamla Stan, which is Stockholm’s old city and home to the Royal Palace. I am hoping to go back either earlier or later in the day to experience the beauty of the old cobbled streets and small shops without huge groups of tourists, but I hear that’s pretty typical.

While looking for things to do around the summer, some of my new friends and I discovered that one of my favorite bands, Bastille, was playing at Gröna Lund, which is like a huge carnival/amusement park. We had an hour before the show started and hopped on the ferry (which is something I’ve always wanted to do!) and had such a great night! We will be going back soon to try out some of the rides!

All in all, it’s been a really great start to the semester and I can’t wait to make a bunch of amazing memories!