There are great songwriters that aren’t so compelling to watch, but they create great art, and then there are great performers who put on a great show but whose music is, well, forgettable. And then you have the rare gift of Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man On Earth, who not only crafts heartbreakingly poetic verses wrapped in lines that hook you in but puts on some of the best live shows with just himself and a guitar… or a banjo… or a keyboard.
Due to complications of traveling and the COVID-19 pandemic, catching The Tallest Man On Earth live again seemed like an increasingly distant dream. The last time I had seen Matsson perform was before the release of his last LP, I Love You. It’s A Fever Dream, back in 2018 at the Lincoln Theatre. A performance that stuck with me. So, standing in line on Sunday night for a sold-out show at the 9:30 Club, it felt like the thaw from a long winter of waiting. And it was well worth the wait.
Tove Styrke peforms at The Anthem on Feb. 24, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Swedish singer Tove Stryke was conversataional and casual, and she easily chatted with the audience between songs at The Anthem recently.
“I fell in love with my best friend recently,” Tove said, matter of factly, “and I did something I never did before: I wrote her a song.” Tove then sang that song, “Show Me Love,” near the end of a short opening set for Marina during their shared concert performance in DC.
Peter Bjorn and John release “Gone Gone Gone,” a single penned and produced by Bjorn and recorded with Hans Stenlund (Lykke Li, Wild Nothing) and Thom Monahan (Neko Case, Devandra Banhart) at the Ingrid Studios in Stockholm.
The single was mixed by Stenlund and the entire EP was mastered by Henke Jonsson at Masters of Audio in Stockholm. “Gone Gone Gone” follows Peter’s single “Season of Defiance,” which was released Nov. 13 with news of the Endless Play EP, which is due out on Dec. 11 via INGRID.
The Sounds burst out of Sweden in 2002 with Living in America, blowing us away with fantastic new wave. The five-member band, fronted by Maja Ivarsson, then became the toast of the town with their hip second record, Dying to Say This to You.
Over the past 20 years, The Sounds have remained very busy while maintaining a consistent lineup. Key to that lineup is Jesper Anderberg, keyboardist, pianist, and guitar player — a versatile contributor and a thoughtful presence during The Sounds’ kinetic performances.
Mickey McCarter of Parklife DC caught up with Jesper to chat about Things We Do For Love, the upcoming sixth full-length album by The Sounds, scheduled for release on June 12, and about what he’s been up to the past few years.
Swedish indie-rockers The Sounds will perform a free “Safe and Sound” concert which will be broadcast LIVE from the premier local venue The KB in their hometown of Malmö, Sweden on Friday, April 17. The show broadcasts across a number of social media platforms, including The Sounds’ own Facebook page.
Dennis Lyxzén fronts Refused at 9:30 Club on Feb. 21, 2020. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Until Friday, I never saw Refused, the Swedish hardcore punks. And I might never still have if a fellow blogger hadn’t missed the show due to a conflict.
I picked up the show at 9:30 Club on Feb. 21, and I was struck by the nuances of a band that I confess is a bit outside my wheelhouse. But what made the show for me was the dancing of frontman Dennis Lyxzén.