Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Songs for the End of the Day from Slagger Lund (Denmark) and Mytoman (Sweden)

Slagger Lund (Denmark) – Jukebox (Jeg lytter til New Order) (single)

Always good to hear from Slagger Lund, who has been keeping himself busy this last year or so with his debut album ‘Maniak’, out of which we covered the inspired ‘To B. Laudrup or Not to B. Laudrup?’, which he had championed as Denmark’s unofficial World Cup song and in writing for a new album which will come out later in the year.

Pardon me for repeating myself but there aren’t enough characters in the music business like Slagger these days. There were, but most of them are in wheelchairs now while the younger generation is all too often satisfied with a bland approach which isn’t going to offend anyone, but which ends up characterless as a result.

I don’t think anyone would accuse Slagger of that. He seems to inhabit the fringe of society, a shadowy figure living on the edge, with many strings to his bow, a geezer in Cockney parlance. He would have made for a perfect Shakespearean character.

Barely finished with Mr Laudrup, he’s name-dropping again, this time Manchester’s 1980s synth pop post-punk band New Order whom, his new song ‘Jukebox (Jeg lytter til New Order)’ tells us, he listens to on that juke box (in an Aarhus pub).

And it was one such late night session, when Slagger had probably polished off a few Carlsbergs, that he wrote this ditty, which again is a piece of poetry set to music and which is true to the mantra of the New Order song (‘True Faith’) that so occupied him – that life is about being yourself with everything that it implies: sadness, love, hurt and anxiety.

“I listen to New Order / I didn’t mean to hurt you”. You can’t beat that for abstract lyricism.

But at the same time it is important to seek some meaning in a throwaway line like that because Slagger is always meaningful. While it is in Danish and I don’t have a translation I’ll wager it hangs on some sort of dispute which has seen him ejected from home and straight to the bar, where he is sorrowfully musing on how he can get back into her good books.

I don’t know, how can I best sum him up? I’ve never met him. He seems to be a sort of amalgam of Seasick Steve, Andy Capp (the Daily Mirror’s cartoon character from Hartlepool, who staggered home every might from the pub only to be hit over the head by a rolling pin wielded by his wife Flo), and Popeye.

He seems to have moved on from individual self promotion to a more professional base since our last encounter and that shows in the music, where there is a greater level of instrumentation including, I suspect, a hurdy-gurdy. It’s less DIY than it used to be; more the finished object.

Britain’s pubs and music venues are closing at an alarming rate. I reckon we need Slagger over here a.s.a.p. to start the fight back and reverse that trend.

Find him on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slaggerlund

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/slagger_lund/

Mytoman (Sweden) – If You Let Go (debut single)

This one is so old by now (April 25th release) that it would be past its best-before date if it was on a supermarket shelf but it deserves a listen all the same for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the seven-piece is out of Uppsala, which has spawned many reviews here in NMC.

Secondly they have two vocalists and often alternate lyrically between Swedish and English. Thirdly, the band name, Mytoman, is the Swedish equivalent of the English mythomania, which means telling porkies on a grand scale but I don’t think for a moment they are speaking with forked tongue here.

‘If You Let Go’ is the band’s debut single, and also the first song they wrote together, a six minute long examination of the emotions surrounding a loved one’s illness and possible imminent death.

Not a cheery subject for a Tuesday night but the outlook is improved by a jaunty rhythm and tune which addresses the more positive outlook on this sort of thing – a celebration rather than a wake.

Vocally I thought I was listening to a mash-up of The Corrs and The Cranberries at first. It has that degree of quality to it, unusually for a debut song and that quality pervades every aspect, from the simple but ear pleasing chord progressions to the little Blake Sennett-like guitar flourishes, to the overall structure to their ability to increase tension and then allow it to loosen again.

Few bands are capable of that change of pace especially and while the music is quite different I couldn’t help thinking of another start-up band who achieved it straight away with their first album, namely Arcade Fire, which is touring a 20th anniversary of ‘Funeral’ this summer. Quite a coincidence.

Its a few years now since I was last in Sweden at a festival and there were numerous high quality bands from Uppsala on the bill and most of them adhering to this US West Coast inspired style. I never hear of them these days but I suspect we will hear a lot more of Mytoman.

Mytoman will release their first EP later in the spring.

Mytoman are:

Isabell Hultgren Farsani – vocals

Klara Bergenheim – vocals

Lukas Kilander – drums

Erik Nyberg – bass

Calle Moberg – guitar

David Änghagen – guitar

Martin Huss – guitar

Find them on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mytoman.band

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_mytoman/

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