Swedish singer, Lykke Li broke onto the music scene in 2007 with her debut EP Little Bit, and was an instant success with her slightly unconventional, breathy voice, and minimalistic style. Her use of synthesisers and strings amongst other instruments gives her songs an ethereal quality, and the lyrics relate a deep anguish. The Nordic siren's melancholic nature comes across in her songs with a tenderness and vulnerability, and makes for beautiful listening.
Signed to 4AD, Danish indie-rock group, Efterklang's rich variety of instruments provides an energetic backdrop to lead singer Casper Clausen's gentle voice and thought-provoking lyrics. Each song is produced with such carefulness and precision, and on listening, the atmospheric sound plants images in your mind of the snow tipped pines and wide open spaces of Denmark. 'Modern Drift' has a cold, icy feel to it, and when the music swells in the chorus, the violins, drums and piano knit together to create a harmonious intertwining of contrasting themes.
Swedish-born Lekman's simplistic lyrics and uncomplicated style of music is crisp and fresh. Often compared with Belle & Sebastian and The Magnetic Fields, his most recent single An Argument With Myself stays just on the right side of Euro-pop - catchy hooks without veering towards Eurovision. Foregoing the usual strings section, Lekman's first EP since the release of his second album Night Falls Over Kortedala 4 years ago, contrasts with the rest of his discography, however it is a pleasant change, and shows Lekman's versatility in producing music with a twist.
Kings of ConvenienceNorwegian indie folk-pop duo, Kings of Convenience, who describe themselves as 'music your parents would like too', combine catchy songs with the beautifully melodic harmonies of Eirik Bøe and Erlend Øye. What they sometimes lack lyrically, they make up for in their pure voices and gentle guitar strumming, and their laid-back, almost jazzy style of music is soothing and mellow - the perfect soundtrack to a lazy afternoon.