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Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

I Drive My Friend

I was pleased to see Pitchfork report that Danish orch-rock combo Under Byen will be returning to North America this March including a show March 8th at the Mod Club. My appreciation for the band and their 2006 release Samme Stof Som Stof is well documented and the venue (and its elaborate lighting rig) is a perfect choice for one of the most visually striking bands I saw last year.

But also noteworthy is their tourmate for this visit – singer/songwriter Frida Hyvonen. Her debut Until Death Comes was released in her native Sweden in 2005 to much success and in North America last Fall by Secretly Canadian. Based around her austere but perfectly appropriate piano playing, Hyvonen’s simple songs are compact (the album’s ten tracks clock in at under half an hour) and initially sound a bit cold and emotionally detached. Upon further listens, however, it’s evident that’s as much the characteristic Swedish accent and delivery as anything else, and the songs are actually bubbling with emotion as well as a healthy dose of humour – they’re not so much distant as just guarded and maybe a bit prickly. But charming through and through.

She also has another release due out on January 24 as part of a new series entitled, “Frida Hyvonen Gives You”, intended to be an outlet for anything and everything Hyvonen decides should see the light of day. If that sounds like a ticket for strangeness, you’re probably correct – the first release is called Music From The Dance Performance PUDEL and if you were wondering, “Pudel” means “poodle” in German and the dance performance in question indeed apparently featured 20 dancing poodles. For real. More info on the release here.

MP3: Frida Hyvonen – “You Never Got Me Right”
Video: Frida Hyvonen – “I Drive My Friend” (MOV)
Video: Frida Hyvonen – “The Modern” (MOV)
MySpace: Frida Hyvonen

Hyvonen’s labelmate and tourmate from this past Fall, Jens Lekman talks a bit about his new album which apparently sounds like Kortedala, circa 2001. It’s currently untitled but he hopes it’ll be out before Summer of this year and so do I.

Idlewild have released the first video from forthcoming album Make Another World, due out February 26. Though they warn that it’s not representative of the record, “If It Takes You Home” is arguably one of the punkier and fiercer tracks the band has recorded in some years and for those who think that 100 Broken Windows is still their finest hour (that’s my hand in the air), it’s encouraging. You can stream the song at their MySpace or watch the vid below.

Video: Idlewild – “If It Takes You Home” (WMV)

The Ottawa Sun talks to Emily Haines, who plays the Danforth Music Hall on Saturday.

PopMatters and I had the same taste in television last year. And I really do mean to catch up on The Wire soon.

By : Frank Yang at 8:20 am
Category: Uncategorized
RSS Feed for this post2 Responses.
  1. Karl says:

    The unreleased stuff Jens Lekman played at the Pitchfork Fest was wonderful (and funny). And having a band comprised entirely of Swedish hotties was a good choice also (he was the indie Robert Palmer)!

  2. Dan Dickinson says:

    I know I’ll sound like every other person who watched TV this year but…The Wire is the best show on TV.