Twee is the Heavenly Option
September 3, 2006 5:42 PM   Subscribe

as often nostalgic and sad as they are summery and blissful, indiepop songs have long been the refuge of popkids the world around who embrace DIY but reject the rebellion of punk and pretentiousness of indie-rock. Over the years the regional focus has shifted from the twee bands in the united kingdom in the 80s to australia in the early nineties, to the northwestern united states, and to strangely.. sweden. Maybe its the combination of warm scarfs and good social services, but for whatever reason sweden's young generation has embraced the genre and, armed with casios and knit sweaters, have set about reminding the rest of us how truly wonderful and affecting it can be
posted by petsounds (29 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
thank you for this.
posted by AaRdVarK at 5:56 PM on September 3, 2006

I really liked the nixon & free loan investments tracks, so far all I've dl'd. Great post, thanks!
posted by jonson at 6:18 PM on September 3, 2006

Do you have to ruin your post with jibes at Pitchfork? At least they know the rules of captialisation. Nothing says pretentiousness like lower-case writing.
posted by dydecker at 6:26 PM on September 3, 2006

The shift key is your friend. Learn it. Know it. Live it.
posted by kcds at 6:27 PM on September 3, 2006

This is a great opportunity to command you all to listen to the very Swedish, very twee, very great Club 8. [.mp3 link]
posted by escabeche at 6:33 PM on September 3, 2006

My favorite twee tune right now is I Hate the War by The Ballet. Super good.
posted by yeti at 6:46 PM on September 3, 2006

yes i agree escabeche.. club 8 is wonderful. : ) jonson if you liked that nixon song, heres some more!
posted by petsounds at 6:50 PM on September 3, 2006

I find a lot of indiepop and twee annoying, but The Boy Least Likely To is awesome and one of the best. Check out their killer cover of George Michael's "Faith". You can listen to other songs there too.
posted by heylight at 6:56 PM on September 3, 2006

my capslock is on, but i can't let go of the shift key.
posted by Leather McWhip at 7:00 PM on September 3, 2006

I really like that cover of Faith - I think I first heard about it on GoodWeatherForAirstrikes, which is a fantastic MP3 blog. And thanks for the nixon, petsounds - I had heard of them before, but only because Wayne White, an artist I'm a fan of, designed two early album covers for them, I believe.
posted by jonson at 7:02 PM on September 3, 2006

Actually, as usual, I'm totally confusing two separate things. Wayne White designed a cover for an album CALLED Nixon, by a completely different band.
posted by jonson at 7:06 PM on September 3, 2006

sorry about the pitchfork jibe. i guess my issue with pitchfork isnt that they're pretentious but that they ignore so much really good truly independent music in favor of catering to the boring hipster aesthetic where style and trendiness matters more than anything else. its like they dont actually love music but love the idea of it, if that makes any sense. in any case, there are plenty of other places on the net to find music to fall in love with!
posted by petsounds at 7:08 PM on September 3, 2006

I had to help my uncle jack off a horse
posted by dydecker at 7:10 PM on September 3, 2006

If you want to download it and save it, the mp3 for the Boy Least Likely To's Faith is here (mp3). The band is so cute it's nauseating. But that's a good thing.
posted by yeti at 7:29 PM on September 3, 2006

Swedish indiepop is a new phenomenon? Weren't the Cardigans doing this stuff more than ten years ago?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:57 PM on September 3, 2006

More fun from Sweden:
Jens Lekman
Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
Acid House Kings
I'm from Barcelona

I wish I had more time to respond, as I am, and have been a huge fan of indie/twee for the past 15 years or so. I fell in love with the Sugargliders and all of the other Summershine bands back in the early '90s, and spent an inordinate amount of time on the indie-pop list back in the pre-web / pre days. I still check in with the scene from time to time despite growing old, jaded and finding my tastes have expanded far beyond my obsessive days of tweedom.

Nice post. Thanks!
posted by shoepal at 9:14 PM on September 3, 2006

ooh! to the sweden list, you also have to add:

hello saferide

firefox ak
el perro del mar

and a bit better known, the concretes would fall in here also.
posted by ab3 at 11:19 PM on September 3, 2006

Puh-leeeez. There isn't a damn thing wrong with Pitchfork. They're right far more often than they're wrong.
posted by Flashman at 5:36 AM on September 4, 2006

Actually, Pitchfork featured a pretty good article about the early indiepop scene about a year ago.
posted by schoolgirl report at 5:46 AM on September 4, 2006

I love the new Rose Melberg (Softies, Go Sailor, Tiger Trap, etc.) solo album, Cast Away the Clouds.
posted by D.C. at 7:47 AM on September 4, 2006 [1 favorite]

I for one cannot abide jangly, fey, indie pop. Maybe it's coming from Glasgow and having to put up with the likes of Belle and Sebastian and Camera Obscura (and hellishly many more) but the thought of more of this type of music fills me with dread.

I have had my fill of seeing painful hipsters walking about in their second-hand shop trousers whilst staying in the most expensive houses in town financed by minted, corporate parents. I have had my fill of the pasty faced gits sitting pretending to read Sylvia Plath poems at bus stops but are clueless about it if you ever ask them anything about it. But most of all I have had my fill of wan tales of remembered summers set to god awful 'tunes'.

Give me Iggy Pop screaming into the mic whilst getting whipped on stage by a woman dressed as a Nazi any day. That sounds a hell of a lot better than some rich, pasty faced, pretend outsider affectedly lamenting the loss of a Lord Anthony jacket that cost shitloads on eBay (although invariably a lie would be made up that it was unearthed at some tea room bring'n'buy near a riverbank for 50p).
posted by ClanvidHorse at 8:10 AM on September 4, 2006

Er... I may have overdone it a bit there.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 8:12 AM on September 4, 2006

No one mentioned the Radio dept.? They're the best arround here. Other suggestions are Britta Persson, the Tiny, Vapnet and everything from Labrador records. And I know because I happen to be both swedish and twee ('mespop', as we call it).
posted by pica at 8:24 AM on September 4, 2006

ClanvidHorse, no you didn't. These tossers should be off playing badminton, not making music.

(ok, joke, I enjoy my share of fey twee pop music too)
posted by Flashman at 8:32 AM on September 4, 2006

I miss My Favorite.
posted by adipocere at 8:38 AM on September 4, 2006

schoolgirl report

That was exactly my first thought when reading this post. As a long time fan of Beat Happening and a handful of their peers, I found that Pitchfork article was the best overview of the twee scene I'd come across.

How ironic that petsounds chose this particular topic to try and take a dig at the Pitchfork folks, since this very topic is basically the only really decent article I've ever read there.
posted by Jezztek at 10:25 AM on September 4, 2006

thank you jezztek and schoolgirl report for pointing out that article, it was really good. i guess my assumptions about that site were unfair
posted by petsounds at 10:50 AM on September 4, 2006

Twee is the Heavenly Option

Cute title.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 2:17 PM on September 4, 2006

People say she's bad
But they Don't see
The way she is with me
P is for the painful way she makes me feel some day
U is for Utopia, the other times with her
N is for the new wave dreams she had back in her teens
K is for the kid in her, my PUNK girl
posted by shoepal at 3:03 PM on September 4, 2006

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