Scan Magazine, Issue 94, November 2016

Page 132

Scan Magazine  |  Culture  |  Columns

Scandinavian music Norwegian house trio Seeb are back with their first new single since the massive Breathe was released earlier in the year. They are out with What Do You Love, featuring British singer Jacob Banks. It is a modern dance number in the sense that it is more pop than dance – and with a soulful undercurrent, it is as tailor made for radio playlists and singles charts as it is for dance floors. The three Norwegians recently provided the radio mix on Mike Posner’s global smash, I Took a Pill in Ibiza. After a couple of years releasing funkedup pop jams, Danish artist Christopher has served us a big ballad as his new single Heartbeat. It is a beautiful track that builds and builds into an orchestral finish – all via the slightest of RnB flavours. Given his looks and his penchant for up-tempo bangers, it is sometimes forgotten what an impressive set of pipes Christopher has on him, but this new single showcases his vocal capabilities brilliantly.

By Karl Batterbee

Norway’s Atella have recruited fellow Norwegian synth-pop hero Frøder on their brand new single. Closer To Life is an exceptionally well-produced and captivating track that serves twists and swerves on its four-minute journey through a cosmic dance floor. Delightful! Comparisons to Röyksopp are inevitable but fair, and Closer To Life genuinely stands up alongside the best output from their fellow Norwegian electro-pop pair. Two young Scandinavian talents have joined forces for a superb new track that I have been loving over the past few weeks. After a few years working as a producer for other acts, 24-year-old Swedish (now living in Norway) chap Robin Veela releases his debut single as an artist. The track is called People, and on it he has nabbed the singing and songwriting talents of 20-yearold Norwegian lass Kazi (Karoline Skjærvik Slemmen to her nearest and dearest). It is quite the banger this one. It is one of

those songs that just sounds like a huge hit waiting to happen.

Swedish survival guide: Father Christmas is Swedish By Joakim Andersson

A common misconception around the holiday season is that ‘Jultomten’, or Father Christmas, lives in the North Pole. Some say that he lives in Finland. This is all wrong. He lives in Sweden, and let me tell you why. Sweden has a rich folklore, which not only includes a naked fiddler sitting in a brook luring children down to drown, or a beautiful woman with the tail of a fox singing to attract men to get lost in the vast dark Scandinavian forests; it also includes house and garden gnomes, who, if you treat them well, help you with the hard work around the cottage or farm. These gnomes are believed to have pointy hats and long beards, just like modern ceramic garden gnomes you see all over the world today, and just like the modern Father Christmas, whose appearance slowly began to merge with the 132  |  Issue 94  |  November 2016

American Santa Claus about 100 years ago. Even the Swedish word ‘Jultomte’ reveals where I’m going with this: this is a compound word consisting of ‘jul’ (Christmas or yule) and ‘tomte’ (gnome) but which, if you look further back, comes from the Swedish word for back garden, ‘tomt’. In the 19th century, a Swedish artist named Jenny Nyström drew Christmas cards and illustrations to go with some Christmas poems by Viktor Rydberg. The illustrations were inspired by what people thought those mythical garden gnomes looked like and helped start the transformation of the new gift bringer on Christmas, Saint Nicholas, borrowed in from Germany, to resemble a Swedish gnome. Other artists developed the idea further and in America, where Saint Nicholas also was the gift bringer

at Christmas, this new concept began to merge with the old one. With some help from the Swedish-Finnish advertisement artist Haddon Sundblom, he also got his red clothes and eventually the modern Santa Claus was born. The Americanisation around the 1950s then brought back this semi-new character to Europe.

Joakim Andersson is a Swedish musician, YouTuber, podcaster, and entrepeneur who calls himself an enjoyer of life. He is the founder of Say It In Swedish, which is a podcast, web and mobile app, and YouTube channel that teaches modern Swedish in a fun and easy-going way for free. Check it out at

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