Forget Ikea and Volvo: some of Scandinavia’s greatest exports are musical. First came ABBA, with striking blonde looks and inescapable disco-infused pop beats that created an international phenomenon in the ’70s. In the ’80s, Roxette’s contribution to the Pretty Woman soundtrack made them a chart-topper; Ace of Base and The Cardigans continued the trend into the ’90s.
The musical scene in Scandinavia—Sweden, Norway and Denmark—has gotten even more interesting, or perhaps just more accessible, in the last decade. The Internet has given the world the opportunity to see what bands from towns like Bergen, Norway, and Gothenburg, Sweden, are creating (luckily for those of us who don’t live there). Artists like Icona Pop, Robyn, The Knife, and Peter Bjorn & John, who all hail from Sweden, have already found some mainstream success, but there are plenty of other Scandinavian artists angling to join them.
Here are seven Scandinavian artists you should be listening to now:
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