10 Scandinavian Artists You Should Listen To

Be it jazz, electronica, pop, or rock, Scandinavia has it all. If you’re a huge fan of the aforementioned musical genres, then you’ll certainly like the following 10 Scandinavian acts ranging from electronic music to jazz. The following list briefly describes 10 Scandinavian artists that you should really listen to in your some spare time.

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This list is consisting of 10 suggestions and is making exception of some well known bands such as ABBA or Europe (from Sweden), a-ha (from Norway) or Aqua (from Denmark), being thus focused on artists which are either new to the worldwide music scene or less popular in comparison to the previously named ones. There will be three entries for Norway, Sweden and Denmark and one entry for Iceland. Without further ado, here’s the list:

10. Röyksopp (Norwegian electronic band)

Röyksopp are a Norwegian electronic duo from Tromsø consisting of Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland. They are one of the most critically acclaimed electronic acts in the world, having released 7 studio albums as of 2014. Pitchfork Media included two of their songs in the top 500 songs of the 2000s.

Additionally, Pitchfork Media stated about their 4th studio album entitled ‘Senior’ that ‘the kind of downtempo stuff that makes up the majority of Röyksopp’s vocal-less compositions just doesn’t hold up to concentrated, repeated listens like many other forms of instrumental electronic music’.

Their first studio album, ‘Melody A.M.’ (released in 2001), was named the best Norwegian album of the 2000s by Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang. During the early 2000s the band was also approached to compose the soundtrack for The Matrix Reloaded, but they eventually declined the offer. Well known hits include ‘Eple’, ‘What Else is There?’, ‘So Easy’ and ‘Remind Me’. Röyksopp are also part of the Bergen wave of artists together with the Kings of Convenience, Annie or Erlend Øye.

Below you can listen to some of their songs:

So Easy

Remind Me


9. Jan Garbarek (Norwegian jazz saxophonist)

Jan Garbarek has been on more than one occasion regarded as one of the best (if not the best) saxophonist still performing. Born in Mysen, Norway in 1947 to a Polish father and a Norwegian mother, Garbarek grew up in Oslo and firstly appeared as a sideman on Karin Krog’s 1966 album entitled ‘Jazz Moments’.

His first studio album was released in 1969 and was titled ‘Esoteric Circle’. From 1969 onwards, Jan Garbarek’s discography consists of 29 solo albums and many other notable appearances as a sideman. Notable artists with whom Garbarek collaborated include the Hilliard Ensemble, Ralph Towner or Bill Frisell. Well received albums include ‘Twelve Moons’ (1993), ‘Visible World’ (1996) or ‘In Praise of Dreams’ (2004).

Below you can listen to some of his songs:

In Praise of Dreams


Brother Wind March

8. Erlend Øye (Norwegian electronic/indie artist)

Erlend Øye was born in Bergen, Norway in 1975 and is best known for being part of the Norwegian indie duo Kings of Convenience together with Eirik Glambek Bøe. He has also been the frontman of The Whitest Boy Alive from 2003 until 2014. Erlend Øye has also founded an independent record label Bubbles Records.

Below you can listen to some of his songs:


Fence Me In


7. Esbjörn Svensson Trio (Swedish jazz trio)

Esbjörn Svensson Trio was a Swedish jazz piano trio active from 1993 to 2008. Over the passing of time, they released 11 studio albums, 4 live albums and 2 compilations. They were awarded the title ‘Swedish Jazz Musician of the Year’ in 1995 and 1996, as well as the ‘Swedish Grammy’ in 1997 and ‘Swedish Songwriter of the Year’ in 1998. The trio consisted of Esbjörn Svensson on piano, Dan Berglund on double bass, and Magnus Öström on drums.

Below you can listen to some of their songs:

Seven Days of Falling/Elevation of Love – Live Wackerhalle, Internationale Jazzwoche Burghausen, Germany, 2nd May 2004

When God Created The Coffeebreak (Studio 1 Ljubljana Slovenia in 2003)

Tuesday Wonderland

6. Fever Ray (Swedish electronic artist)

Karin Dreijer Andersson (known by her stage name Fever Ray) is a Swedish electronic/dark ambient/trip hop artist from Nacka, Sweden. She had released her eponymous debut album in 2009. One of the tracks from her first studio album was included in the soundtracks of some popular TV series. ‘If I Had A Heart’ was featured as the theme song for Irish-Canadian TV series ‘Vikings’ on History Channel.

5. The Knife (Swedish electronic band)

The Knife is a Swedish synthpop/electronic/experimental band formed in Gothenburg in 1999. The band consisted of Karin Dreijer Andersson and her brother Olof Dreijer. Together they have released 5 studio albums from 2001 to 2013.

Below you can listen to ‘Silent Shout’ from their 2006 namesake studio album:

4. Björk (Icelandic alternative/electronic artist)

Björk Guðmundsdóttir (commonly known just as Björk) is an Icelandic multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter (occasionally also an actress). Björk was initially the lead singer of The Sugarcubes, but from the 1990s onwards she has been enjoying solo success. Notable hits include ‘Human Behaviour’, ‘Big Time Sensuality’ or ‘Joga’. Her music comprises many genres including electronica, pop, alternative, trip-hop or classical. She was ranked 29th in VH1’s top ‘100 Greatest Women in Music’, 8th in MTV’s top ’22 Greatest Voices in Music’, 60th in Rolling Stone’s top ‘100 Greatest Singers of All Time’ and 81st in Rolling Stone’s top ‘100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time’.

Below you can listen to some of her songs:


Human Behaviour

Big Time Sensuality

3. Lukas Graham (Danish pop/soul/funk artist)

Lukas Graham is a Danish soul/pop/funk artist who has been enjoying both national and international success since 2011. His solo band released two studio albums and some of his songs topped the national music charts in Germany, Norway or Sweden.

2. Kashmir (Danish alternative rock band)

Kashmir is a Danish alternative rock band from Frederiksberg, Denmark. It is composed of Kasper Eistrup (lead vocals and lead guitars), Mads Tunebjerg (bass), Asger Techau (drums) and Henrik Lindstrand (keyboards and rhythm guitar). From 1993 onwards, the band became highly popular in Denmark, topping the Danish music charts in 2003, 2005, 2010 and 2013. As of 2013, they released 9 studio albums as well as many other EPs and singles. On their 2005 album entitled ‘No Balance Palace’, they collaborated with David Bowie and Lou Reed.

Below you can listen to some of their songs:

Rocket Brothers

In The Sand

The Cynic

1. Jakob Bro (Danish jazz guitarist)

Jakob Bro is a Danish guitarist from Copenhagen, Denmark. Throughout the time’s passing, he has collaborated with artists such as Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell, Paul Motian and many others. He has toured in Europe, South America, North America, Asia and Australia. He has released 12 solo albums as of 2015 and has also been featured on many other records as a sideman.

Below you can listen to some of his songs:

Evening Song



Documentation sources and external links:

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