wed 01/02/2023

Sweden

Albums of the Year 2022: Dina Ögon - Dina Ögon

Some of what’s nourishing the debut album by Sweden’s Dina Ögon is evident. A Bossa Nova jazz-pop essence evokes Brazil’s Quarteto em Cy. There’s a trip-hop undertow. Vocal lines bring to mind Free Design. Less easy to pinpoint is a melodic...

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10 Questions for writer and translator Saskia Vogel

Johanne Lykke Holm’s spellbinding novel Strega recounts one teen’s journey into womanhood. Leaving her parental home to work with eight other girls in a lavish but mouldering hotel, Rafa grapples with what it means to be a woman in a world...

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Triangle of Sadness review - ship of fools

Ruben Östlund builds theatres of cruelty for the elite, petri dishes for pretension and hypocrisy. After Force Majeure’s family implosion at a ski resort and The Square’s art crowd Armageddon, Triangle of Sadness casts off with a superyacht which...

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Hilma review - biopic of the Swedish abstract artist Hilma af Klint

The artist Hilma af Klint, born in 1862, was way ahead of her time. A Swedish mystic who believed that spirits were guiding her hand, she was a contemporary of Kandinsky and Mondrian but her abstract art remained unrecognised. She didn’t fit in to...

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Album: Goat - Oh Death

It’s now six years since Goat last released an album of new songs and, despite a live disc and one of B-sides and other odds and sods that have appeared in the meantime, its Requiem title suggested that it might have been their last call to arms....

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Blu-ray: Ingmar Bergman Vol 3

The release of each box-set in the BFI’s Blu-ray four-volume collection of Ingmar Bergman films is a delight. Volume 3 provides some of the Swedish master’s essential works.Most of them are as dark as they come. The Scandi Noir that has...

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Album: Viagra Boys - Cave World

The third album from Stockholm rowdies Viagra Boys doesn’t muck about with what they do, but it’s more persistently punkin’ than their last. There’s more than a snifter of Iggy and the Stooges in both the vocal style and the raucous over-amped...

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Album: Neneh Cherry - The Versions

Initially, the weird thing about this is it’s being released as a Neneh Cherry album rather than a compilation of artists doing Neneh Cherry covers, which is what it is. That said, awareness slowly grows of a kindred sensibility to recent Neneh...

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Bergman Island review - Mia Hansen-Løve's joyful English-language debut

French director Mia Hansen-Løve’s graceful, intriguingly open-ended seventh feature, and her English-language debut, is set on Fårö, the island that Ingmar Berman loved.“This is your landscape, Bergman. It corresponds to your innermost imaginings of...

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Album: Lykke Li - EYEYE

Swedish singer Lykke Li has called her new album Eyeye “her most intimate work to date”. In regard to Lykke Li’s music, this feels almost impossible at this point. Her music has time and time again explored the depths of heartbreak. Is it possible...

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Album: Linnéa Talp - Arch of Motion

Contrary to the title’s implication, there initially seems to be little movement in Arch of Motion. A note is held on an organ. Then another note comes in and is also held. Chords build up gradually. Maybe one or two ascending or descending notes...

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Album: Sabaton - The War to End All Wars

Demonstrating how much the world really can change in a very short time when things spin out of control, Swedish power-metal five-piece Sabaton’s album now seems especially tasteless. It’s also a scalpel-sharp example of how important context is to...

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