Best Albums of 2016
selected by 5 Swedish critics

Amanda Bergman <BR>“Docks”

Amanda Bergman

beehype and the band Amason has been a love story since forever and when the voice from that band set herself free on a solo album the love story surely continues. We could talk forever about her voice, it’s so intense and so close that you can feel her breath in your ears.

It would on the other hand be unfair only to talk about the voice because there is so much more that make this album adorable. The way she sings and puts together the words is so melodious and laid back at the same time she forces herself on you. Like she says “Sit back and relax or I will kill you”.

The result of that isn’t even threatening, it makes her only more trustworthy and reliable. “Docks” is 10 songs that contains strength, vulnerability, passion and yes, off course, some pretty good musical arrangements. (Fabian Forslund)

♪♫ Listen: “Falcons” + album stream (Spotify)

Amanda Bergman on Facebook, Soundcloud, Bandcamp.



After having felt a great longing for new additions to the Swedish post-punk scene, I finally discovered the London-based Swedish band FEWS. It began when I heard the bands second single “The Zoo”. A track that was not from this world and it turned every Joy Division-invaded nerve in my body into magic.

Supporting Pixies on their European tour and playing all across England during their first year is quite impressing. But I still feel like FEWS haven’t yet got the cred they deserve back home.

Their debut album MEANS feels like a fast hypnosis of turbulence and it definitive renders me hope for the Swedish post-punk scene again. (Elin Strömberg)

♪♫ Listen: “The Zoo” + album stream (Bandcamp)

FEWS on Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp, Soundcloud.

Frida Hyvönen <BR>“Kvinnor och barn”

Frida Hyvönen
“Kvinnor och barn”

When Frida Hyvönen released the album “Kvinnor och barn” in the beginning of November, was it the album I had been waiting for the whole year. The album was her first full length in Swedish and her new way of using the language reach flawlessness in combination with her sharp voice and literary lyrics.

Every track on the album feels like a short-story packaged in careful piano loops and reckless vocals that sometimes don’t fit in. It begins and ends abruptly and Frida takes us through story after story.

One thing that is definitive clear is that Frida should continue to embrace the Swedish language in her music, it’s suits her perfectly. (Elin Strömberg)

♪♫ Listen: “Imponera på mig” + album stream (Spotify)

Frida Hyvönen on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, www.

HOLI <BR>“Drifting on A Timeline”

“Drifting on A Timeline”

It all began several years ago in Gothenburg with the band Happy Hands Club and the magical EP released in 2011. They followed up with a couple of good songs in 2012 but after that all that sounded was silence.

But in the spring of 2016 they came back under new name and under a new formation. “Drifting on A Timeline” is a masterpiece and when you start listening to it you can’t stop. The hovering guitars and the force in the drums shapes something really beautiful together with the lyrics.

The mastermind behind it is Ricky Sokhi, he recorded it all separately so the other members didn’t really know how the result would be. A quit bold move but I guess the other members have enough faith in him to let him do it.

Anyhow, the album consists of 10 songs made of gold and perfection. the second single, “Mediocrity”, marks the standard of how a perfect pop song should sound like in 2016. (Fabian Forslund)

♪♫ Listen: “Mediocrity” + album stream (Bandcamp)

HOLI on Facebook, Instagram.

Iiris Viljanen <BR>“Mercedes”

Iiris Viljanen

“Mercedes” consists of 11 songs and the common denominator is Iiris Viljanen’s sharp gaze (the title is a declaration of love to the cat on the cover).

The piano is the foundation, but it is the ability to fill each sentence with feelings that make this album one of the year’s best. And nothing is whitewashed, everything is put to the test.

On several occasions, it strikes me that it is impossible to put into words Viljanen’s everyday stories. To do the music justice. (Daniel Andersson)

♪♫ Listen: “Ska vi fira?” + album stream (Spotify)

Iris Viljanen on Soundcloud, Facebook.

Magic Potion <BR>“Pink Gum”

Magic Potion
“Pink Gum”

Magic Potion has a inviting appearance. Simple and infectious melodies permeate every song.

Some may possibly interfere in members’ slacker mentality, an attitude that makes J. Mascis and R. Stevie Moore resemble orderly choir boys. Dreamy “Golden Power” is a good example. The song samples an excited and justice seeking pastor – a clip that connects to a scene from the television film Jesus of Nazareth from 1977.

The American right wing can, like the slacker opponents, find it difficult to absorb Magic Potion. We others are in seventh heaven. (Daniel Andersson)

♪♫ Listen: “Cola Boyys” + album stream

Magic Potion on Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, Instagram, Soundcloud.

Sabina Ddumba <BR>“Homeward Bound”

Sabina Ddumba
“Homeward Bound”

Sabina Ddumba really impressed on me with the single “Effortless” when it was released in 2015. Her strong soulful voice stood out in the big crowd of R&B and pop artists who have emerged in recent years. It felt like Sabina was the artist that offered something more.

After a few singles she released the album “Homeward Bound”. The record includes an impressive mix of instant up-tempo pop and strong mid-tempo songs. She mastered everything from soulful pop with inspiration from the 60’s, mid-tempo ballad with big gestures to today’s innovative electronic R&B-pop.

Sabina’s voice together with a solid production elevates “Homeward Bound” those ever so important extra steps. An impressive start to a career that will hopefully last for a long period of time. (Johan Alexed)

♪♫ Listen: “Time” + album stream (Spotify)

Sabina Ddumba on Facebook, Soundcloud, Instagram, Twitter.

Terra <BR>“Terrarism”


Gothenburg’s music scene is definitely alive and Terra is a great example of all the interesting upcoming bands that creates addictive and mind blowing pieces of music.

Terra gathers inspiration from the best of the american 90’s garagerock scene, there we can find icons like Hüsker Dü and Dinosaur Jr. Their music sounds like an angry roar from the speakers, completely uncompromising and pure.

The honest lyrics evolves and grows on you and the album “Terrarism” will certainly linger on after you have pressed play. (Amanda Båmstedt)

♪♫ Listen: “Svarta Lådan” + album stream (Spotify)

Terra on Facebook, Instagram.

Tove Lo <BR>“Lady Wood”

Tove Lo
“Lady Wood”

With the success of Tove Lo’s debut album “Queen of the Clouds” it’s always interesting to see where she’ll go next. Over the past two years Tove has become one of the most talked about artists in the world and everyone wanted to work with ner. Among those who did were Nick Jonas and Years & Years just to mention a few.

Like the debut, the sophomore album was divided into chapters: “Fairy Dust” and “Fire Fade”. The two chapters represents the emotional curves the singer goes through when she’s under the influence. From the expectations and the thrills to the moment when the excitement echoes off and you just want that thrill again.

With “Lady Wood” Tove Lo shows the world that sexuality is not only for men, and she focuses on feminism in a way no female pop artist has done since Madonna in the 80s. I think that’s why I adore Tove Lo in a way. She delivers amazing chart topping pop songs, but she also has an agenda with her music and fame. (Johan Alexed)

♪♫ Listen: “Cool Girl” + album stream (Spotify)

Tove Lo on Facebook, Soundcloud, Instagram, Twitter.

Wildhart <BR>“Shine”


There is something special with Wildhart, maybe the answer can be found in their dreamy aesthetics that makes everything they touch look like a piece of art.

The dreamy vibe seems to follow throughout their production and the unique ability to merge different genres into something brand new, like their way to combine jazz with indie and electronic pop until they reach that certain enchanting and thrilling Wildhartsound.

It’s been a long time since I fell head over heels with a band like this. (Amanda Båmstedt)

♪♫ Listen: “Fantasy” + album stream (Bandcamp)

Wildhart on Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud.