Playlist Challenge: International Edition

Here are the rules:

Five songs from five different artists/bands from five different countries, none of which are the U.S., Canada, any of the British Isles, or Australia.

Here are mine:

1. “Fall Hard” – Shout Out Louds (Sweden)

2. “1901” – Phoenix (France)

3. “Business Time” – Flight of the Conchords (New Zealand)

4. “Pocket Calculator” – Kraftwerk (Germany)

5. “Birthday” – Sugarcubes* (Iceland)

* I could have gone with Of Monsters and Men here, but I really love this song. And Bjork looks so young. And can anyone growl/sing like she could?



17 thoughts on “Playlist Challenge: International Edition

  1. 1. “Oblivion Ocean” – Pain of Salvation (Sweden)

    2. “Time” – Angra (Brazil)

    “Noldor” – Blind Guardian (Germany)

    “Across the Rainbow Bridge” – Ayreon (Netherlands)

    “Forever” – Stratovarius (Finland)

  2. Fun!

    1. “Happy Sad” – Pizzicato Five (Japan)

    2. “Melt With You” – Nouvelle Vague (France)

    3. “Burden” – Opeth (Sweden)

    4. “Lost” – Anouk (Netherlands)

    5. “Rdemption Song” – Bob Marley (Jamaica)

  3. That Opeth song is great. Got to love Swedish metal.

    I forgot a good one:

    “Our Truth” – Lacuna Coil (Italy)

  4. A lot of good Swedish indie-rock too. I wonder why there’s so much more Swedish rock/pop than Norwegian or Finnish. Or is it just that the Swedes are kind enough to sing in English, so it’s more accessible to us?

  5. Sweden has a population of over 9 million, while Norway and Finland are both around 5 million. So they have the upperhand there. But yeah, it sure seems a lot of good music comes out of Sweden–definitely my favorite non-English-speaking place for music (and better than Australia and probably Canada too).

    I remember going into a music store in Stockholm and being flat-out amazed at the fantastic music selection. They had an enormous metal section. And it was pretty obvious they knew their music. In Provo, the CD store placed Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Beethoven’s Last Night” in the classical section. In Stockholm, the store placed Trans-Siberian Orchestra where it belonged–next to Savatage (of which TSO is a side project) in the metal section.

    They also have some fantastic metal concerts there, where bands from all over come in, and the music goes on for several days. I know that the U.S. will sometimes have those too, but not often, and they’re typically thousands of miles from where I live.

  6. Here’s an all-Jamaican entry.

    “Rudy, A Message To You” — Dandy Livingstone

    “Sally Brown” — Lauriel Aitken

    “Pressure Drop” — Toots and the Maytals

    “Trenchtown Rock” — Bob Marley

    “Wanted Dread and Alive” — Peter Tosh

  7. Oooh, an Ayreon song, awesome.

    Nightwish (Finland) – Fantasmic (bonus points for me for FF8 imagery)

    Delain (Dutch) – Sleepwalker’s Dream

    Akasha (Malaysia) – Bourbon Lassi (mostly instrumental)

    go chic (Taiwan) – Hard Date

    Basia (Poland) – Time and Tide

    –FHL, somehow stuck in an old name from an old and silly blog on WordPress

  8. Good deal. Always happy to recommend albums too (not all Angra is created equal). And yeah, Ayreon’s pretty cool too, despite the lack of actual music videos.

  9. And I already have a little Nightwish, but thanks for alerting me to Delain. Some good music. Any recommendations for a Delain album?

  10. love your idea, so ive given it a crack but it was hard to choose my 5 when i like so many bands

    1. “i was playing drums” – Efterklang
    from denmark

    2. “the smell of today is sweet like breast milk in the wind” – mum
    from iceland

    3. “midnight city” – m83
    from france

    4. “a fistful of dollars soundtrack suite” – Ennio morricone
    from italy

    5. “the dreamer” – The tallest man on earth
    from sweden

    hope you enjoy listening to them and let me know what you think

  11. Tim, I only have the first album, Lucidity, but it has 5 really good songs on it. One of them does have the death metal growl on it, (Pristine) but it’s pretty limited. I’m not a fan of the growl in general, but the rest of the song is so good, I can overlook it.

  12. I’m a little late here, but here it goes:

    Norway: Kings of Convenience, I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From. I love these guys. Quiet is the New Loud was their first album, and I adore it.

    the Netherlands: Nits, JOS Days. Great band from the 80s-90s. Discovered them as a missionary.

    Iceland: Jonsi, Go Do. Just what you would expect from Iceland, no?

    South Africa: Soul Brothers, Umshado. I went through a mania of African pop music in the early 90s. This is fairly representative.

    Japan: Shonen Knife, Perfect Freedom.

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