20 Scandinavian Pop Artists You Should Know

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By Constant Gardner, Confusion, and Joyce Ng

Sweden has had a long, beautiful relationship with pop music. In the '70s there was ABBA, in the '80s there was Roxette, and in the '90s there was Ace of Base and The Cardigans. In the past decades, things have gotten even more interesting in Sweden and the surrounding countries. Scandinavia has became a hotbed for forward-thinking music steeped in pop sensibility and experimental tendencies. While electronic, metal, rock, and hip-hop have all thrived in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, there is still something about pop. When it comes to pop music, it seems that Scandinavia can do no wrong.

Note: For the sake of this article we're using the traditional definition of Scandinavia that includes only Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

Click to start the list

  • JawDropper

    This list is missing the best Scandinavian pop act of all. The Radio Dept.! An egregious error good sirs!

  • OurScatteredWords.com

    Love Nonono. Can’t wait for the album to be released!

  • Jonathan Crary

    Great feature…love the songs posted. Great soundtrack…

  • ICE

    LOREEN

  • sweet

    I LOVE LOREEN

  • RonnieNeeley

    YES! Was just about to post this. The Embassy are also worth mentioning!

  • https://twitter.com/TVMaury Stephen

    Was this list written by a swede? And where`s Jens Lekman? What about Mew (Danish), Kings of Convenience (Norwegian), Datarock (Norwegian), Annie (Norwegian), Johnossi (Sweden), Ravenonettes (Danish), Efterklang (Danish) among others.

  • PABLO

    WHERE IS LOREEN?!

  • Guest

    This must’ve been made a girl, mostly female singers… It lacks great artists like Efterklang (DK), When Saints Go Machine (DK), Mikael Simpson (DK), Kings of Convenience (NO), Trentmoller (DK), Lars and The Hands of Light (NO), Hunch Bettors (DK), Mando Diao (SE) and probably some more…

  • Luís Pinto Leite

    This must’ve been made by a girl, mostly female singers… It lacks great artists like Efterklang (DK), When Saints Go Machine (DK), Mikael Simpson (DK), Kings of Convenience (NO), Trentmoller (DK), Lars and The Hands of Light (NO), Hunch Bettors (DK), Mando Diao (SE) and probably some more…

    I’m surprised they included The Knife and Royksopp..

  • Jonathan Crary

    I must say that one of my favorite bands this year, Shout Out Louds are not on this list, and their latest LP “Optica” is a repeat player, IMO. The Radio Dept. is not here either, but the list is cool, much the same.

  • ricky

    øWhat a crime to not include Susanne Sundfør (NO)!!!

  • Erik Lindbergh

    dont forget swedish queer avantgarde singer THOMAZ http://www.thomaz.nu

  • Kara Whitmore

    GASP! Where is iamamiwhoami????

  • Nick

  • Lukee Hannover

    Little Jinder, Datarock and KoC are probably missing, but glad to see Mr little jeans tho.

  • DAZ

    Just wanna add a copule, like For BDK, Lune & Rebecca & Fiona

  • Yannik Larsson

    What about Mono Girl ? (DK) one exiting artist to follow right now, in my opinion!

  • Yannik Larsson

    Yeah me too. It’s kind of a weird mix!

  • david

    lune? familjen?

  • fumel

    First Aid Kit and Susanne Sundfør!

  • Lucifer

    Also missing the queen of Norwegian music Annie, and legend in process Anna von Hausswolff.

  • sæbeminister

    Where’s Oh Land (DK)????

  • Megan Freeburn

    jenny hval and susanne sundfor are pretty awesome too

  • PigsAndPlans

    This was made by two guys. Focused more on current pop. I don’t remember the last time I heard new music from Jens or KoC. Also, some of these acts border on folk, rock, electronic more than straight pop.

    Also, it’s not meant to be every artist you should know, just a list of some current favorites. We tried to steer clear of making that headline sell this as a definitive list because there are so many great artists. Just hoping to turn people on to a few new ones and highlight some of the ones who have won us over in the past.

  • Frank

    This is too Sweden biased..

  • Mark

    Missed Postiljonen, that’s a shame

  • Adrian

    Almost only Swedish bands – which is well deserved (I’m Norwegian so this is no patriotic rant). I feel like Susanne Sundfør, Ane Brun, Efterklang, Trentemøller, The Radio Dept., iamamiwhoami, Kleerup and Kent may also deserve a spot though. And you should’ve mentioned Fever Ray, the solo project of Karin from The Knife – the best contribution to music I have ever listened to.

    I made a tribute list to Swedish pop a while ago if anyone’s interested. http://open.soundrop.fm/s/WjDkQPHOMmGnLhLI

  • Macho Menos

    My two additions would be “QUADRON” who just released an amazing new album, and “Pearl Fiction”.

  • Cha

    yes, exactly, where is iamamiwhoamI ??

  • roberbcn

    you forget taken by trees , el perro del mar, iamamiwhoami, and others good bands

  • Fallulah’s shiver

    What about Miss Li (SE), Laleh (SE) and Panamah (DK) I really like their song DJ Blues, even though I don’t understand the language.

  • ILARIA

    i loe her too but she’s danish… :D

  • ilaria

    *love

  • K

    Shout Out Louds?

  • thies

    so what, danish is also Scandinavian…

  • thies

    so is Röyksopp anywhere near being ‘new’? Does it border to ‘pop’? Isn’t pop changing all the time (back in the days, a decade ago, Röyksopp helped shaping its landscape by becoming pop while not being so already), aren’t they electronic? I don’t see how that excludes Efterklang for instance. Anyway, I guess you try to avoid the ‘taste’-argument, even though such reviews and hype measurements are actually all about inventing legitimation, and suggestion to transcend mundane ‘taste’, claiming authenticity. Either way, good luck. Thanks for bringing Blaue Blumen to our attention.

  • Niket

    LOVE THIS LIST BUT also add …. KARIN PARK, SANDRA KOLSTAD, Mapei, Jenny Wilson, Highasakite, Noonie Bao, Marlene, Zhala, Naomi Pilgrim, Emilie Nicolas (and the finish LCMDF)
    ♥♥♥

    https://soundcloud.com/karin-park

    https://soundcloud.com/dangervillage/sandra-kolstad-the-well-we-1

  • øøøøø

    Yo, this is so cool. Also, all those people complaining about artists who are not on the list, hey, thanks for letting me know about more Scandinavian musicians :) Ah new music, such a wonderful after break up gift! Blisseh!

  • Johan Collander

    Love this website :)

  • Noir

    Damn, my music library is lacking in the pop department. Thanks for the suggestions!

    Also, people need to relax. This list is long enough. If you have more suggestions for people, don’t say it in a rude way. I’m sure both guys who made this list who have loved to add more. But who wants a list of 100 artists…

  • Bobby Saban

    First Aid Kit! Can’t wait for the new album this summer! 6/10 release for “Stay Gold”

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