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15 Scandinavian artists to listen to in 2018

Get a headstart on the new year with Jimi Somewhere, Anna Leone, and Sigrid.

Illustration Sharon Gong
December 11, 2017

2017 has been a banner year for Scandi-pop. Sweden’s Tove Lo and Marlene have dropped some of the best music they’ve done, Tove Styrke's two singles were a reminder of how inventive synth-pop can be, and Norwegian star Astrid S went truly international. To celebrate, we’ve put together a list of our favorite under-the-radar Scandinavian artists, whose influences span pop, indie, hip-hop, and electronic styles.

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1. Sassy 009

The fuzzy nighttime jams of this Norwegian trio deal with romance in an abstract yet intimate way. Play them when you want to thrash out your relationship angst on the dancefloor, or when you want to hear poignant, sticky lyrics that will get right under your skin.

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2. Smerz

In 2017, the XL-signed duo regularly dropped great electronic pop loosies on their NTS show, but their recent self-directed video for the woozy “Have Fun” — a twisted flurry of meringue-like prom dresses and schnapps shots — was a new level of brilliance.

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3. Boy Pablo

A weird YouTube algorithm brought Norway’s Boy Pablo to our attention. His melodic, Mac DeMarco-esque, slacker rock kept him there.

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4. ALMA

Finland’s most promising new pop star has fluorescent hair, and bold, stomping tunes. ALMA sounds great linking with Charli XCX and French Montana, but her solo presence is just as powerful.

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5. Baba Stiltz

Sad boy affiliate Baba Stiltz used to be a ballet dancer, but now spends his time crafting robust and romantic house-pop songs. Always slightly off-kilter, his music is eminently danceable, with vocals drizzled like honey over blissful beats.

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6. Anna Leone

On her debut single "My Soul, I," 23-year-old Swedish singer-songwriter Anna Leone creates a sparse, lonely landscape, revealing an unnerving talent for lyrics that cut right to the bone.

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7. Jakob Ogawa

Jakob Ogawa comes from Norway and makes the same kind of gooey psych-pop that Connan Mockasin does so well.

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8. Fanny Andersen

The Oslo pop artist's sprightly debut single “Not a Toy” had a don’t-fuck-with-me message; her forthcoming music — including a Danny L Harle collab — promises to keep that confidence, as well as embracing new sounds.

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9. Jimi Somewhere

Norwegian teen Jimi Somewhere’s “Escape” is a warped electronic pop song about wanting to escape the dark and depressing winter and finding somewhere magical instead. We can relate to that.

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10. ARY

This Norwegian singer-songwriter emerged with a startlingly captivating, low-budget, DIY debut video "Childhood Dreams." If that performance is one to go by, she's set to turn heads in 2018.

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11. Hanne Mjøen

Oslo’s Hanne Mjøen would fit perfectly on a playlist between more established Scandi-pop artists like Marlene and Astrid S (who Mjøen supported on tour this fall), but brings a slightly artier side to her music and videos, too.

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12. Off Bloom

A Danish electro-pop band based between Copenhagen and London, with killer hooks and a could-care-less attitude. For fans of MØ or AlunaGeorge.

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13. Ina Wroldsen

Wroldsen’s already written for Britney Spears and Calvin Harris, but her own music is way weirder. Her debut single “Strongest” is about the fall-out of a father cheating on his young family, sung with expressive, Sia-esque vocals. (h/t to Popjustice on this one!)

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14. Necklace

Copenhagen artist Necklace has only put out two tracks so far, but they’re both super addictive and take on the nagging melodies and catchy hip-hop production that have dominated 2017. Also, we're jealous of his hair.




15. Sigrid

Sigrid only deals in unforgettable pop bangers. 2018 is hers for the taking.

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