Erik Hassle – Are You Leaving? (Listen)
Although excited at the prospect of a new album from Erik, I was quite worried when I heard that he was no longer working with Ten, the amazing writers/producers behind his debut album. In their place are two members of one of the few big Swedish bands that I can’t see the appeal of, Kent. Their ploddy electro-indie-rock sound isn’t offensive to the ears, but I can’t understand why they’re considered to be one of Sweden’s best when Sweden is brimming with amazingly exciting musical talent. Still, Erik will always have his voice and his beautiful emotional delivery, and luckily these great qualities do shine through in Are You Leaving, the first single from the new album. It’s no Hurtful but I’m on my second listen and it’s already growing on me. Erik could probably make the work of any songwriter sound stunning, but I’m still hoping that there will be some tracks more in the vein of album one on Mariefred Sessions, which is released in March.
Six-D – Best Damn Night (Live)
I was lucky enough to see Six-D live this week and I was very impressed with the new tracks I heard. Although their Europoppy sound may be a problem, considering they are supposed to be a cool streetdance group, it’s pretty perfect for my tastes. Best Damn Night is set to be their first proper single and they’re recording a video for it in LA soon. This live video isn’t the best quality but you can hear the super-catchy chorus quite clearly. It’s similar to I Gotta Feeling and will definitely earn them a lot of comparisons to the Black Eyed Peas, although they are much poppier and, in my opinion, far more likeable than Fergie and friends. My favourite members are adorable Levon, who I hear is an under-15s streetdance champion, and the two super-cool girls, Chantelle (who looks a bit like Maxine Ashley) and Kimmy (who reminds me of Nikki from Soundgirl). They’re a talented bunch with some great songs, but I don’t know if they’re being positioned quite right as I think an urban group needs to begin their career with credibility and earn the right to be more mainstream later. However, I’m a big fan of what I’ve seen so far and can’t wait to hear Best Damn Night in full quality.