As a native English speaker, there’s something hugely satisfying about listening to and reading Scandinavian languages.
Because of the very distant link between our languages, if you squint or strain your ears it almost starts to make sense. It’s like tuning the FM-Radio dial of comprehension down just a few notches – confusing but comforting; a leap into the past, the unknown, another world, or all three simultaneously.
Languages like Swedish can either sound like English spoken by very drunk people or give you the feeling that you’ve just had a bump on the head. Bands like Vampyramiden will make you grateful for such feelings.
Any band that uses a portmanteau to scrape the occult and conspiracy theories into one blisteringly brilliant name is worth a few minutes of our time, right?
Vampyramiden // En Stad Och En Trollkarl
I have been making ill-educated guess as to what En Stad Och En Trollkarl means, none of which I will post here, for fear of offence and embarrassment. Oh OK then: the best I came up with was In The Stadium Of A Troll Called Carl. Things we derive such pleasure from don’t need to make sense, OK?
The song itself is a sweet, crystalline gem: delicate to the point of fragility, melodic to the point of heartbreak. Hovering in a newly-defined spot between twee, folk, space-tinkling and sing-along pop, Vampyramiden have managed to make a song that will charm all our pants clean off.
It is entirely superfluous to point out that Scandinavian bands seem to make these sort of songs by accident, but it is worth remembering such geographical oddities.
Vampyramiden might find themselves in the ridiculous situation of being crowded out of their local market because everyone else’s songs are just as excellent. They can move here and entertain me any time. And teach me some Swedish too.