Playlist: Swedehearts

There must be something in the lingonberry jam and kaffebröd for Sweden to have given us so much great pop music in the last four decades. In the 70s, ABBA rapidly became the first family of disco music. In the 80s, Neneh Cherry collaborated with every oddball rocker, from Michael Stipe to Geoff Barrow. Her brother, Eagle Eye, would wield his own one-hit wonder in the mid-90s.

But it’s not just about the tunes. Sweden’s also given us a considerable amount of queer and/or genderfucking eye candy in the form of Maja Ivarsson of The Sounds, Ola Salo of The Ark, and–queen of relationship advice–Robyn. Whether you’re looking for a new punk band fronted by a Joan Jett doppelganger or a synthpop band with an affinity for masks: Sweden is the go-to place for quality tunes and alternative lifestyle haircut inspiration.

The Knife




Alright Alright (Here’s My Fist Where’s The Fight?) – Sahara Hotnights
A Postcard To Nina – Jens Lekman
All That She Wants – Ace of Base
Yours to Keep – Teddybears (featuring Neneh Cherry)
You and Me Song – The Wannadies
Young Folks – Peter, Björn, and John (featuring Victoria Bergsman)
Make Out Fall Out Make Up – Love Is All
Spoon Me – OHM
Until We Bleed – Kleerup (featuring Lykke Li)
The Girl And The Robot – Röyksopp (featuring Robyn)
My Favourite Game – The Cardigans
4 Songs & A Fight – The Sounds
Like A Pen – The Knife
Too Late, Too Slow – Shout Out Louds
Heartbeats – Jose Gonzalez (The Knife cover)
I Love It – Icona Pop
Winter Beats – I Break Horses
One Of Us – ABBA
Pale Fire – El Perro del Mar
Chosen One – The Concretes
Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry

Swedehearts from Autostraddle on 8tracks Radio.


Tell me your favorite tracks by Swedish Fish artists below!

Want to suggest a playlist theme? Hit Crystal up on Formspring and someone on the team will make it for you.

Are you following us on Facebook?

Profile photo of fonseca

Southern rabble-rouser, working class writer, dirty little swamp witch, brown girl, and practicing tortillera. Sometimes tweets, but prefers the (rough and) tumble, and is always down to talk about a good movie. Work has been featured in Lambda Literary Foundation Review, URGE, and the underbelly of Thought Catalog.

fonseca has written 51 articles for us.


  1. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you name-dropped Ola Salo, but why no songs from The Ark on the playlist? “The Most Radical Thing To Do” and “Let Your Body Decide” are such fantastic queer anthems. Everyone should check those out! (Bonus points, however, for Ace of Base! I know they’re obvious here, but I still love them.)

  2. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    Yay Sweden! I have been there and I have relatives there, so I love this country!

    Also when I was 11 my Destination Imagination team had to do a skit that was international-flavored, so we picked Sweden for our country and the script (which I wrote) included people on our team wearing blonde wigs and pretending to be ABBA members, and at the end we all did a dance to “Dancing Queen.” Among many other stereotypically Swedish things.

  3. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    Ah, Sweden represent! 😀 I would like to add Jakob Hellman (even though he only sings in Swedish), Lisa Ekdahl, Stina Nordenstam, Laleh, Emil Jensen (probably only Swedish), Säkert (or her English-speaking alter ego Hello Saferide) and The Soundtrack of Our Lives. Good music, y’all!

  4. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    Great playlist!

    I would definitely add My Best Friend by Hello Saferide. I mean, “Damn, I wish I was a lesbian.”

    And also her swedish project Säkert:

    Säkert + Anna Järvinen’s cover of Robyn’s With Every Heartbeat:

    Other swedish artists worth checking out:

    Anna Ternheim

    Frida Hyvönen

    Jonathan Johansson

    Markus Krunegård

    Håkan Hellström

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!