Swede Tooth

Anna Ternheim
Anna Ternheim

Sweden seems to boast some of the most impressive musical talent, and yet sadly, the general American public seems to know so little of what is out there. Let’s face it, ABBA can only take you so far.

But here are two artists from Sweden who I feel need to be introduced to those unaware. The first is Anna Ternheim, a twenty-seven year-old from Stockholm, whose songs are enriched with a wonderful and strange melancholy.

Ternheim’s voice is strong, unassuming and possesses a slightly dark quality, which often gives her songs a somber twist upon listening. In many ways, she is Sweden’s answer to Aimee Mann.

Her debut album, Somebody Outside was released in 2004 and has garnered many raves in her native coutnry, but is not yet available in the United States (although I strongly urge those who long for something original and unique to search for it*).

I just happen to feel so alone
For today, for all days to come
I just wanna be, wanna be gone
I just wanna be, wanna be gone
~ Anna Ternheim

Sophie Zelmani

Sophie Zelmani

Sophie Zelmani has enjoyed moderate success in the States, mainly with her self-titled debut album in 1996, whose first single, ‘Always You,’ made a small impression to college radio.

Zelmani’s music is similar to Ternheim’s in some ways, as both of them are accomplished guitarists and write songs that center around relationships and modern world experiences. But their voices are very much different. Where Ternheim’s is more bold and firm, Zelmani’s is sweet, soft and girlish, but thankfully, not cloyingly so.

Five albums later and Zelmani has remained consistent in her work and is still as good as ever, even if she hasn’t deterred much from her intimate, low-key songwriting and overall sound.

Many of Zelmani’s albums are widely available as domestic or import releases.

My name can’t live up to this matter
So don’t say it, if you don’t want what it will bring
And if you’re scared of this dirty weather
I think you should rush off for your thing
~ Sophie Zelmani


  • Hanzan says:

    Ehh… You DO know that Shoreline is actually a cover, right? Swedish indie-rock band with serious Jesus And Mary Chain complex Broder Daniel did the original one, so while the lyrics are powerful, it’s not exactly Annas words…

  • yee says:

    Oh, I’m so glad to see these two good artists mentioned. Thanks!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Anna Ternheim – Shoreline is a great find… thanks!

  • Great post. Thanks for sharing.


  • Robbie says:

    Hanzan, actually I didn’t even realize it was a cover! Admittedly, I am ignorant to the music of Broder Daniel (and believe it or not, Jesus & Mary Chain). Foolish of me to not have looked closer at the liner notes closer.

    Still, I appreciate the information. Just goes to show you why these audioblogs are so great…

    Thanks again.

  • Louise Rickardsson says:

    I actually think that anna’s cover on shoreline is better than the original song by broder daniel. even though both are great, anna’s is slightly better, that’s my opinion. what do you think? sophie zelmani is a extraordinary singer/songwriter! too bad she hasn’t done anything new in a while, or has she? thanks for the indie and singer/songwriter music! god bless it

  • fpch says:

    Ternheim is great, but zelmani? Now you should know there are much better swedish female singer/songwriters than that. First and always foremost STINA NORDENSTAM. Listen here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBv7XeOmFoU

    El perro del mar

    The knife(not exactly a female artist, but f+m duo)
    Incredibly good video as well.

  • Keith says:

    Hanzan/Robbie – I don’t understand the rub. Where in the article did it say that Shoreline was Anna’s song. The lyrics in the call out are from “To Be Gone”, not “Shoreline”. Perhaps the article was updated after the comment?

  • Fredrik says:

    Hi! im from sweden and just wanna say that im glad that anna’s music reaches so many and is appriceated in so many countries! Nice webpage by the way..=)

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