And lo! the archangel Gabriel appeared to me in a dream and said "Patroclus, in 2006 thou shalt champion obscure Scandinavian bands".
Actually I had a a bit of a head start on the angel of the Annunciation, because I spent a fair amount of time in 2005 wibbling on about Finnish folktronica outfit Husky Rescue - to the extent that a friend of a friend of mine apparently bought not one but TWO copies of their (quite fabulous) Country Falls album, which makes me very happy.
But that was just the warm-up, and it's 2006 now, and I have my work cut out. So I feel I should commence the proceedings by bringing to your attention the work of The Tiny, whose album Close Enough has apparently been around since 2004, but it's only been on my desk since this morning.
A cursory skip round the internet tells me that The Tiny mainly get compared with Portishead*, but that's not really right. Although they do sound a bit like how her from Portishead would sound if she had a Swedish accent and sang a bit more like her from Tori Amos. Accompanied by a cello and a double bass. On some quite lovely and slightly otherworldly songs about floating in the middle of lakes and falling in love with people when you haven't had any sleep.
The whole album is a bit all too much of the same sort of thing, but if you're planning any romantic encounters in the vicinity of your stereo this year, then "Closer" and "Lake" should help you along no end. Don't say I don't give you all the best tips.
* Unless you're reading the unutterably pretentious Stylus Magazine, which prefers to make unfavourable comparisons with Bjork (whose stupid squeaky pixie voice I detest) and Joanna Newsom (ditto). Mind you, it's probably quite difficult to hear properly when you're that far up your own arse.
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