Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
This week’s “Bands on the Rise” features Oh Land, my favorite new pop group, and VETO, a band I recently discovered — and quickly fell in love with.
Oh Land is the stage name of Copenhagen native, Nanna Øland Fabricius. I first learned of her music after reading NME’s list of the 50 best new bands of 2011. The first tune I heard by Oh Land was “Sun Of A Gun,” a song that immediately grabbed my attention and required multiple listens. The chorus is ridiculously catchy and the background vocals and instrumentation, complete with finger snaps, provide the perfect accompaniment. “We Turn It Up” follows in these footsteps, beginning with a bouncy chorus that is most appropriately accompanied by plenty of rhythmic head bobs. The OOooOOO’s woven throughout “White Nights” are simplistic, yet set the perfect top layer for an anthem full of glistening synths and marimba. I had the great fortune of seeing Oh Land this past fall in Philadelphia and was greatly impressed by her charisma and genuine happiness while on stage.
VETO is an indie rock band from Århus, Denmark that I discovered this past week. Music fans in Denmark would probably not classify this group as up-and-coming (they formed in 2004 and have since received the 2007 Danish Music Award’s Best New Act and Best Danish Music Video), but I feel we can let that slide as the group has yet to break through in the United States. Just a few notes into “You Say Yes, I Say Yes” and I knew this band was a winner. VETO utilizes an impressive blend of electronic back beats, stunning guitar licks, and engaging vocals. Upon listening to their other standout tracks, “This Is Not” and “Spun,” I am quick to draw comparisons to Foals, Two Door Cinema Club, and Bloc Party. Even among such established company, I feel that VETO easily holds their own.