I discovered Swedish singer/songwriter Elina Stridh, who goes simply by Elina as her stage name, earlier this year when her song Blue was included in an AI-generated playlist on a streaming platform. I kind of fell in love instantly with her sweet voice. Then, more recently, I got an email from a PR agency informing me of the release of her sophomore EP, titled Remember, and of course I had to check it out. The theme of the album is embracing change and it consists of 6 songs, including Blue, but the crown jewel is undoubtedly its title track. Elina is a remarkable songwriter and before she embarked into a career as a singer as well last year, she used to write pieces for other artists such as Zara Larsson and Neiked, so she knows one thing or two about writing hits.
However, when some of the songs Elina had written and loved weren’t picked up by any artist, she decided to release them herself and I’m really glad she did. With a series of stripped-back, folk-inspired tunes, she is showing us her real self in a vulnerable way. Remember, a song about seeing someone you love hurt and letting them know they will always be worthy of love and affection, is just an example. Elina’s beautiful voice and honest lyrics make the listening experience a really enjoyable one. She’s not breaking any ground with sounds you had never heard before, but when the music is this good, who cares?
Sara Hjellström, aka Shy Martin, is a young artist who looks even younger. That could mislead you into thinking she’s new to the music industry when, in fact, she’s an established songwriter. She’s written or co-written successful tracks for the likes of Kygo (featuring Ellie Goulding), Bebe Rexha and Jess Glynne. And if all that wasn’t enough, she can sing too. This Swedish singer/songwriter even signed a record deal with EMI when she was 17 but ultimately decided to go the independent route, which eventually brought her here, to the release of her sophomore EP, Sad Songs, which consists of five very nice indie pop tracks, including today’s entry to The Alternative Mixtapes.
Are You Happy? is a delicate but catchy song with a melancholic theme: appreciating failed past relationships. The gorgeous melody goes hand in hand with Shy’s vocals, resulting in this nice tune that got all the elements to get a lot of airplay and streams. Pairing it with a lovely music video, which you can watch below, helps too. Could this song become your next musical crush?
Last month, I recommended a song from Lights & Motion‘s latest album called I See You. That song was a collaboration with Swedish singer (and actress) Frida Sundemo, who has an angelic and delicate voice. Well, Frida’s own work is worth checking out too. She’s been releasing music since 2010 and back in May she put out her latest EP, Sounds In My Head, which contains five songs, including Gazelles.
This song had already been released as a single last year but it is a beautiful ballad that puts Frida’s voice on full display. Even more impressive is the video below, in which you can watch Frida sing Gazelles live, flawlessly, while playing the piano. It cannot get any better than that. Just enjoy!