Delicious Pop Newbies With Old Souls
Niki & The Dove are singer Malin Dahlstromm and multi-instrumentalist Gustav Karlof. They popped out of seemingly nowhere in 2010 with just one single and a b-side, which the U.K. Guardian called possibly the two greatest alt-pop songs of the year. Why the mad love based on such small output?
Well, first “DJ, Ease My Mind,” is a noir-pop classic that manages to be be both icy cold and fiery and vulnerable. Malin’s voice is just a river of feeling — Mariah Carey meets Fever Ray. Then their follow-up single “Mother Protect” brought up their game another notch. It has this amazing shouting part towards the end where Malin sings, “I am furious!” and it sounds both melodramatic and 100 percent true.
Another nice thing about them is that they won’t tell us what Niki & the Dove means. It’s nice when artists won’t give you everything on a platter sometimes, isn’t it? Especially since their music is so pristine and open. Their message of love and raw emotion is so crystal clear that their sound could be entered in the Eurovision songwriting contest. And since they like to keep us guessing, who knows, maybe they will.
They’re amazing live, as you can tell here, and here. That second song sounds so good, even in my crappy computer speakers. And I didn’t know Malin had so much soul. Not that it’s a contest, but Yukimi Nagano, you’ve got some competition! I love a contest! “Survivor: Swedish Soul Edition.”