Between January 1 and June 30, Sweden chairs the EU’s Council of Ministers. In connection with the assignment, an official playlist has been released on the music platform Spotify, named “Songs from Sweden”.
The list contains a number of different songs by Swedish artists such as Abba, Robyn and Cornelis Vreeswijk, but also international productions where Swedes have been involved, for example Justin Timberlake’s hit “Can’t stop the feeling”, which was written and produced by Max Martin.
– It’s a slightly boastful list that aims to show off the music that has done well, above all internationally, rather than showing off the breadth that exists in Sweden, says Kulturnyhetern’s music critic Tali da Silva.
She also reacts to the fact that the list does not contain dance band music, gangster rap, or so-called epadunk. Genres that attract large audiences.
Produced internally at the government office
The list begins with Abba’s “Dancing queen” and Robyn’s “Dancing on my own”. Yung Lean, Sabaton and the Gothenburg Symphony can also be heard. According to EU Minister Jessika Roswall (M), the purpose of the list is to give an image of Sweden as a country, but also to show precisely a musical breadth.
At the same time, the songs on the list are voted on internally among the government office’s employees.
Would you say that it is representative of what the Swedish people listen to?
– I think it contains a lot of what I listen to, but also that it lacks a lot that I listen to, so it may not be completely representative. But we have also had the Swedish Institute look at the list. There is certainly a lot that is missing, but it is a list that contains both new and old, says Jessika Roswall to Kulturnyheterna.
Sweden held the EU presidency until 2009, when a mixed album was distributed in 20,000 copies that was criticized for giving too narrow a picture of Swedish music life. In this year’s playlist, the number of songs has increased from 20 to 58.