Phoneme-wise, it’s been a wee while since we’ve had a double ‘sw’ match in the knockout stages of the World Cup. In fact, since Swaziland have renamed themselves to eSwatini, this is now your only option.
For Sweden, home of sophisticated space age synth pop, we have some incredible throwback Italo disco from Carino Cat.
For Switzerland, home of the world’s largest particle accelerator, we have some ambient electro with absolutely fantastic sci-fi artwork.
I enjoyed the retro synthwave for Costa Rica vs Serbia so much that I had a look for similar stuff from Brazil and Switzerland so that we could continue to party in pastel neon shades. Oh boy, was that a good decision.
Brazil’s Lola Disco produce beautiful, heartfelt simulacra of 80s pop-funk tracks that you’ll swear you heard first time round. And the cover art is fantastic! This is the kind of artist that produces a tribute track to San Junipero. Sheer sunny positivity.
For Switzerland, I didn’t find any perfect 80s throwbacks, but I did find the delicate building ambience of Odd Beholder.
ellas are a Swiss indie pop band who describe themselves as being ‘like the sun breaking through fog’. They’re certainly able to find their way round a melancholic pop song and so for Sunday night, here is their odd and lovely song Strange World.
ellas have a website
This is so cute. So colourful and loveable. This is ‘Toi et Moi’ by Lea Lu from Switzerland and it’s notable in being a song that contains a whistled refrain that didn’t immediately prompt me to skip over it – whistling being my musical bête noire – but instead made me go back to the beginning and give it a proper listen.
Then I went to her website and found a picture of her wearing turquoise metallic eyeliner and green eyeshadow in a look that I can only describe as #goals.
Lea Lu is on Facebook
Lea Lu is also quite good at Instagram
The round of 16!
Our first game is between Jizelle of Switzerland and Saszan of Poland. Jizelle is singing a female empowerment anthem and I’m not clear whether Saszan’s song is pro or anti drugs, but it’s certainly about drugs.
Niämals – Jizelle [Lady-empowerment song, made even more emphatic by being in Swiss German]
Dizzy – Saszan [Chirpy, perky, kid friendly song about going out and doing drugs]
And we start the last round of games with something a bit nice. If you want something loud, try the other match.
For Switzerland we’ve got James Gruntz from Basel, who isn’t the punk tribute to James Blunt, but a pop balladeer.
For France we have Christine and the Queens. They’re famous enough outside France to be advertised on the London Underground, but I thought you might like her song Christine.
Dark Side of the Moon – James Gruntz [Delicate, spacey ballad. Not a cover]
Christine – Christine and the Queens [Laid back but melodic pop with a spoken word middle eight]
We’re slowing it down a bit this afternoon, but in a sort of melancholic way rather than a sexy way. Well, maybe Jurjak is slowing it down in a sexy way, it’s hard to tell. For Romania we have the aforementioned Jurjak, whose song Future Ex is sinister, slinky and I think possibly what Serhat was originally aiming at. For Switzerland we’ve got a doomed indie ballad called Stellarling by Anna Aaron (my favourite song by her, ‘Who maimed you’ doesn’t have a video)
Future Ex – Jurjak [Gravelly, moody, just slow enough to be sleazy]
Stellarling – Anna Aaron [Excellently miserable indie ballad of doom]
Euro 2016 is the kind of competition where anything can happen. But what happens when we set the Albanian music scene – represented by hype-generating pop starlet Era Istrefi – against the Swiss one, represented by Dabu Fantastic?
BonBon – Era Istrefi [Super modern slightly Rihanna-fied pop]
Sunne – Dabu Fantastic [Summery pop with guitars]