The Swedish might not have the drop on the U.S. in too many respects, but when it comes to pop music, they still seem to have us firmly in their rearview mirror. So when we here at Popdust see that ten of the top 30 songs in the current Swedish charts (the Sverigetopplistan), including six of the top 13, are all by the same artist, we can’t help but take notice. And so we feel somewhat obliged to inform you about Ms. Veronica Maggio, the Swedish pop queen whose reign over the Sverigetopplistan (we never realized how simple and catchy “Billboard” was before) is currently reaching epic proportions.
Maggio is a thirty-year-old singer from Uppsala, Sweden who came to international prominence a half-decade ago with debut album Vatten & Bröd (Water & Bread), scoring her first top ten hit with “Nöjd?” (“Happy?”) and drawing international comparisons to Amy Winehouse, Duffy and other soul-pop success stories. But she reached a whole new level of success in her home country with the release of this year’s Satan I Gatan (Damn), which not only reached #1 on the album charts, but saw all eleven songs off it chart as well, ten of which, as previously mentioned, are still in the top 30.
The lead single and highest charter of the bunch, “Jag Kommer” (“I Will”), is a tight, catchy number that rides a fantastic Strokes-esque guitar line, bleating synths and some very well-placed background whoops to rock/pop bliss, sounding fairly close musically to US alt-rockers Metric, with more of a flair for the dramatic. The main hook, “Ja, jag vet att hon är söt men håll tillbaka / För, Jag kommer, jag kommer…jag är nästan där,” translates roughly to “Yes, I know she is cute but hold back / For I will, I will, I’m almost there.” How Robyn is that sentiment, really?
Breakup tale “Satan I Gatan,” the album’s title track and current #4 song in all of Sweden, is almost as good, slowing things down with a pounding drum track and some very nice wheeeee-oooooooh backing vocals, to create a lighter-waving power ballad feel that’s nearly “You and I“-worthy. (Nearly, because without the rip-roaring guitar solo to see the song out, it just can’t match the encore-readiness of Gaga’s anthem) “Du kan gråta mitt på gatan / men jag glömmer aldrig bort vad du gjort” cries Maggio on the chorus, meaning “You can cry in the middle of the street / but I’ll never forget what you did.” Damn, that’s even cold by Christina Perri standards.
And just in case you’re not completely in love already, check out an adorable live cover she did of Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” a few years back:
Someone please hook this woman up with Dr. Luke and a pocket translator and get her to U.S. shores, immediately, please.