Swedish, indie pop-rock group Radio Dept. walks the line between complacent and passionate. Their sound in Running Out of Love, released this October, mixes easy to listen to harmonies with fast paced, energetic beats and shocking lyrics. The three merge to unpack social frustrations. With an eerily calm tone, their lyrics call to mind serious issues and leave them unresolved.
Hip hop culture in Sweden is about as bleak as its winters. Despite the lack of a club circuit or a network of rap promoters, though, 19-year-old Stockholm native Jonatan Håstad has built an Internet empire on sizzurp motifs, Japanese text, vaporwave visuals and overwhelming sadness. Better known as Yung Lean — with an album called Warlord on its way later this month — Håstad is Internet music at its most Internet. Having grown up alongside computers, his slack rap seems inspired exclusively by online culture, drawing more from 4chan than from attending live shows. Propelled by a dearth of Swedish hip hop history, Yung Lean went straight to the Internet for source material as much as distribution.
Contemplating the concept of existence leaves room for many questions. What does it mean to exist? Is there a difference between living and being alive? What is happiness? We can define what it means to be alive, at least in the scientific sense: we breathe to pump oxygen to our hearts; we consume nutrients to keep our bodies functioning. But, in order to define the existential state of living, we must go beyond this corporal aspect, something that may require personal will and enlightenment. You, the Living a Swedish film playing at Cornell Cinema this weekend, is a somewhat surrealist attempt to illustrate “the living,” people who are alive but who tread a fine line between dream and reality, between being alive and being something else altogether.