Inspirational Music: Kent

For me, the design process is invariably tied to the music I listen to. I can look at a design I made, and remember that I was listening to Björks Bachelorette, or Sonic Youth’s Rain On Tin.

I never really discovered Kent… I was introduced to them by a good friend of mine. Even so, Noscope 2001 and the better part of 2002 was built while under influence of Kent. Kent is from Eskilstuna, a mini town in Sweden. Their music is written and sung by Joakim Berg. The sound is a mixture of Depeche Mode and The Cardigans, the latter also being personal friends of the band. The genre was initially sort of “indie-rock”, but paced slowly towards highly produced electronic synth-rock.

I would recommend Kent to anyone who likes Depeche Mode, or The Cure, and likes intelligent guitar-rock.

Mini discography

1st album: ‘Kent’ (self-titled).

Most rocky part of Kent—Great album … for fans.

2nd album: ‘Verkligen’

Incredible masterpiece of guitar-rock.

3rd album: ‘Isola’

Critically acclaimed, incredible piece of musical history. One of the best albums, ever. Melancholic synth-rock.

4th album: ‘Hagnesta Hill’

Masterpiece of synth-rock. More Depeche Mode than ever.

B-sidor 95-00

Collection of B-side tracks from their singles releases. Probably the best Kent ever released.

5th album: Vapen & Ammunition

Incredible 5th album from Kent. Definately a worthy successor. More produced than ever, and suddenly with hints of The Cure. Most pop-friendly album.

By the way, both Isola and Hagnesta Hill also come in english-sung versions. Although they are “lesser” than their originals, it may be a good choice for english speaking readers.

My most played tracks

Utan dina andetag from ‘B-sidor 95-00′

A personal favourite track.

En himmelsk drog from ‘Hagnesta Hill’

Better Synth-Rock Were Never Written

747 from ‘Isola’

Hailed by some as the /best track ever/. Not quite, but very, very close.

Indianer from ‘Verkligen’

The sound of summer.

Dom Andra from ‘Vapen & Ammunition’

Spökstad from ‘B-sidor 95-00′

Längtan Skala 3-1 from ‘B-sidor 95-00′

Written for Amnesty Intn.

Chans from ‘B-sidor 95-00′

Saker man ser from ‘Isola’

Visslaren from ‘Hagnesta Hill’

Stoppa mig juni from ‘Hagnesta Hill’

Rödljus II

Armed with the above playlist, you’ll get a good introduction to Kent. Also, you’ll be able to buy Isola and Hagnesta Hill, possibly even Vapen & Ammunition at a next-to-nothing price.

11 thoughts on “Inspirational Music: Kent”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Kent are relatively great. I they’re song that goes: “If you were here….” in a really nasal voice.

  2. Joen says:

    “If you were here” is a great song, although I prefer the swedish version “Om du var h?r”.

  3. Zoey says:

    I accidentally downloaded the 747 song by Kent and I LOVED IT! It is one of my very favorite songs. I live in the US and we dont get great music like that here! I have had trouble finding any information or more music by Kent, though. I am glad I found your website.

    Thanks.

    Zoey Annika

  4. Joen says:

    Zoey,

    Glad you found some information. If you need more info on Kent, don’t hesistate to contact me, I literally breathe it so I’d be thrilled to help spread Kent to the states.

    Oh, and keep your eyes open March 11th, because that’s when Kent’s new album “Du & jag d?den” comes out.

  5. Nice to see the some Kent lovin’ outside of Sweden. : )

    As a Swede I’ve known about them for quite some time (since Verkligen was released), it’s rather hard to miss them since they are absolutely huge here. No other band even comes close to Kent in terms of popularity.

    I like your selection of favourite Kent tracks, most of them ( Utan dina andetag, En himmelsk drog, 747, Dom andra, Chans, Saker man ser) are among my favourites as well. I’m also very fond of:

    Berg & dalvana (Hagnesta Hill)

    Din skugga (B-sidor 95-00)

    VinterNoll2 (VinterNoll2, Single)

    Socker (Vapen & Ammunition)

    Kevlarsj?l (Hagnesta Hill)

    Kr?m (Verkligen, just because it was the song that introduced me to Kent)

    It’s a shame Kent’s US venture failed so miserably. I can’t understand why really. Maybe their slightly moody music isn’t as appealing to Americans (in general) as it seems to be to us Scandinavians.

  6. Joen says:

    Jimmy,

    Good additions, I can definitely agree with them.

    Berg & dalvana (Hagnesta Hill)

    One of the best tracks from that album.

    Din skugga (B-sidor 95-00)

    Very nice track, somewhat the same style as “Utan dina andetag”.

    VinterNoll2 (VinterNoll2, Single)

    Reeeally great single! (Definitely deserves to be called single rather than just B-side!).

    Socker (Vapen & Ammunition)

    Hmm. Well, the thing is, Socker has all the qualities that all the best Kent tracks have, but I really can’t take the chorus (“ingen, ingen, ingen, ingen h?r”). Sad really, cos it could’ve been a new 747.

    Kevlarsj?l (Hagnesta Hill)

    Great track yes, but IMHO one of the weaker tracks from HH.

    Kr?m (Verkligen, just because it was the song that introduced me to Kent)

    Hehe, yes, good one. I prefer 10 minuter f?r mig sj?lv though.

    It?s a shame Kent?s US venture failed so miserably. I can?t understand why really. Maybe their slightly moody music isn?t as appealing to Americans (in general) as it seems to be to us Scandinavians.

    Indeed. I think it failed for two reasons, the main reason being the timing. There just wasn’t room for Kent at that time. Secondly, while I mostly have good things to say about Jocke, his English / English writing skills need some work…

  7. Asia says:

    I am a Canadian and accidentaly discovered Kent by searching world music on Napster 2 years ago. I came across VinterNoll2, a much lesser known track which is apparently impossible to buy. I am striving to find it right now, and that’s how I stumbled across your site. Does anyone have any tips on finding the CD version of VinterNoll2?

    My understanding of Swedish is choppy, but nonetheless, I am definitely a fan of the Swedish Kent over the English Kent.

    Happy to cruise through and find other Kent fans.

  8. Jaymie says:

    well..my only disagreements here are that 1.both albums that have an english version, they were in fact originally in english (I forget release dates, probably was swedish released first but the english songs were written first) and 2. the english versions do not suck

    Jocke’s Message:”I’m just going to say (write) that the lyrics were written in English first. If you’d heard the English version first, you’d think the Swedish lyrics seemed awkward… just a simple statement from a guy who knows everything there is to know about the lyrics, the songs, the concerts and the band + other things. In my imperfect world I hear two very good records when I listen to the two versions, but the English version is much closer to my heart since it’s the original…It’s just a pity that you criticise the English version without reflection. And to say that the English versions feel awkward seems a little strange when it’s the Swedish versions I’ve struggled and wrestled with to make them come as close to the English ones as possible!”

    (Jocke’s message was in response to people commenting on the english versions on kent.nu)

    I don’t know why everyone dislikes kent so much in english..yes sometimes there is an accent, but listen to even british music and you get an accent that sounds odd sometimes..jocke writes similar things in swedish as he does in english..I know they’re very different languages and somehow swedish can be deeper blah blah blah but really..I guess all I’m saying is that I enjoy both languages..swedish can be more melodic and just seems prettier sometimes but I can understand english much more easily and it still sounds really really good. I don’t know if it’s been mentioned here, but but if you go to http://www.kent.nu and click on the british flag “in english”. There’s lots of people there that know about kent and speak english.

  9. Joen says:

    Jaymie,

    Your comment is very much appreciated.

    I trust that you are right: maybe the english versions were written first. I did not know that.

    But for me, it doesn’t change anything, and I’ll explain why. But first of all, you take my criticism of the english material much too seriously. I love Kent. I really love Kent. In fact, if I should mention one band, I’d mention Kent. As such, when I say I don’t like the english material, that means the English material is fantastic, but not epic like the Swedish material is, IMHO.

    In the end, I just like the sound of the Swedish accent better.

  10. Jaymie says:

    I’m just going on what Jocke said in his comment about the english albums and how he wrote them first…I just wonder how frustrated jocke was at the time of the english albums..after working so long on them and then having so many people criticise them on kent.nu that he has to defend his own album to his own fans on a site dedicated to his own band..:/..anyway, I know I rant a little about the english albums, but we had a lengthy discussion about them on the kent site and most people couldn’t find much good to say about the english..and it got me annoyed that they were always just criticising them..anyway, good to know you, unlike some others, don’t think the english versions suck :D. sorry if I seem crazy, you sound like a great kent fan :).

  11. Basia says:

    I was in Belfast at that time. I went to HMV as I would. I was going through singles, and there it was…747 I knew it before, and loved it so much. Silence, action…amazing radio version I much prefere it to the long one: “….leaving all behind”.Next, beautiful “unprofessional”.Couldn’t be better. And finally here it comes

    “This is what it feels like” with a great guitar riff. It’s a perfect single.

    My favourite.

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