Alexander Bard: The ‘King Midas’ of Scandipop?


Bard Pic

A couple of years ago I wrote a piece on the Swedish pop music producer, Alexander Bard for PopMatters. Here are some teasers only (contact me if you want me to discuss the musicological and production side of Bard’s works):

‘… Alexander Bard who started his musical career in the 1980s, found success in the 1990s, and is currently much in demand in the industry and media, such as being a Pop Idol judge in Sweden. Bard also performs, and perhaps is best known for his 1990s pop-electronica act The Army of Lovers.

Bard’s early works have been musically shaped by his involvement in the Nordik Beat scene since the late 1980s (aka Scandinavian electro-pop scene). As part of his creations, Bard has collaborated with fellow Swedish producers such as Ola Håkansson, Anders Wollbeck, Anders Hansson and Henrik Wikström and has performed his songs with various groups.

Besides composing fashionable songs that contain memorable hooks and lyrics, Bard adds sparkle by crafting sugary and eccentric music that are twisted with Abba-esque anthems. Although some of these pop song ingredients may be perceived as typical, we are becoming more aware on the role of the producer, particularly in the current digital and celebrity cultures that we live in…’

Speaking of digital cultures…

Currently, I am researching on one of his projects, Gravitonas, but this time exploring the dark side of pop music and Bard’s advocacy for digital cultures (the abstract below was presented at a conference in 2015 and is currently a work in progress–contact me for more details):

‘The dark electro-pop sounds of Gravitonas are ornamented with genre-blending and the gothical vocals of Andreas Öhrn. The lyrical themes of lament and joy provoke catharsis and confinement to the listener. This concept will be demonstrated in the reading of their song ‘People are Lonely’ (2014). The vocality of Öhrn’s authoritarian words against Alexander Bard’s quivering and feminine tones, and how the music carries their incompatible duet will be explored. The freak show video displays the group’s obsession with technology—which suggests that in the digital world of social interaction, in reality, people ARE lonely.’

Dedicated to Stuart Meads ♥

I will never forget you Stu, my friend and S/A/W | DX7 expert, even if you did hated reggae…

© Shara Rambarran