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"Japan Times Feature"

Sweden's SideChild takes center stage


Special to The Japan Times

"There was this one guy whose name meant something like 'flat' in English, but Google translated it into Swedish as 'lesbian', which caused me a bit of confusion at first."
News photo
Stepping out: SideChild has been to Japan once before, working on a documentary about Johnny's Jimusho.

Booking shows in Japan with only online translation software to help throws up a lot of hardships, but fortunately for Sweden's SideChild, the solo project of a man known as Pontus Andersson to his friends, music speaks louder than dubious software algorithms.

Before moving to focus on SideChild, Andersson was playing in a "funk-oriented thing" called King Kong Crew. "I loved it," he says, "but more as an opportunity to play together with some of my best mates. It was never entirely my own thing."

At first Andersson's solo work was just a hobby without any real sense of focus. It took a minor crisis to give him his first real impetus: "I had this massive computer crash," he says, "and I realized that I'd lost a lot of my recordings. I had to go over my notes and decide what to rerecord." He believes this served to put the project to the forefront of his mind for the first time, explaining, "I had to look at it all at once and it became much more focused."

With SideChild's songs, Andersson claims an affinity with musicians like indie folk artist Samuel "Iron & Wine" Beam, although the sound he has developed is inspired more by a love of classic soul records and John Lennon's 1970s work with Phil Spector. "I wasn't looking to make a retro album," he points out, "but I was really looking to get that same kind of warmth in the soundscape."

This brief tour, comprising a series of five dates in Tokyo, is actually Andersson's second trip to Japan, but it promises to be a different experience.

"I was working on a documentary about these two Swedish musicians who had been writing songs for Johnny's Jimusho," he explains, referring to the famously litigious talent agency that has specialized in making stars out of young, immaculately manicured dancing boys since the early '60s. "The performers are what they called 'visual talent' so obviously vocal ability isn't the first thing they look for, but it was interesting seeing this music that has no impact back home being played in front of 70,000 women in the Tokyo Dome."

The album "Music for Children" hasn't even been released in Sweden, and as yet there is no release date for Japan planned, but listeners can expect a mix of blue-eyed soul and catchy, Beatles- influenced pop, all delivered through Andersson's sometimes fragile and reedy, and always affecting vocals. However, for more impatient Tokyo listeners, there are still three more chances to catch SideChild live in an intimate Tokyo live-house environment.
SideChild will play Oct. 30 at Nishi-Azabu Super Deluxe (8 p.m.; ¥1,000); Nov. 1 at Umejima Yukotopia (6:30 p.m.; ¥3,000 in advance and ¥3,500 at the door); Nov. 2 at Shinjuku Marz (6:30 p.m.; ¥2,000 in advance and ¥2,300 at the door) - Japan Times

"Blog love from Japan"


SWEDISH STYLE???????????????????SUPER DELUXE???? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????!?!?(????)? (???????) ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????(?´?`?)?? ??????????????www

?????????????????????????????????????? ?????????? ??????????????!!! -

"Blog love from Belgium"

Les pays scandinaves ne sont pas particulièrement (re)connus à priori pour leur soul music mais les choses risquent bien de changer avec les dernières découvertes que j'ai faites. Première découverte capitale avec l'artiste à la chevelure très impressionnante le dénommé Pontus qui se cache derrière le doux nom de SideChild. Ce dernier nous délivre délivre une soul music matinée de pop pour notre plus grand plaisir. Il a déjà réalisé deux Ep's In My Mind (2007) et Nothing Like Love (2009) et il sortira début 2010 son premier opus Music For Children. Je vous invite plus que chaleureusement à découvrir cet artiste généreux qui possède une voix en or. J'ai qu'une seule hâte d'être en 2010 ! -

"Sidechild hot tip for 2010"

Sidechild is an artist with a special voice who writes beautiful pop songs, which are produced in alternative arrangements that make them stand out. With a new album in the beginning of the year, I think that many more will discover that.

Read more:

"Album reviews"

Sidechild Press Qoutes

“He is undoubtedly at his most limitless promising when the diverse music and his nicely broken voice gets to floe freely between David Bowie, 70’s finest soul, Bill Callahan’s broken, modern soul rock and Grand Drive’s most fragile folkpop ballads.”
4 out of 5
Mathias Dahlström, Dagens Nyheter (Sweden’s biggest and most influential morning paper)

“Music For Children is an enjoyable experience with an air of folk and soul. Sidechild’s voice is original but with a slight resemblance to David Bowie right around Ziggy Stardust. Some of the songs, like Come On Come On and Go Easy come with clear hit potential.”
4 out of 5
Sara Ullberg/TT Spektra (Swedish culture and entertainment news feed)

“Sidechild’s voice sounds a bit like Ron Sexsmith’s calm vibrato.”
3 out of 5
Per Magnusson, Aftonbladet

“Pitchfork, where are you? If you search for Swedish Sidechild on the nerdy music site you get no hits at all. Still this tall soul man with fluffy hair has toured in Japan, opened for The Magic Numbers and he released his fine debut album Music For Children just the other day!”
Aftonbladet Blog

“Sidechild sings folky, homegrown soul that will put you in a better mood”
Johan Lindqvist, Göteborgsposten (listing Sidechild as one of 7 Swedish artists to succeed in 2010)

”There is a liberating, minimalistic style in the album that I like. It feels like that they have carefully added exactly those instruments that is needed in each track. And yet they succeed to combine classic soul and pop arrangements with more modern vibes, and with variation.
In the end it is Sidechild’s voice that is the strongest part of it all. And it’s very special. The closest I can think of is how Bowie sounded in some songs during the seventies. It’s dramatic, naked and fragile.”
Pär Berglund,

“A stroke of genius!”
Romeo Stodart, The Magic Numbers

“Listeners can expect a mix of blue-eyed soul and catchy, Beatles- influenced pop, all delivered through Sidechild’s sometimes fragile and reedy, and always affecting vocals.”
Japan Times

“When they start to play the whole room changes, the windows open up to let the sunshine in. Beach Boys meets 90´s shoe gazing and in the middle of it all a voice as clear as glass. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anything like this before!”

”This first opus radiates of love and freshness. It was a pure joy to listen to Music For Children – an album full of intelligent, modern pop/soul... Sublime!”
A++ (highest grade possible)

“Sidechild’s down tempo soul-pop is a fresh breath of air. It’s close and personal. Beautiful and emotional, sometimes clam, sometimes with a groove. A perfect blend.”
Musikfeber blog

“Great, dreamy pop music. A very interesting start to the new year”
It’s Easy To Get Buried In The Past - blog

“Whimsical folk music with a healthy dose of soul.”

“Prince and Freddie Wadling mixed into one”
Rocky Magazine

“Both the song and the video (Come On Come On) makes me think of David Bowie. Very nice.”
- Swedish and euro Media

"Sidechild proves Sweden is still the place to be"

Yet another Swede here on KR, Sidechild, the moniker for a guy named Pontus, comes to us in all his downtempo glory. If you’re looking to get your grind on, well, let’s just say it’s not happening with Sidechild in the background. Unless, of course, you listen to Elliott Smith to party. Yeah, not happening.

Sidechild has toured with The Magic Numbers, and is currently working on a debut album to be released sometime this year. Enjoy his whimsical folk music with a healthy dose of soul. -

"Sidechild Nothing Like Love"

Clueless I am on why these Nordic nations have such a huge music scene.

Maybe all the government healthcare, daycare, eldercare and extra weeks off for vacation (holiday) creates and motivates the muse. Don’t know. Maybe a Dylan, Pete Seeger or Bill Mallonee would never find a voice in those environs, but they have a good heart and perspective to offer.

Check out SideChild and take a listen:

Bio: Sidechild is a dude named Pontus. He’s been writing songs for many a years
but never really bothered to do anything with them. But by the end of 2007
he got some unexpected action as lead singer Romeo Stodart from British
band The Magic Numbers wanted Sidechild to join them on their Christmas
tour in Sweden and Finland. A stressed EP (In my mind) was released and
then Sidechild went back to the studio to record songs for a debut album,
planned to be released sometime by the end of 2009. - Hearoes Of Indie Music

"Musik som glas"

Okej, du har fattat hur stället ser ut, det är stort och yxigt. Sidechild har alltså en svår uppgift att skapa närhet i detta enorma utrymme, till på köpet får de stå på en minimal scen i ena hörnet.
När de sätter igång ändras rummet, plötsligt stiger sanddyner ut från väggarna, alla takfönster öppnas och bjuder in solen. Vi flyttar mot värmen. Med charmig närvarande soul skapar detta trängsel, inte fysiskt men mentalt. Beach Boys möter 90-talets skotittade och mitt i allt en röst så ren att självaste glasmästaren i hyttan lämnar in. Närmare glas i musikalisk form är svårt att komma, flera gånger tar sångaren toner där jag funderar i banor som "antingen går det åt helvete nu eller...". Men har reder ut det och jag ryser! Jag vet knappt att jag hört något liknade!

Det optimala för Sidechild skulle vara Majas vid Havet, Varbergs och Apelvikens egen solklubb. En stunds rungpingis, några follar på stranden sedan är man redo för soulpop tills solen går ner. Lyssna på Nothing like love och dröm dig bort till den perfekta dagen.

På lördag (18 juli) kan du se Sidechild på Rackarebacken och nästa onsdag på Strand (Coles Corner). Jag tycker du skall gå på båda. - musik enligt Jerry


In My Mind EP - 2007
Music For Children (album) - 2010
It's You - (single) - 2010



Sidechild, the moniker for a Swedish guy with crazy hair called Pontus, has definitely been taking his time to complete his first album.

Sidechild had for years been writing songs that didn’t fit in to the music projects he was involved in back then.
These songs were all deeply personal, folky pop songs and differed a lot from the funk and R´n´B music he was working on at the time.

But it wasn’t until a computer crash had wiped out all the home made recordings he’d made that he decided that he had to gather all his notes and see if any of the songs were worth recording for real. He went through his old song pads and played some stuff to his friends in music/producer collective Soundhabits Stockholm. Uplifted by the encouraging words he got from them he decided that it was time to put some of his other projects aside and start to focus on his own music.

The name Sidechild came to him in a dream where he was trying to explain how his side project was really his lovechild and by merging the two words Sidechild was born.

In the autumn of 2007 Sidechild recorded a 3-song demo that through some friends reached the ears of The Magic Numbers lead singer Romeo Stodart. Excited by the songs Romeo sent Sidechild an email offering him the opening slot for The Magic Numbers Christmas tour in Sweden and Finland.
Before he knew it Sidechild was playing his very first gigs in front of audiences of thousands of people.

2008 was a year of ups and downs for Sidechild. A record deal in France fell through last minute and the stress of finishing the debut album was starting to take it’s toll and Sidechild grew more and more dissatisfied with the recordings he’d done so far.
At the same time he had some great gigs around Sweden and he was writing loads of new songs – songs he felt were much stronger than the ones he’d worked on before.

By the end of 2008 Sidechild decided to bin most of his old recordings and head back into the studio. This time only working with a tightly knit group of musicians and producers and together they quickly started to realise the full potential of Sidechild’s music.

In the spring of 2009 all the songs were recorded and mixed and now there is finally a Sidechild album ready for release. Music For Children was released in Scandinavia in feb 2010 and has recieved great reviews and a lot of media exposure.
Singles are getting good airplay on Swedish National radio (P3)

Sidechild toured Japan in October and was warmly recieved by the Japanese crowds. Sidechild can play in big or small constellations, plugged in or unplugged.