Magical Music Roundabout, vol. 2

Following today's Sonar Festival announcement, filled with an unapologetic affirmation of the ascendancy of British creativity both musically and visually with the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Hot Chip, Fuck Buttons and Joy Orbison all lined up as surefire showstoppers, it's all too easy to forget that the continent is bustling with underground grunge, luscious lo-fi and melodramatic magnificence all over the shop. Already marveled over this week on Dots & Dashes, Sweden's The Radio Dept. meld together most unfathomably the aforementioned trio of unsuspecting styles and musical tinges quite sumptuously. This magical roundabout features nostalgic nuisance, brazen Spanish swagger and and yet more Swedish shoegazers, this time in need of your shrapnel.

Club 8
Dreamy Swedish duo composed of Karolina Komstedt and Johan Angergård Club 8 have flown under the radar since their inauguration around 15 years ago, talked over by the likes of Shout Out Louds, whose restrained raucous came and went in more of a gorging haze of disaffection than a take-away pizza. Where Komstedt and Angergård were once set against the lucid lulls of Portishead, Western Hospitality, a carnivorous carnival whirl through picturesque springtime scenery offers a fascinating glimpse into the cogs and wires that churn behind upcoming LP The People's Record scheduled for release this May. Something of an upbeat crescendo-crushing cross between Beach House and Hemstad may well be on the cards... Whatever You Want, streamed below, is taken from the lethargically lovely The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming, 2007.

Club 8 - Whatever You Want by Labrador Records

Club 8's Myspace

We Are Standard
Churning together the gurning yelps of The Rapture, synth plinks of the Pet Shop Boys and disco afflictions of Franz Ferdinand are Bilbao's prime purveyors of mucky, scuzzy electrotrash, We Are Standard. Currently engraved onto the MTV Europe accolade as Best Spanish Band, they're relatively undiscovered across the channel and further afoot, over the pond, yet to contaminate the frequencies of American airspace. All that looks set to change however, as they're set to release single The Last Time (5th April) and self-titled LP (26th April) all but imminently, smearing their sleazy paws all over drive time Radio and, quite probably, night time Ladio.

We Are Standard's Myspace

Mixtapes and Cellmates
Quite contrarily, Swedish shoegaze starlets Mixtapes and Cellmates are subtly seductive, twinning together eardrum-searing My Bloody Valentine guitar growls with a devastating lyrical urgency, backpedaling into luckless, loveless emotional pitfalls. Soft Eyes drips with dual harmonies as sweetly secluded as Scandinavia's impeccable peculiar pop culture and a foggy distortion captured spectacularly by Markus Wedenborn, as shown below. The quintet are all booked in to play this year's edition of SXSW although, being childishly animated by such a prospect and equally broke, they're in dire need of donations to realise their dream. Collecting spare shrapnel here, different tiered donations dish out increasingly enticing rewards although unfortunately, even $500 won't get you out to Austin with them...

Mixtapes & Cellmates' Myspace

For more info on this year's Sonar Festival held for the first time in La Coruña as well as Barcelona, head for the hills of its official site.