Stereo Test Kit has gone on holiday, forever. Thanks to everyone who listened, contributed, and supported us in each and every way.

The STK online store will remain open, we're having a megasale while stocks last - fill your ears here.


'Records Make Great Pets - Volume 2/Sweden' is now available as a mid-price single-unit download.
With one week to go until it's available for download, we've added a 10 minute preview of the 'Records Make Great Pets' compilation.


Three years since our previous compilation featuring the sounds of independent Sweden, we're now making ready the release of 'Records Make Great Pets - Volume 2'. Twenty one tracks by twenty one of Sweden's finest music-makers.

Made up of new recordings, pre-releases, and songs from the last few months' crop of quality; if there's a better collection of tracks that represent the strength and depth of the current songwriting scene, we've yet to hear it.

The twenty one bands featured are: Alarma Man, Audrey, Band in Box, Björn Kleinhenz, Convoj, Dag för Dag, Dear Euphoria, Foreign Slippers, Hajen, Lassus, Lowood, Norma, Park Hotell, Rickard Jäverling, Scraps of Tape, Testbild!, The Medalist, The Social Services, Two White Horses, we are soldiers we have guns, and Winter Took His Life.

The compilation will be released as a mid-price single-unit download on March 16th, available from the Pets release website. Sign-up to the STK newsletter (to the left of this page) to receive a link to a 10 minute album preview, and a pre-release special offer.

The Social Services make a UK trip for two live sessions on BBC radio this week. On Monday evening they're with Marc Riley on 6Music and on Wednesday night with Vic Galloway on Radio 1. Listen online here and here.

Warm up your ears with a couple of tracks from their debut below; the digipak CD is available from our online shop here and for digital-downloaders here.

» The Baltic Sea
» Seven Dwarves

A few years ago we released a CD compilation called "Records Make Great Pets", featuring fifteen Swedish bands playing some fine new music. Three years on, we're doing it again. In March, we'll release a digital compilation featuring twenty tracks by twenty Swedish acts: "Records Make Great Pets - Volume 2".

We're well on the way to the twenty (including Park Hotell, Testbild! and Hajen), but are keeping one space open and asking for new-new Swedish bands to put forward a track for consideration. Maybe you're so new that you haven't recorded anything yet, or haven't made your recordings publicly available; in that case, we don't know you exist, so come and announce yourselves.

Since we don't release reggae, hip hop, shiny pop, or heavy metal - we're not looking for music from those genres. Otherwise, our ears are open. The call for submissions closes on February 15th; you can send us your music via MySpace, or email download links to pets(at)stereotestkit.co.uk. Full release details to follow soon.

Just in time to dance your nut off at a Christmas party, we've made 'Seven Dwarves' available as a free MP3 download; the ideal accompaniment for a game of musical chairs, or our less strenuous preference of sitting in an armchair.

The song was written for and about Lucy's five nieces and two nephews, that's not them in the photo below, they don't have beards.

» Seven Dwarves



With plenty of time to prepare for Christmas 2009, we've added some new CD package deals to our online store. Spend it while you've got it, buy joy here.

we are soldiers we have guns come out to play in February next year, bringing new sights and sounds to G-A-S, and a few other places besides. Full dates and details are:

12.02 Germany / Hamburg, Astra Stube
13.02 Luxembourg / Lux, d:qliq
14.02 Netherlands / Groningen, Vera
15.02 Netherlands / Dordrecht, Café de Vrijheid
16.02 Germany / Siegen, Vortex
17.02 Germany / Hannover, Cafe Glocksee
18.02 Germany / Frankfurt, Clubkeller
19.02 Austria / Traun, Spinnerei
20.02 Switzerland / Baden, Herbert
21.02 Germany / Leipzig, UT Connewitz
22.02 Germany / Berlin, NBI

After some mad web server issues for the last few weeks, it's time for some news updates ... first up, Band in Box recorded a home performance video of 'Slow Release' last month for Playground (a music website out of Spain), as part of their 'Buenas Noches' video series. Look, listen, lullaby below.



The Social Services are two thirds Glaswegian and one third Swedish, so that explains their combined love of nature and cholesterol. Their nomadic lifestyle and frustration with the world around inspire them to write songs about: war, death, consumerism, immigration, storage solutions, potatoes, and swimming. They rant without being shouty and love it when everybody joins in on the sing-a-long choruses.

"It's Nothing Personal, It's National Security" is their indie-pop-tastic debut album; out now in the UK and more widely around the planet over the coming weeks. It's available as a fine CD digipak (plus 8 page lyric booklet) for international orders from our online shop here and for digital-downloaders, from Klicktrack, here.

Rant and sing-a-long with The Social Services via the streaming album preview in the post below, or up on last.fm, here.


When they're not hard at work in Sweden's mines, The Social Services busy themselves by creating fun and intelligent indie-pop tunes with a twist. Their debut album "It's Nothing Personal, It's National Security" being less than a week from release, we present a streaming album preview as a fine taster of what's to come.

The album is available for international orders from our online shop, right here. With a street release date of October 6th, online pre-orders begin shipping tomorrow. Back to the preview, the 11 album tracks have been clipped and condensed here into 10 minutes of listening pleasure; press play and dig your ears in below.




Hot on the heels of their video for 'me vs time = fixed game' last month, we present another visual and musical treat from we are soldiers we have guns. 'The Great Depression' is another fine taster from their debut album 'get up, get out,' available for international orders from our online shop, right here.

Download an MP3 of 'the great depression' and watch the video below. Video credit and thanks to Andreas Andersson.

» The Great Depression

 


'Joy Engineering' is a new 10 track MP3 label sampler, available for free download; with tracks mostly taken from the past year's releases, including the recent debut albums by Band in Box and we are soldiers we have guns, and the forthcoming debut by The Social Services. Engineer ear joy here.



With the vinyl about to sell out, we've bowed to the demand from eager ears and made the Parachutes/Band in Box split release available for digital download. Hop over to Klicktrack here and get the tracks as 320 kbps MP3s.

Down below is a dodgy photo of Parachutes banging Gobbledigook drums with Sigur Rós in New York last night. Some much finer shots over at Brooklyn Vegan here and here.



Time for some new sounds: time for The Social Services. Three weeks ahead of the release of their debut album, 'It's Nothing Personal, It's National Security', we present a free-download MP3 single of album track one, 'The Baltic Sea'.

For an added dose of ear-pleasure, we add a non-album track, an MP3 of the band's cracking cover of the Swedish national anthem: The Final Countdown.

'It's Nothing Personal, It's National Security' hits the streets on October 6th; be prepared and pre-order the CD digipak from our online shop today. Online pre-orders will ship out a week early.

» The Baltic Sea
» The Final Countdown


Freshly returned from one U.S. tour, Parachutes turn around and head back over the ocean next week for the start of seventeen shows, opening for Sigur Rós. See the full list of dates here.

Parachutes' split vinyl with Band in Box is running low low low, get 'em while you can here.



As the summer days turn cold and grey, we keep pumping out warm sunny sounds and pre-pep for the debut album from The Social Services, 'It's Nothing Personal, It's National Security'. The album is released in four weeks time on October 6th and is now available to pre-order from out online shop, right here. Pre-orders will be shipped a week ahead of the release date.

Before the album lands, on September 15th, we release a free-download digital single of track one from the album, 'The Baltic Sea'. Sign-up to the STK newsletter and you'll be sent an early-ears link to the download this coming Friday. Sign-on with The Social Services here.

A couple of months on from the release of their acclaimed debut album, we dip back into the sonic treasure trove of Band in Box's 'This Fiction' and discover an MP3 of 'Lost & Foundland'.

Coupled here with a cover of The Cure's 'All Cats Are Grey', recorded for the previously advertised Rewind project. Get lost in music, then find yourself navigating to our webshop to buy a gem of an album.

» Lost & Foundland
» All Cats Are Grey


With their debut album freshly released and making it's way around Europe and beyond, we present the first video from 'get up, get out,'; a clip for album track two, 'me vs time = fixed game'. For the video, Malin donned her finest epaulettes and took a stroll through the Swedish countryside, before making a big flaming fire and revealing her hitherto missing hands. Ah, spoiler alert there.

Sweden folks can excite their ears and catch the Soldiers in real life this coming Saturday, August 9th, when they play Landet in Stockholm. Full details here.

 


Band in Box continue to have some fine Swedish words written about their debut album, 'This Fiction'. Believe: here and here and here and here. Non-Swedes will have to take our word for it, the word is: great!

Catch the band live in Malmö at the end of August: the 29th at Nattkyrkan and the 30th at Debaser.



After a damn fine introduction to their live prowess a few weeks ago in London, we're gearing up for the release of The Social Services debut album on October 6th. Full details to follow in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, sign-up to our STK newsletter to get some early ears around an advance album preview. Get onboard here. Oh and just for the record: "costumes by Martin".


Parachutes drop in on their first homeland for two weeks of U.S. shows from mid-August. Check the latest dates on their MySpace page.



A few months back a nice music-mad website out of Spain asked some of our bands to contribute to their forthcoming 80's covers project. Much like the man from Del Monte, the bands said "Yes!" and went off to research music formed from big hair and little spandex. The Rewind project is now complete and succeeds in proving just how good and bad the 80's sometimes sounded. The full project can be streamed and downloaded here.

By some distance, our top of the class project marks go to the contributions from Band in Box, The Social Services and we are soldiers we have guns. Listen back to the future:

» Band in Box - All Cats Are Grey (The Cure cover)
» The Social Services - The Final Countdown (Europe cover)
» we are soldiers we have guns - Our Lips Are Sealed (Go-Go's cover)

Yesterday, while Sweden united to celebrate the birthday of Prince Yngwie Malmsteen, a far more important musical birth took place: the release of 'get up, get out,' the debut album from we are soldiers we have guns. It came out singing sweetly, with a caffeine addiction and bearing a birthmark spelling "POP". We guarantee the album sounds far more awesome than our analogies.

It's available now in choice UK stores and online from us. Like identical twins, but born one month apart, it will be released elsewhere on July 28th.

Buy the CD digipak from our online shop here, or get it digitally from Klicktrack here.

Soldiers return to the live setting for a show or two in August. A Euro tour is being pencilled in for ... sometime. Updates when we have them on the Live page.



Dropping the first download from 'get up, get out,' the debut album from we are soldiers we have guns, we present the pop tones of November. Without irony, it sounds far more like June and July than it's name might suggest. So much so that if it's not a summer hit, we might as well all pack up our ears and go home. If you're already at home, get up and get out!

» Pick-up the MP3 of November here
» Pre-order the album from our online shop here

The full album is currently being previewed on last.fm; listen up here. Look out for a promo video or few soon.



To appropriately celebrate the release of This Fiction, Band in Box's debut album, today we had whisky and boiled eggs for breakfast. Dinosaur eggs. Later, there'll be a tea party with snail races. Have your own personalised listening party, while we're streaming the album in full, up on last.fm.

Pour, crack, click, listen, slowly; then race quickly and buy the album in it's digipak beauty from our online shop, here. Online CD orders get an artwork poster and badges, gratis. The digitally inclined can download the album from Klicktrack, here.

With their debut album just 3 weeks from release, we let rip a free-download two-track MP3 single from Band in Box; featuring lead track Leaving Smears, ably backed-up by track one from the album, Icaria II.

Smear your ears with the fine sounds of Band in Box below, then butter our bread and buy the album, This Fiction, in it's digipak glory from our online shop, right here.

Swedelanders in Malmoe can catch the band's releasefest at Debaser this coming Saturday. Click here for details of future shows and a bunch of other date updates.

» Leaving Smears
» Icaria II


Arriving suitably late-ish to the party, we've joined the Muxtape tribe and added the 'Ear Calibration Disc' compilation for streaming ears. The Mux mix will be updated every couple of weeks - subscribe to the rss feed for timely notification. Point heads and listen at ears.muxtape.com.

Click back on Monday for a free download single from Band in Box, taken from their forthcoming debut album, This Fiction - released June 9th. Pre-order the album here and get some free treats in your postbox.
Thanks to the creative talents of Mr Valero Doval, we now have some sights to accompany the sounds of 'get up, get out,' the forthcoming debut album from we are soldiers we have guns.

The album has a street release date of June 30th, but we're wagging a long tail and streaming the album in advance weekly-track increments. A few videos and MP3s will start to slip out for eyes and ears soonish. In the meantime, listen up, listen out, here.

The album is now available as a pre-order mega-deal in our online shop; adding a 3-video DVD, poster and badges to the digipak CD. Get the get, here.

A foolproof guide for bands seeking a record label:

1. Write some great tunes and record them with aplomb.
2. Make some finely-opinionated fans at music blog sites.
3. Have one of those sites suggest a suitable record label and send them an email.
4. Time the email to arrive immediately after the label folks have finished listening to an MP3 of your music (and just before they fall off their chair in connected-universe shock).
5. Sign on the dotted line.
6. Celebrate with Irn Bru and Daim.
Disclaimer: The above guide might succeed one in a million times. Or less.

So it was with Stereo Test Kit and The Social Services - with indie-mp3 admirably lubrcating the wheels of fate.

The Social Services are two thirds Glaswegian and one third Swedish, so that explains their combined love of nature and cholesterol. Their nomadic lifestyle and frustration with the world around them inspire them to write songs about war, death, consumerism, being an immigrant, storage solutions, potatoes and swimming. They rant without being shouty and they love it when everybody joins in on the sing-a-long choruses.

Stereo Test Kit will be releasing the band's debut album in August October. In the meantime, stream the super sounds of The Social Services and check out their forthcoming live dates, right here.

This Fiction, the debut album from Band in Box is released on June 9th, here, there and everywhere. To match its mind-enhancing music, the digipak has some mind-blowing brain-showing artwork, care of Kalle at Hijack Your Life. Siri went on a photoshoot to the Seychelles, where her head was planted in the seabed and miniature giraffe wandered her wild forest hair. That's no picnic.

We're blog streaming (TM!) a new album track each week until the release. Three tracks in, track 4 is added on Wednesday. Stream sounds here.

Bringing June closer, we're offering an early-bird pre-order deal in our online shop. Get chirpy and check out the tweet offer here.

New weekly super-sounds-from-Sweden part two: "This Fiction" is the magical debut album from Malmö's most musical doctor, Siri af Burén, a.k.a. Band in Box.

The album hits the streets in early June, but once again, we're previewing a new track each week until the release date. Every Wednesday for the next 12 weeks, along with the weekly track preview, Siri will share the song lyrics, the background story to each composition ... and the occasional picture of an animal rolling around on it's back. Check back for pre-order details on a limited edition album package next week.

Track 1 on the album and preview website is Icaria II, also available on the split 10" vinyl with Parachutes. Click here to buy the split, go below for the album preview.

» This Fiction, album preview website



"get up, get out," is the superb full-length debut album from Sweden's finest indie troupe, we are soldiers we have guns.

The album gets it's full-blown trumpet-tooting street release in June. But for the itchy-eared amongst you, on Sundays from now until the release date, we're previewing a new album track each week. In addition to the weekly track, Malin will be sharing the lyrics and stories behind the songs and no doubt whatever else comes to mind. We'll start taking pre-orders on a limited-edition album-package mega-deal next week.

Week one kicks off, appropriately enough, with track one from the album; the introductory piano-tinkling and foot-stomping sounds of 'better days/more alive'. Linkage below.

» get up, get out, album preview website

Starting Wednesday, we begin previewing "This Fiction", the debut album from Band in Box. Check back for details.



Before we hear the future and the forthcoming debut albums from Band in Box and we are soldiers we have guns, we take a breather and listen back to the sounds of the last couple of years' releases; presenting the "Ear Calibration Disc" - a free-download 10-track sampler, featuring some fine sounds from: Audrey, Pajo, Band in Box, Dear Euphoria and more.

Download the 10 tracks in a single zip file here (66 MB). Unzip, listen, enjoy, then do the decent and buy some more ear enjoyment from our online shop. The next 50 customers will receive a hi-fi-full-effect CD version of the sampler.

Next week, we begin streaming tracks from the debut albums by Band in Box and we are soldiers we have guns. One new track will be added each week, up until the release dates in May (Band in Box) and June (we are soldiers we have guns). We kick things off with the first track from we are soldiers we have guns' debut album, "get up, get out," ... check back for the link on Sunday.



In advance of Dear Euphoria's first tour outside of Sweden, beginning a week today, we let fly another free-download two track MP3 single - taken from their acclaimed self-titled debut album.

Germany folks check out the tour dates in your locality here. More Euro shows, records and general euphoria from the Dears to follow later in the year.

Sample the MP3s below, then fully pleasure your ears, by buying the digipak CD album from our online shop.

» Something Great
» Oh, The Softness
» CDR Artwork - PDF



As previously reported, the Band in Box split 10" vinyl release with Parachutes is released on February 25th. Two of their tracks are now streaming on the new Band in Box website. Click them out at bandinbox.net.

Last week, Siri finished mixing Band in Box's debut album. It's fresh, like a mammoth in ice. It will be unleashed on ears in May. Live shows will follow.