When people talk about classwork, language immersion, or even social aspects of living abroad, I think a good majority of testimonies gloss over the auditory aspect of entering a new space. Sounds of Copenhagen might include ringing bicycle bells, loud cheers from roaming groups of boys, and boat motors along the harbor- typical for any city. Even in shopping centers, you can hear cashiers speak English while Dua Lipa plays on an overhead speaker. It seems like it could be the States with all of the familiar noises. But that is what makes it SO much more enjoyable when you stumble across unfamiliar territory and gain the exposure to new music here.
I have had a radio show for the past three years through Doobie Radio, my university’s radio station where I am currently the station manager (you can listen to our stream here). My weekly two-hour show has two rules: 1) every week I have to create a new theme and 2) at least 15% of my weekly show should be in non-English languages. I have taken this week’s blog post as an excuse to do a “written” radio show where my theme is- of course- Denmark!
This is where I get to share some of my favorite Danish songs and explain the reasons why I chose a few of them, just like I would do on my real broadcast! I spend a serious amount of time on music curation (I’m talking 315 and counting playlists on Spotify and over 50 shows in my Doobie career) and have been compiling this list of songs for the past month and a half while I have been in Copenhagen. Some of these songs I have known since I was 14, some of them I found just yesterday. Let’s begin!
Ingen Over – ICEKIID: I heard this song on a speaker in the duty-free shop in the Copenhagen airport. That is why I thought it would be appropriate to put it first on this playlist since it was the song to introduce me to Denmark. ICEKIID is a singer and rapper from Hillerød and I would also highly recommend his song ErruDumEllaHvad which was featured on the FIFA 21 soundtrack.
baglaens – Lowly
DRØM MIG VÆK – D1MA
Føler mig selv 100 – andreas odberg, Feberdrømmer Xx Dubai – Tobias Rahim, and STOR MAND – Tobias Rahim, andreas odberg: I heard the first andreas odberg song while window shopping on Strøget, the main street of Copenhagen. I looked him up and found out it was on the Spotify Danish Top 50 chart, along with the Tobias Rahim song (#1 as of 20/06/22). Rahim and odberg’s collaboration was also high up on the list at #3 so I figured they would be good additions to show exactly what is trending right now on radio and streaming sites in Denmark.
Here Comes the Sun – Lightwave Empire
Airport – The Attic Sleepers
Papirsklip – Kim Larsen: Kim Larsen seems to overwhelmingly be THE favorite of Danish singers. I have been recommended his music by more than a handful of Danes before I finally heard his work. I got caught up in a singalong of this song when a man started playing it at an open mic and I felt so elated watching everyone sing along around me. That singalong will remain one of my favorite memories from my time in Copenhagen which has absolutely led me to thinking of Kim Larsen’s music very fondly. Apparently, Papirsklip was written for a 1983 film called Midt om natten (English: In The Middle of the Night) in which Larsen starred and composed the soundtrack. Adding the film to my watchlist 🙂
Rigtige Mænd – TV-2
Making a Fool – Shy Shy Shy
September Song – Agnes Obel: This has been the first song on my Sleeping playlist since I was 14 after it was featured in an episode of Big Little Lies. The song is a gorgeous instrumental and is from Agnes Obel’s 2014 album Aventine which is absolutely worth a listen to.
De Første Kærester På Månen – TV-2
Træ – Rigmor
Under Din Sne – The Minds of 99: I do not know much about The Minds of 99 but I can tell you that every single one of my Danish friends has mentioned them when I ask about what Danish bands they like. I have made it my plan to get through their entire discography while I am still in Copenhagen. So far my favorite’s from their 2022 album Infinity Action are Brev Fra En Forræder, Under Din Sne, and Big City, Bright Lights.
Det Værste Det Bedste – Aksglæde, ANYA
Kvinde Min – Gasolin’
Boing! – Nik & Jay: I actually asked a girl to write down what this song was at a bar because of how many Danes SCREAMED when it came on. The energy shifted so intensely from whatever Flo Rida song had been playing before. Nik & Jay seem to be Denmark’s equivalent of people like 50 Cent or Akon- very aughts/mid-2000s radio hits with questionable lyrics and a guilty pleasure to listen to in the 2020s but still very entertaining.
Wolf & I – Oh Land
Er Her – Artigeardit, KESI
Levitate Me – Saveus: I first heard this song as a sophomore in high school when it was just released as Saveus’ first single. Saveus is the alias for Martin Hoberg Hedegaard, who was the winner of the first season of Denmark’s The X Factor. Hedegaard won when he was 15 and nearly a decade later he created Saveus as an alias to release music under. (This is a link to a video of him from 2008 singing Justin Timberlake’s What Goes Around on The X Factor versus the link to his music video for Levitate Me from 2017. SUCH a difference).
Into Dimensions – IRAH
Helt Sammen – Franske Piger
What A Life – Scarlet Pleasure: Pulling the Cinema Major card and telling everyone to watch Druk (English: Another Round). What A Life plays a big part in the soundtrack. No more details- just watch the film!
Be Kind To Your Neurosis – I Think You’re Awesome
Du er den du er – PIPI
København – Ulige Numre: I think this is the right song to end on with this playlist. I was shown this song by my boss Elin (hello!) who said this was a “love declaration to Copenhagen”. Although I am sure the Danish is much more expressive, the English translation for the song does more than a fair job of expressing one’s appreciation for growing up and getting to know this city. The music video is a supercut of classic Danish films, commercials, landscapes, and splices of lead singer Carl Emil Møller Petersen singing through the streets of the city. Gorgeous.