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Ämne: Research on Kent

  1. #1

    Standard Research on Kent

    A couple of days ago, I posted a thread in the "Kent in Media" section about my new research article. Somebody pointed out that I should do the same in the English-language forum as well. The background is that I just published an article called "Kent'sSweden, or what a rock band can tell us about a nation" in the geography journal Fennia (I'm a cultural geographer at a U.S. university). I argue that Kent's music, and the societal discourse about Kent, is a lens through which one can understand Swedish national identity. The article is available to everybody at: If you're interested, please read the article. Any comments on my analysis is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Medlem stjärnors avatar
    Sep 2007
    glasgow, scotland
    1 385


    Hi Ola

    It appears the link you posted here doesn't work, so here's a copy of it from the Swedish thread:

    It was a really interesting read, and pulled together some points I had noticed about their music but without fully thinking about myself. Also, I had never realised the symbolism/significance of the D&JD album cover (having never seen The Seventh Seal) and now the title of Järnspöken makes perfect sense. There's other things, but I need to go and read it again to remind myself what they were, as I read it in a 2 sittings. Just to warn folks, as it's an academical piece, it's quite long and is written formally (but don't let that put you off, just have a cup of tea and half an hour or so of peace and quiet to fully enjoy it).

    Thanks for sharing, I'll probably come back and list a few other things when I get the chance.

    Ps- how long did it take to research & write? It would have been a fun project to undertake.

  3. #3


    Finally someone who has taken their love for Kent and turned it into an academical piece of research! My friends have a joke about a fan who spends his days studying Max 500's single case. Yeah, you know, the one that is pitch black and with nothing else on it than just some plain blue text.

    But I agree with stjärnor, it was a really interesting read and gave me an excuse to thoroughly re-read many lyrics. I hadn't made the connection between D&DJ album cover and The Seventh Seal either - which, by the way, reminds me that I once read that the artist of the D&DJ album cover was at first supposed to be someone else, some Scandinavian contemporary artist whose works Joakim Berg loved, but for some reason it didn't work out - and now I can't remember his name or where I read it. Does anyone remember the name of the artist? Or did I made it entirely up in my own head?

    The symbolism behind Vapen & Ammunition's cover and the so called "Swedish tiger" was also new. I had always thought that the reference to the Swedish tiger was connected to the shape of Scandinavia. But my absolute favourite part of the article was this, reminding me why I love Joakim Berg's wit so much: "Furthermore, summer and pleasant weather are not only depressing, but outright dangerous: “You get cancer from the sun” (“Om Gyllene År”)." Ha!

    It would also be interesting to hear from other non-Swedish fans how they perceive the Swedishness of Kent, especially those outside of Scandinavia. I myself linger somewhere between - I'm from Estonia, so the winter sadness and empty cities are familiar, but the welfare-state not so much. I also agree with the vaguely leftist politics in Kent's lyrics - the hint of working class and Red May suits me well. I guess that's also why I like Kent's critical patriotism. The lyrics of Det Finns Inga Ord have always been one of my favourites, and I recognize the cautious way of expressing love for one's country, mixed with many other feelings - how it finds its way in the subtle criticism, care and images of everyday landscapes, and not in the right-winged xenophobia and extensive use of flags.

    But I have to say that for me it has never been Kent's Swedishness which has appealed to me (for comparison - many of those who listen to Japanese bands become Japanophiles), but rather the way they have created a complete world of their own, which, sure enough, happens to be closely connected to Sweden, since that's where they come from. Kent is a very atmospheric band and even though their music has changed through times, something unique stays. That's also why I have never understood how some critics can just call them "Swedish Radiohead" and leave it there, not noticing the completely different atmosphere.

    Coming back to the article, I really liked the way you tied your themes into one big image, a (winter, urban, inner and public) landscape - it was beautiful. Also, listening to music and reading a research article about your favourite band is probably one of the best ways to spend an evening. Too bad Lilliestam's study is only in Swedish language.

    Thanks for sharing indeed!

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