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After a trip to London in 1990 Joakim Berg and  Sami Sirviö return to Eskilstuna dead set to start their own band influenced by then popular acts like My Bloody Valentine. At their school St Eskils they start a band called Coca-Cola Kids  and then Jones & Giftet (Jones & the Poison).  A year later they win the local talentcontest Cult 91.  A few months later Martin Roos joins the band and they change their name to Havsänglar.  In 1993 the gang moves to Stockholm and again make a namechange into Kent. A first 10-track demo is recorded which eventually leads to a contract with BMG. Their 1995 debut album made no commercial impact however. Guitarist Roos gave his position to Harri Mänty and dedicated himself in managing the band. Also the sound of the band changed into a more accessable form. With succes, the single ‘Kräm (Så nära får ingen gå)’ immediately became a radio hit. The small hit gave enough room for ‘Verkligen’ to make a larger recognition especially after a heavy nationwide tour. With ‘Isola’ the band continued on the path of slow melodic pop. The last song on the album, the 7,5 minute long ‘747’, would become the band's closer for every show for the next 8 years. Although not intended as a single, due to it’s popularity, it was released in an edited version. In 1998 Kent attempted to break through to the international market with an English version of ‘Isola’, featuring an extra song ‘Velvet’. It sold poorly outside of Scandinavia despite heavy touring in the UK and the US. For the 1999 album ‘Hagnesta Hill’ the band started experimenting with drum-machines and Electronics inspired by Radiohead. There was a second try with an English version a year later but again the international audience did not pick up. Plans to release it in the US were shelved just as another US-tour.  A single show, played in front of a tiny crowd at London's Scala Club, was recorded for Japanese TV.  Later that year the compilation ‘B-sidor 95–00’ (B-Sides 95–00) was released.

After being incapable of getting an international breakthrough Kent focussed on the homefront and took their time to record the follow up. With succes; the single ‘Dom andra’ (The Others) became a huge hit on Swedish radio. The album ‘Vapen & ammunition’ (Weapon(s) & Ammunition) it sold over 600,000 copies, more than twice as many as any other Kent album untill then. The recordcompany suggested to try again with an English translation but the band voted against it. Instead of touring the band did only one show at Stockholms Stadium. As the band told the crowd to come there dressed in white, it was nicknamed "The White Concert". The 2005 album ‘Du & jag döden’ was  announced as a "very dark album". It was very well-received by fans and critics. The following ‘Turné 19’ (Tour 19) took place in huge tents with a capacity of up to 18,000. At the end of the year Kent released the EP ‘Hjärta & Smärta’ with five new tracks. By then the band again lost its guitarist when Mänty left. Meanwhile work on ‘Tillbaka till samtiden’ (Back to the Present) commanced. Due to an internetleak the album was released prematurely and eventually won a Rockbjörnen award. In 2009 Kent released their eighth studio album ‘Röd’. Parallel to that they also delivered the theme song to the Swedish documentary ‘Hemlösa’, covering the homeless problem in Stockholm. The song was released as a limited edition. Another exclusive song was ‘Tuna 350’ celebrating the 350 year jubilee of the Swedish city Eskilstuna, where Kent was founded. The 2010 album ‘En plats i solen’ turned out to be their last album with Sony (BMG). The band signed to Universal in 2011 on which they release their tenth album a year later.One more album would follow before the band announced their farewell. In the fall of 2016 they started a last tour taking them around Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. Tthe final concert took place in Stockholm’s Tele 2 Arena on December 17th. A closing compilation album Då Som Nu För Alltid  and one new single 'Egoist' closed the book for Kent.

On the web:

- Kents website: http://www.kent.nu

What do we think:

DB: Kent is living proof that sometimes it’s better to dedicate your career to singing in your native tongue then trying to compete in the UK or USA in ‘Engrish’. In itself Kent is an excellent alternative band and has rightfully gained the status they own in Scandinavia. But their musical influences are very much English bands like Radiohead, Coldplay and Depeche Mode so to get that uniqueness we seek the extra comes from the language. That said, at their best moments Kent does have that airy icy twinkling sound you only find in Scandinavian pop/rock music. Great band and unjustly ingnored outside their own territory.

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts

Le Vibrazione (Italy)

Los Planetas (Spain)

Mör ve otesi (Turkey)


- Kent - 1995

- Verkligen - 1996)

- Isola - 1997

♪♪♪ - Hagnesta Hill - 1999

♪♪♪ - Vapen & ammunition - 2002

♪♪♪ - Du & jag döden - 2005

♪♪♪♪ - Tillbaka till samtiden - 2007

♪♪♪♪♪ - Röd - 2009

♪♪♪♪- En plats i solen - 2010

♪♪♪ - Jag är inte rädd för mörkret - 2012

♪♪♪♪ - Tigerdrottningen - 2014

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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