Most of the musical references in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy are to American and British singers and songs—David Bowie, Blondie (Debbie Harry), Elvis, Night in Tunisia, etc. If you are getting into the world of contemporary Scandinavian culture that Larsson evokes in his books, you may enjoy some of the increasingly global Swedish figures in the world of pop and rock music (who go way beyond the well-known world of ABBA, the first and most successful Swedish pop music sensation). The most interesting of these include Robyn, Tallest Man on Earth, and The Concretes.
Of Tallest Man On Earth, an NPR radio show introducing his music recently observed, “With his bold vocal style and his intricate acoustic guitar work, The Tallest Man on Earth (a.k.a. Kristian Matsson) has drawn many comparisons to Bob Dylan. But, unlike many who’ve found themselves measured against the wiry-haired troubadour, Matsson goes a long way toward justifying the comparison.”
You might also enjoy the music of Eva Dahlgren, who hails from Umeå, the same northern Swedish town where Stieg Larsson spent his formative years. She has been a legendary music star in Sweden for three decades. A wave of new interest in her work occurred after she made headlines in the Swedish press in 1996 when she came out as a lesbian through her civil union with jewelry designer Efva Attling. Attling maintains a jewelry boutique to showcase her designs in the heart of Larsson’s beloved Södermalm district of Stockholm.