2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life

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First Aid Kit……..another Swedish export!

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

There are some musicians / groups who are so distinctive that it is almost sacrosanct to try to cover their songs. Amongst this select band I would put the Swedish super group Abba, whose sound was so distinctive, not least because of the composing / songwriting skills of Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and the stunning vocals of Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad.

Recently I was listening to a programme on the radio and a couple of young ladies were being interviewed about their latest record, a Swedish duo by the name of First Aid Kit.

The folk duo  consists of the sisters Klara (vocals/guitar) and Johanna Söderberg (vocals/keyboards/autoharp/bass guitar). When performing live, the duo are accompanied by a drummer, a pedal steel guitarist and recently a keyboard player. In 2008, they became internationally known by their YouTube video cover of the Fleet Foxes song “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” that…

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Silence is Golden for shopkeepers, maybe

The value of music in retail is still a matter of opinion. Recently researchers in Stockholm examined the impact of different music at 16 branches of the same fast food chain over a 5 month period.

They found that having no background music raised sales by 4% compared to a random selection of pop songs.

Sven-Olov Daunfeldt, the lead researcher, says the problem may not be the songs but the type of music.  “Silence is better than the wrong music but a carefully selected mix of brand-fit music can lift sales by 9%”.

In fast food chains music that is welcoming and modern encourages people to spend more. Ed Sheeran‘s Shape of You boosted sales of desserts by 11% and smoothies by 15%.

Rolling Stones music had the opposite effect as their music was considered too traditional. How times and tastes change!

Soundtrack your Brand, a company which provides bespoke song selection to stores, said they chose based on the core customers. Bombastic arena music doesn’t fit in a luxury boutique and Queen‘s Bohemian Rhapsody should never be played in any store. It is too dynamic and changes styles throughout distracting customers from actually doing any shopping.

And there has been a backlash against piped music in stores with several large retailers stopping providing it.

Previous posts on music and shopping here and music in restaurants here