Poppare

So, here’s my latest Mod-influenced find, thanks to The Internet:

Pandafrisyr / 60’s mod from Amanda Lindblom on Vimeo.

“Poppare” (“pop fan”, according to most translations i’ve found on fansites) is a near-exclusively Swedish subculture style (a few people, usually girls, in “poppare” style have been noticed in Denmark, Finland, and even Paris, but for the most part, it seems contained to Sweden) that seems linked to a fans of shoegaze-influenced indie rock and pop music. Swedish bands like Broder Daniel, Florence Valentin, Kent, and others are popular, as are English bands such as The Smiths and Morrissey solo, The Cure, Franz Ferdinand, Joy Division, and a few others. The usage example of “poppare” in urbandictionary.com likens the look to “Emo from the 1960s”, and it doesn’t seem that far off a description.

The most popular hairstyle on girls seems to be these painstakingly-sculpted A-line bob-influenced bouffants (the back tends to be up higher and hair hangs lower in the front at a sharp angle), and popular dress for young women includes 60s Mod-influenced A-line skirts and shift dresses, Mary Jane shoes, Go-Go boots, heavy eyeliner and thick false lashes. The most common variants are “glitter poppare”, which is colourful, and hair is often accessorised with baby barrettes, and cheap plastic jewellery also seems popular with that style; then there’s “panda poppare”, named for the stark black-and-white colour scheme and often smokey eye make-up, and the look is generally more “grown-up”, in comparison; and then there’s a more casual look, with ‘smaller” hair, cigarette-slim jeans and Capri pants, oversized t-shirts, and big sunglasses. While photos of the boys, tagged popparpojke on Fuck Yeah Poppare, seem rarer, I’ve found a few pictures that seem to pick up on some later Mod and Mod Revival influences:

(above images found on the Tumblrerg “Fuck Yeah Poppare“)

(image found from Tumblr user olaf-g.tumblr.com)

Image found on the emocore.se forum

more popparpojke photos, are here.

Broder Daniel “Shoreline” musicvideo from Karl-Johan Larsson on Vimeo.

I’ve been listening to a few Broder Daniel albums, lately, and I have no idea why these boys didn’t break into the UK or US indie pop/rock scenes, cos they go really great alongside shoegaze staples like The Smiths, The Cure, The Go-Betweens, or My Bloody Valentine —the guitars are a little heavier, but really no moreso than the heaviest offerings from the Jangle Pop and Paisley Underground scenes of the mid-1980s (a scene I plan on writing an entry about, soon), which does make some sense, as they formed initially in 1989, and their first album was released in 1994, so it would make perfect sense if a lot of their influences lay in British shoegaze and jangle pop. Their emphasis on emotionally-charged lyrics rather than what they’ve referred to as “musical correctness” could’ve also given them a bit of a cult following when Emo was big a few years ago, but alas, I guess it wasn’t meant to be, and unfortunately, they disbanded in 2008, so short of a reunion, any cult following they gain outside of Sweden will be posthumous.

As I’ve previously noted, a lot of shoegaze and Australian Swamp seems to borrow bits and bobs from the 60s Mod and garage sounds, as well as jazz, rhythm & blues, and old blues inflused with a post-punk sensibility, which certainly helps a lot of the music more closely associated with those scenes appeal to Mods, even if the fashions associated with those scenes seldom seem to display much in the way of Mod influence, unless you count the fact that a handful of bands seem to be outfitted partially by old clothes from the mid-1960s that ended up in charity shops between 1979 and 1985. Here, i see a bit more in reverse —while the music tends to draw from newer sounds and influences, the associated fashions are clearly 60s-inspired, though with a few “updates” here and there.

That said, I think I’m showing my age when I see pictures of poppare girls in outfits like this:

and i immediately think of Strawberry Swithblade:

…and again, we do see a clear bouffant made with the hair, and if you’re familiar with Rose McDowall’s work after Strawberry Switchblade, then you’d know she did a record and EP of some pretty spot-on covers of 1960s folk rock, beautiful music, and chanson, (including Nancy & Lee‘s “Big Red Baloon”), under the name Spell.

To further align the poppare scene with Mod Revivals and similar scenes, an apparent influence and reference I keep seeing in the Tumblr tags is Mats Johnsson’s autobiographical graphic novel, Hey Princess, which apparently features a lot of references to 1990s Britpop, especially Oasis.

So yeah, I’m sure a lot of purists in the Modernist Front Party would insist that three’s no relation between the two scenes, but i think it’s pretty apparent, glaringly so, at times.