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Singer/songwriter Emil Odling formed Blithe in 1990 in the small college town of Umea, Sweden, with guitarist Mattias Norlander, bassist Nils Forsberg, and drummer Johan Nilsson. While most Swedish alternative groups, such as The Cardigans and Komeda (which Norlander also plays for), are guided by a kitschy sixties sensibility, Blithe is more guided by independent guitar rock from America, such as The Pixies, Sebadoh, and Dinosaur Jr. Blithe slowly grew its reputation around Sweden, releasing albums in Sweden in 1992 and 1994. The second of these, Head is Mighty, came out at about the same time that other Swedish acts were being signed by American independent labels, and the North Carolina label Alias signed Blithe and re-released Head is Mighty in the United States in 1996. The album failed to catch on among buyers of independent label rock, and the same fate awaited the group's next album, Verse Chorus Verse, which was released in 1997. ~ Aaron Schatz

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1990 in Umeå, Sweden

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