Starting with ABBA and running all the way through to contemporary artists like Robyn, The Knife, and Jens Lekman, it’s clear that Sweden has had a bit of a monopoly on the Scandinavian music scene.

While Denmark, Finland, and Norway can tout a few stars here and there (umm…Lars Ulrich?), they’re certainly laggards when compared to their Northern European neighbor. A few bands are trying to change up that narrative, including Highasakite, a Norwegian electro-pop group that will play at the Rickshaw Stop on Friday.

A news release touting the band led with the headline of “Move Over Sweden, It’s Norway’s Turn To Dominate The Pop Music Scene.” It’s a good effort to try and reclaim some props for the home country, but something tells me that Highasakite has deeper concerns beyond regional music bragging rights.

While the group has an effortless pop approach that recalls fellow Scandinavians Royksopp (also Norwegian!) and Peter, Bjorn and John, Highasakite tackle some pretty heavy topics in their music, railing against militarization, fear-mongering and hateful ideologies.

It’s a jarring juxtaposition to hear vocalist Ingrid Helene Håvik purr over the soft hum of elecontric beeps that “Either you are with us/Or you’re with the terrorists.” The group’s latest album, Camp Echo, is filled with such contrarian elements.

While Håvik’s lyrics are as serious as a heart attack, Highasakite’s music is enjoyable and imminently danceable, which makes them a natural fit for Rickshaw Stop’s weekly Popscene event. The festivities will kick off at 9pm on Friday.

To enter for a chance to win tickets to see Highasakite at Rickshaw Stop on September 16, email contest@thebaybridged.com with “Highasakite” in the subject line and your full name in the body of the email. A winner will be selected at random and notified via email.

Highasakite, Aaron Axelsen
Rickshaw Stop
September 16, 2016
9pm, $13 (18+)