Scandinavian music can get really stark: nihilistic black metal, lonely folk tunes, epic Sibelius symphonies. But so often, especially these days, they turn out some of the sweetest pop music you’ve ever heard. “I KNOW we live in a tree-bound land of wintry dark, but let’s drink some gløgg and hold hands!” For my money Norway’s Cold Mailman is one of the most exciting acts in European music. The synths here run intricate and deep, complementing the thought-provoking (if heavily accented) lyrics from Ivar Borwitz. It’s all laid over a solid modern rock backbone that keeps your head bobbing; the effect is happily reminiscent of mid-era Beatles and ambitious-yet-accessible 70s arena rock. They don’t seem to have made much of a splash yet here in the States, but with singles like this that should soon change. Fans of Maia Hirasawa, the Field Mice, Kings of Convenience, or Mates of State should check these guys out. Everything Aflutter is out now on Beyond Music records.