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Indie Rock’s Most Unpronounceable Names – A How-To Guide

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With Lykke Li‘s new album, ‘I Never Learn,’ out today, we figure it’s probably a pretty good time for you to learn how to pronounce the Swedish singer-songwriter’s name. Just in case it comes up in conversation or something this week. We’ve got your back, friend.

As far as hard-to-pronounce names go, Li is not alone. There is many musicians out there being all different from us and what not. How the hell do you pronounce Bon Iver? And what about those foreign bands, like Sigur Ros? You want to talk music with that cool barista who makes your soy latte every morning, but you don’t want to sound like a dumbass? Do yourself a favor and peruse our guide on how to pronounce indie rock’s most unpronounceable names.


Lykke Li

 
 

If you don't know how to pronounce this artist's name yet, you should. She's more popular every day, so you might as well get up to date now. Sounds like lick-ee lee.

 

MGMT

 
 

These guys are a bit quirky, to say the least. So of course they chose a band name that befuddles everyone. Are they called Management? According to their publicist, no, they are not. Sometimes the best answer is the simplest. Sounds like em jee em tee.

 

Sigur Ros

 
 

Those darn foreigners! Why can't they be normal like us? Just kidding. Please don't complain to our bosses. Seriously, though, all of those languages from the frozen wastelands of northern Europe are Greek to us. But luckily, this band has a pronunciation guide on their website. Sounds like sih-ur rose.

 

!!!

 
 

OK, these bands just aren't trying anymore. Or maybe we're grumpy old men who don't understand the kids these days. Or maybe it's a clever marketing ploy. Whatever. Sounds like chik chik chik.

 

Bon Iver

 
 

Think France in all its romantic splendor. Or rather, think about your average uninformed tourist's idea of France. It almost sounds like songwriter Justin Vernon was planning an official Rick Steves trip to France while also trying to think of his band's name. Sounds like bonne eeVAIR.

 

Miike Snow

 
 

The members of this Swedish dance pop group cleverly paying tribute to Japanese filmmaker Takashe Miike, whose last name is pronounced mee-kay. So of course everyone thought that was the correct way to say the band name. But no, it's just Mike. Plain old Mike. Sounds like mike snow.

 

Sufjan Stevens

 
 

Suff-jan? Is that how it's pronounced? No? Well, why don't you stop whispering tenderly while picking that banjo and tell me how to say it? Sounds like soof-yan.

 

Avicii

 
 

This one might be the easiest one, given that this Swedish DJ (what's up with Sweden and the pop music lately?) is all over the radio nowadays. But just in case you don't keep up with anything at all ever, this is how it's pronounced. Sounds like uh vee chee.

 

Next: Watch Lykke Li's 'No Rest for the Wicked' Video

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