Rate Danes: 20 Years of Denmark's Best Music (according to me)

Put away your Lego bricks and close that copy of The Little Mermaid, because it’s time to Rate Danes.


Tillykke! You’ve found yourself in possibly the Denmarkiest rate to ever grace the Popjustice Forum. Yes, I’m as shocked as anyone that I’m not hosting a Swedish rate, but isn’t it nice to expand our horizons (all the way to the nation next door)?

Despite being the smallest Scandinavian country – if you ignore that Greenland is one of its autonomous territories – Denmark more than rises to the occasion in terms of its cultural contributions and worldwide influence. With this rate, I hope to bring some Danish bops into your lives, as well as share some fun facts and tidbits about this little country that could.

Votes are due: June 1st JUNE 12th at 11:59pm final time zone
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First up, please welcome our Headliners, each with 10 spots in the rate.


Alphabeat was described by Popjustice in 2019 as having happened “slightly by accident, about ten years ago, when a lot of the best pop felt like it still happened slightly by accident. They were a six-piece Danish band staffed almost entirely by people called Anders whose euphoric 80s-influenced pop ended up crossing over both commercially and internationally.” To be fair, only half of the people in the band are named Anders, but that’s still 3 of 6. Anyway, here are the Alphabeat alphabeats under consideration in this rate:

“10,000 Nights”
“Boyfriend” / Pete Hammond Remix
“Hole In My Heart”
“I Don’t Know What’s Cool Anymore”
“Love Sea”
“The Spell”


My apologies to Infernal that I didn’t have enough confidence to run a discography rate just for them. Perhaps they will make a good showing here and justify the need for a further contest. This year, Lina Rafn and Paw Lagermann celebrate 25 years since their first single, “Sorti de l’enfer.” We’re not ranking it here because it’s not in the designated time frame, and also ... well, it’s insane. But please do enjoy the ten songs of theirs that we are ranking:

“Can’t Go Back”
“Downtown Boys”
“From Paris To Berlin”
“I Won’t Be Crying”
“Love Is All”
“Self Control”
“Ten Miles”
“Whenever You Need Me”


MuuMuse called Medina one of the “movers and shakers of Danish pop” and “one of the reliable heavy-hitters on the scene for over a decade now.” This year marks the 15th anniversary of her debut single, and since then, she’s notched up 13 #1 singles at home, along with 9 further top 10 hits. This is our Medina top 10:

“Forever” / “For altid”
“Happening” / “Kl. 10”
“In And Out Of Love”
“Junkie” (feat. Svenstrup & Vendelboe)
“Lonely” / “Ensom”
“The One” / “Vi to”
“We Survive”
“You & I” / “Kun for mig”


Melodi Grand Prix is the mechanism by which Denmark selects its entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. The first festival was held in 1957 (the year of the second-ever ESC), where Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler won with the song “Skibet skal sejle i nat” and earned 3rd place at Eurovision. Since then, Denmark has won the Contest three times, and achieved top 10 placements on 22 separate occasions. Here are some of my favorite winners and national finalists:

Anja Nissen – “Where I Am”
Chanée & N’Evergreen – “In A Moment Like This”
Ditte Marie – “Overflow”
Emmelie DeForest – “Only Teardrops”
Jesper Nohrstedt – “Take Our Hearts”
Kate Hall – “I’m Not Alone”
Le Freak – “25 Hours A Day”
Me & My – “Two Are Stronger Than One”
Sannie – “Boys On Girls”
Trine Jepsen – “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again”

Next, our Spotlight acts, with 5 songs each.


Christopher Lund Nissen has been releasing music for the last 10 years and ... OK, the tunes are good but do I really need to explain why I chose him? *vaguely gestures upward*

“The Chancer (Svidden Remix)”
“Nothing In Common”
“Real Life”
“Told You So”
“Take Me Back” (vs. Matoma)


Please meet (or re-introduce yourself to) Stine Hjelm Jacobsen and Martin Bøge Pedersen, who may have only been a group for seven years but gave us plenty of sonic delights during that time.

“It’s Over Now”
“Open Doors”
“Taking Off”
“You & Me”


Perhaps one of the most successful Danish acts abroad in recent years, MØ has a rich discography in and of itself that we focus on here, at the expense of rating her guest appearances on (for example) the two ginormous Major Lazer singles “Lean On”and “Cold Water” (both of which have been streamed more than a billion times).

“Final Song”
“Live To Survive”
“New Moon”
“Nights With You”


In 2009, Private’s album “My Secret Lover” was hailed by this very website as “one of the albums of the decade,” so it’s only fair that we rate some of its songs. Lead singer Thomas Troelsen has also written for Monrose, Jennifer Lopez, Alexandra Burke, and David Guetta, to name a few, as well as some of the songs you’ll see later on in the rate. But he is even more successful with his K-Pop compositions – to the point where Buzzfeed once published an article claiming “Your Favorite K-Pop Song Was Probably Written By This Danish Dude.” Well, if Buzzfeed says it...

“Crucify My Heart”
“Let’s Make Love (Underneath The Apple Tree)”
“My Secret Lover (UK Radio Edit)” / Original
“Waiting For Tonight”
“We Got Some Breaking Up To Do”


This Spotlight group achieved global hit singles beyond the shores of Denmark.

Camille Jones – “The Creeps (Fedde Le Grand Remix)” / Original
Enur feat. Natasja – “Calabria 2007”
Ida Corr – “Let Me Think About It (Fedde Le Grand Remix)” / Original
Junior Senior – “Move Your Feet”
Martin Jensen – “Solo Dance”


And the rest of the songlist, including some familiar faces, encompasses a variety of genres – hopefully something here for everyone’s taste:

Alexander Hampenberg & Morten Breum feat. Stine Bramsen – “I Want You To Want Me Back”
Alexander Oscar – “Bad Intentions”
Aqua – “Back To The 80s”
Aqua – “How R U Doin?”
Aqua – “Playmate To Jesus”
Aura Dione – “Geronimo”
Aura Dione – “I Will Love You Monday”
Aura Dione – “In Love With The World”
Carpark North – “Burn It”
Chanée & N’Evergreen – “Sleepless”
Christine Milton – “Superstar”
Daze – “Fool Me”
Emmelie DeForest – “Rainmaker”
Fallulah – “Out Of It”
Faustix feat. Barbara Moleko – “Don’t U Worry”
Hampenberg feat. Jesper Nohrstedt – “Glorious”
Kato feat. Electric Lady Lab – “Alive”
Kato feat. Infernal – “Speakers On”
Kongsted – “Whine Dat”
Linkoban – “Popgun Track”
Lucy Love – “Take Me Back”
Mads Langer – “3AM”
Martin – “Show The World”
Nabiha – “Weapon”
Oh Land – “Sun Of A Gun”
Quadron – “Hey Love”
Rasmus Seebach – “Calling (Nighthawk)” / “Natteravn”
Scarlet Pleasure – “What A Life”
Sisse Marie – “Kill For Your Love”
Stine Hjelm – “Fallen”
THANKS – “Dizzy”
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Heart Attack”
The Raveonettes – “Heartbreak Stroll”
Volbeat – “Lola Montez”
Whigfield – “As I Go”


But wait, there’s more! As the previous 100 songs are all in English (or both English and Danish), I’ve chosen 15 extra Danish tracks that I hope/think you’ll enjoy.

Alphabeat feat. Herrelandsholdet – “Danmarks Dynamite”
Burhan G – “Jeg vil ha’ dig for mig selv”
Fyr og Flamme – “Øve os på hinanden”
Medina – “Har du glemt”
Medina – “Rick Ross”
Medina – “Synd for dig”
Medina – “Velkommen til Medina”
Rasmus Seebach – “I mine øjne"
Rasmus Seebach – “Olivia”
Rasmus Seebach – “Så længe vi danser”
Sukkerchok – “Det det”
Sukkerchok – “Kæmper for kærlighed"
Svenstrup & Vendelboe feat. Nadia Malm – “Dybt vand”
Thomas Holm – “Byen kalder”
Thomas Holm – “Selvmord På Dansegulvet”
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PAQ (Potentially Asked Questions):

Is this rate any different than every other Popjustice rate?

Well, we are all special in our own ways, but this will be a pretty standard undertaking. Please score each song from 0-10, using whatever decimals you feel you need to use. Don’t forget the almighty elleve (11), to be given to your absolute favorite song. Commentary of any kind is welcomed, if inspiration strikes.

Why isn’t <insert missing song or artist> on the list?

There are two main reasons why this may be the case. The first is release date—for the sake of having some parameters, I opted to only choose songs released within the last 20 years. The other is purely selfish: I made this list with some of my own personal favorite songs and wanted to give them a wider audience. We can always spotlight additional songs throughout the voting period, or maybe there will be a market for a part 2.

The one exception to this rule is Lukas Graham, because if you are a band and your lead singer calls Eurovision the “let’s wank each other off while we’re listening to bad songs” contest, I have no interest in further spotlighting anything you’ve created. Gå væk!

What happens when a song has multiple versions?

Please rate the version you prefer. Some songs have two spots because they were better known to the public in the form of a remix. Other songs are listed twice because they were English translations of Danish songs. (While I would never suggest that versions in different languages are completely interchangeable, I think the listener will agree that these specific songs are similar enough that it would feel like rating the same song twice if both versions were mandatory.) If this is not satisfactory for you, assign a score to both versions and send me the average. For this reason, I have made two Spotify playlists (Abridged and Unabridged). Ultimately it’s only a 10 song difference, so you decide.

Unfortunately, region blocks are still a thing in 2022, so you may need to go back and forth between Spotify and YouTube to hear everything.

What is the deadline?

Votes are due: June 1st at 11:59pm final time zone (two months should be enough time? It’s 7ish hours of music). And who are we kidding, there will probably be an extension.


Voting template (Google sheet)

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115) THANKS – “Dizzy” 5.4625
114) Kongsted – “Whine Dat” 5.7833
113) Aura Dione – “I Will Love You Monday” 5.8167
112) Christopher – “Nothing In Common” 5.8917
111) The Raveonettes – “Heartbreak Stroll” 5.925
110) Faustix feat. Barbara Moleko – “Don’t U Worry” 5.9917
109) Jesper Nohrstedt – “Take Our Hearts” 6.0667
108) Linkoban – “Popgun Track” 6.125
107) Chanée & N’Evergreen – “In A Moment Like This” 6.1917
106) Alphabeat feat. Herrelandsholdet – “Danmarks Dynamite” 6.2727
105) Christopher – “Take Me Back” (vs. Matoma) 6.425
104) Rasmus Seebach – “Olivia” 6.4727
103) Scarlet Pleasure – “What A Life” 6.5917
102) Medina – “Rick Ross” 6.6091
101) Kato feat. Infernal – “Speakers On” 6.6833
100) Volbeat – “Lola Montez” 6.7
99) Aura Dione – “In Love With The World” 6.775
98) Alexander Oscar – “Bad Intentions” 6.85
97) Lucy Love – “Take Me Back” 6.8583
96) MØ – “Nights With You” 7.0708
95) Christopher – “The Chancer (Svidden Remix)” 7.1125
94) Chanée & N’Evergreen – “Sleepless” 7.1417
93) Alphabeat – “Vacation” 7.15
92) Nabiha – “Weapon” 7.1625
90) Daze – “Fool Me” 7.1917
90) Aura Dione – “Geronimo” 7.1917
89) Mads Langer – “3AM” 7.2833
88) Christopher – “Real Life” 7.3083
87) Camille Jones – “The Creeps (Fedde Le Grand Remix)” / Original 7.325
86) Alphabeat – “Love Sea” 7.3583
85) Thomas Holm – “Byen kalder” 7.3818
84) Private – “Waiting For Tonight” 7.3917
83) Martin – “Show The World” 7.4
81) Private – “Crucify My Heart” 7.4083
81) Anja Nissen – “Where I Am” 7.4083
80) Alphabeat – “Shadows” 7.4250
79) Thomas Holm – “Selvmord På Dansegulvet” 7.4455
78) Martin Jensen – “Solo Dance” 7.4917
77) Me & My – “Two Are Stronger Than One” 7.5
76) Christopher – “Told You So” 7.5083
75) Carpark North – “Burn It” 7.5417
74) Private – “Let’s Make Love (Underneath The Apple Tree)” 7.5583
73) Hampenberg feat. Jesper Nohrstedt – “Glorious” 7.5792
72) MØ – “Kamikaze” 7.6125
71) Rasmus Seebach – “I mine øjne" 7.6182
70) Enur feat. Natasja – “Calabria 2007” 7.625
69) Private – “We Got Some Breaking Up To Do” 7.65
68) Trine Jepsen – “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” 7.6667
67) Aqua – “Playmate To Jesus” 7.7
66) A. Hampenberg & M. Breum feat. Stine Bramsen – “I Want You To Want Me Back” 7.7125
65) Fallulah – “Out Of It” 7.7667
64) Whigfield – “As I Go” 7.8083
63) Rasmus Seebach – “Så længe vi danser” 7.8636
62) Quadron – “Hey Love” 7.8667
61) Medina – “Junkie” (feat. Svenstrup & Vendelboe) 7.8875
60) Medina – “Synd for dig” 7.9273
59) Le Freak – “25 Hours A Day” 7.9542
57) Electric Lady Lab – “It’s Over Now” 7.9583
57) Alphabeat – “10,000 Nights” 7.9583
56) Sisse Marie – “Kill For Your Love” 7.975
55) Medina – “Lonely” / “Ensom” 8
54) Kate Hall – “I’m Not Alone” 8.0167
53) Aqua – “How R U Doin?” 8.05
52) Medina – “Har du glemt” 8.0545
51) The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Heart Attack” 8.0667
50) Fyr og Flamme – “Øve os på hinanden” 8.0818
49) Aqua – “Back To The 80s” 8.0917
48) Medina – “Happening” / “Kl. 10” 8.1083
47) Burhan G – “Jeg vil ha’ dig for mig selv” 8.1636
46) Rasmus Seebach – “Calling (Nighthawk)” / “Natteravn” 8.1667
43) Emmelie DeForest – “Rainmaker” 8.1833
43) Private – “My Secret Lover (UK Radio Edit)” / Original 8.1833
43) Stine Hjelm – “Fallen” 8.1833
41) Ida Corr – “Let Me Think About It (Fedde Le Grand Remix)” / Original 8.1917
41) Medina – “Gutter” 8.1917
40) Oh Land – “Sun Of A Gun” 8.2083
39) Medina – “Velkommen til Medina” 8.2182
38) Alphabeat – “I Don’t Know What’s Cool Anymore” 8.2333
37) Infernal – “Downtown Boys” 8.2417
36) Svenstrup & Vendelboe feat. Nadia Malm – “Dybt vand” 8.2545
35) Sukkerchok – “Det det” 8.2636
34) Infernal – “Can’t Go Back” 8.275
33) Alphabeat – “Fascination” 8.2833
32) Electric Lady Lab – “You & Me” 8.3167
30) Medina – “In And Out Of Love” 8.3333
30) Sannie – “Boys On Girls” 8.3333
29) Sukkerchok – “Kæmper for kærlighed" 8.3364
28) Emmelie DeForest – “Only Teardrops” 8.3667
27) MØ – “Final Song” 8.4333
26) Medina – “The One” / “Vi to” 8.45
25) Electric Lady Lab – “Taking Off” 8.4667
24) Infernal – “Whenever You Need Me” 8.4917
23) Infernal – “Redefinition” 8.5
22) Alphabeat – “Hole In My Heart” 8.5167
21) Ditte Marie – “Overflow” 8.5292
20) Electric Lady Lab – “Hurts” 8.5333
19) Infernal – “Weightless” 8.5625
17) Infernal – “Love Is All” 8.5667
17) Kato feat. Electric Lady Lab – “Alive” 8.5667
16) Infernal – “I Won’t Be Crying” 8.5833
15) MØ – “New Moon” 8.6

14) Electric Lady Lab – “Open Doors” 8.625
13) Infernal – “Self Control” 8.6583
12) Junior Senior – “Move Your Feet” 8.6667
11) Alphabeat – “Boyfriend” / Pete Hammond Remix 8.725
10) Medina – “You & I” / “Kun for mig” 8.7917
9) MØ – “Live To Survive” 8.7958
8) Alphabeat – “DJ” 8.8833
7) Infernal – “Ten Miles” 8.9083
6) Medina – “Forever” / “For altid” 8.925
4) Medina – “Addiction” 9.0125
4) Medina – “We Survive” 9.0125
3) Christine Milton – “Superstar” 9.1083
2) Alphabeat – “The Spell” 9.1333
1) Infernal - “From Paris To Berlin” 9.3167

Bolded songs received at least one score of 11.​
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As promised, throughout the rate I will highlight some the ways that Denmark has contributed to the global conversation as well as potentially keeping this thread from dropping to page 23 of the Charts, Rates, etc. subforum.

Since we are coming off of the so-called “biggest night in Hollywood,” I thought my first post should be about the cinema.

Denmark has won the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film (formerly called Best Foreign Language Film) on 4 occasions. Their most recent win came in 2020 with Thomas Vinterberg’s Druk (aka Another Round).

In the trailer, you will hear one of our rate entries (Scarlet Pleasure’s “What A Life”).

Ten years earlier, Denmark took home a trophy for Susanne Bier’s Hævnen (aka In A Better World).

This win marked the end of a near quarter-century drought for Denmark, who won back-to-back trophies in 1987 for Gabriel Axel’s Babettes Gæstebud (aka Babette’s Feast):

And in 1988 for Bille August’s Pelle Erobreren (aka Pelle The Conqueror).

Denmark has received ten other nominations, including this past year for Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s animated documentary Flugt (aka Flee).

Some other notable names from Danish film include:

Lars von Trier.
If you like to finish watching a movie having entirely lost the will to live, you might enjoy a Lars von Trier movie! Stars like Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Björk among others have appeared in his films. And 2009’s Antichrist led none other than John Waters to state: “If Ingmar Bergman had committed suicide, gone to hell, and come back to earth to direct an exploitation/art film for drive-ins, [Antichrist] is the movie he would have made.” Fun!

Nicolas Winding Refn.
I first came to know Nicolas Winding Refn’s work in a little movie he made called Drive starring one of my then-husbands Ryan Gosling and one of my now-husbands Oscar Isaac. I then checked out of Nicolas Winding Refn’s work after seeing another movie of his called Only God Forgives. Well, you better hope She does, because I sure don’t forgive NWR for wasting my time. The plotline of Only God Forgives: “In Thailand, a drug trafficker’s icy mother sends him on a mission to avenge his older brother, who was killed for beating an underage prostitute to death.” FUN!!

Lone Scherfig.
If you saw An Education with Carey Mulligan, or One Day with Anne Hathaway, you saw a Lone Scherfig movie! If you didn’t, well, I can’t really help you, but she has been making movies for many years, including one I once saw at a film festival called Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself. FUN!!!

Niels Arden Oplev.
On my first trip to Sweden, I kept seeing posters and advertisements for this movie called Män som hatar kvinnor. Little did I know I would soon be spending all of my waking breaths telling people they should watch Niels Arden Oplev’s version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and not the David Fincher US remake. In 2017, Niels directed a remake of his own – Flatliners, which earned a whopping 4% on Rotten Tomatoes and led Rolling Stone to comment that it was “even more witless and stupefyingly dull than the original.” Strange, I think that was how I described David Fincher’s film.

We will discuss Danish television and Danish acting stars on another episode!