Photos by Nina Paakkonen Sjöberg
I am a singer-songwriter of progressive pop presently residing in Stockholm. My music embodies the sounds of yesteryear in a contemporary setting, it is pop in a new costume. In 2017 I’m producing my third album of progressive pop called Cross-Word Tears.
Do we share high demands on “simple” art forms? If pop can be a lot of things far from simple, then why not stretch the formula rigorously? As more complex styles of music may get to you after several listenings, the same can be true of pop; in its multi-layered form it can be gradually more “catchy” and add up in interesting ways when given a bit of patience. My music has taken a number of detours from the melodic language of The Beatles, prominently via progressive rockers of the 70’s such as Genesis and Procol Harum, via crooners-gone-slightly-avant-garde such as Tom Waits and the harmonic experimenting of the late Elliot Smith. The songs are crafted against a backdrop of dry-sounding instrumentation in an effort to bring out the immediacy of each sound and produce an intimacy of musical experience. Lyrically introspective, it investigates themes beyond the heartbreak formula, yet in the context of “an ordinary life”, of the apparently trivial. Further notes on the style of progressive pop can be found here!
Growing up I was exposed to a variety of musical styles from excursions through my father’s record collection. As musically bewildered as encouraged I made my first demo at fifteen together with a friend. Honing guitar-skills, I was making small daily notes on hours of practice whilst my sister were learning social skills next-door. At twenty-one I took a bunch of singing lessons from a charismatic old lady in Gothenburg. Memories linger of a high-ceiling room with old-fashioned furniture, sweet flowery water and her life-partner the medium making occasional and quizzical appearances. I spent most of my twenties figuring out production, learning fundamental studio-skills and fingering on new intruments from time to time. Beside five years of playing songs in front of a teacher from the age of eleven, the good part of my musical education was provided in a printer park listening to hundreds of albums surrounded by the pulsating sound of machines. Along came hip hop, maybe thriving a little extra in those surroundings. Stuck in a far from positive life-situation, having tried some years too many to make creative ends meet while working full-time at the printing company, I moved from Gothenburg to Stockholm in 2009 to study and make music. Can’t remember ever making a better decision. By 2011 I started playing gigs with a trio, testing songs in front of a live audience whilst carving out new songs in the tiny, odd-smelling cottage I inhabited in a slumbering village North of Stockholm. In 2014 I graduated with a masters degree in Social Anthropology and simultaneously released my first full-length album Strange Light Music on my own label bearing the same name. The last couple of years I’ve devoted to the musical production of my solo efforts. 2015 was full of musical activities resulting in the record The Creek And the Carving released on April 20 of 2016. The songs of that album is presently shaped and reshaped into new versions by a brand new band.