She got sick of the jazz dudes at school and stopped making music after graduation. But Anna Nordenström rediscovered her joy of music, found herself a producer and a melancholic, dramatic indie sound – which has all led to her debut album as Call Me.
Anna Nordenström was picked up by music blogs after releasing just a few demos on Soundcloud. Some of the writers stated the songs made them “fall off their chairs” because of how good it sounded. Since then she’s been working on the debut album A Sort of Company, set for release on the 25th. But despite the hype, Anna has stayed low key, creating an impression of her keeping in the shadows.
– I think the idea of me being sort of underground comes partly from my artist name, Call Me is such an anonymous name and really hard to google. And maybe it’s also because I don’t do that many interviews. But I wouldn’t describe myself as afraid of the spotlight, maybe just a bit shy, Anna explains.
So it hasn’t got anything to do with you being afraid of being on stage?
– No, I like being on stage. It’s probably mainly all the other stuff I find harder.
Her second song Fishes was a collaboration with producer and Palpitation member Ilon Vejde. After the release Gothenburg based indie label Luxury singed Anna and she eventually started working on a debut album – together with Ilon. The track list contains both of her first songs Easy and Fishes, but in slightly more refined versions.
– Fishes is basically the same, since Ilon produced the original. But we remade Easy quite a lot. I might release the demo-version on Soundcloud later on though. It’s quite cute, Anna says.
The other songs on A Sort of Company stick to the emotional and powerful sound, making the record an impressing entity of Call me-esk music.
– If I would describe the theme, I would probably say the common thread is the heartbeat drum, the hollow sound and a floating feeling, Anna says.
It’s funny how you describe only the musical aspects and not the lyrics as a theme. I read that you don’t really like paying that much attention to lyrics. Is that the case?
– Yes, I think it’s really hard writing lyrics. I would definitely say that the music area is where I feel most at home.
But your song Change has a really clear theme, a message about feminism and anti-racism.
– Change became a really political song and that felt important to do. Music is such an easy way to get your message across. But it’s the only song on the album with that kind of theme.
Are you a politically active person?
– Yes, definitely. I also feel that just the fact that I’m a girl making music on my own is political.
Have you noticed a “trend” of Swedish musicians making music with a clear political message at the moment?
– Yes, there are a lot of people taking that position now, and also a lot of non-cis-males which is really important. But we need more!
Studying music at upper secondary school made Anna sick of all the dudes and the jazz. With no room for her own will and personal expressions, she didn’t experience the joy of making music until several years later.
– I got sick just thinking of music after graduating. I didn’t make any music for two or three years after that. But then I got to play at a friend’s club and I realised I could create music just for me. Without any dudes or jazz.
That must have been a great revelation! Had you given your personal sound any thought before that?
– No, I hadn’t and the way I first started shaping it was very random. I found my dad’s old synthesizer, and it had a lot of weird sounds which I based the sound on. My music has become a lot more electronic since then though.
Did you work hard to stick to your sound and create a consistency on the album?
– It’s not like I forced myself to use the same kind of instruments on every song, but more like I wanted the same sort of feeling to be in all the songs, to create a flow.
– I’ve been inspired by both the feeling of complete happiness and complete unhappiness. The record is clearly very melancholic and sad but you can also hear the sound of hope.
I agree! There’s a clear feeling of power in your music.
– Yeah, maybe that’s the sound of the hope.
The last song, Alright, has probably the most hope in it.
– Yes, it’s fast paced and happy. It was the last song we made and it contains that feeling of “we’re finally done!” There’s a lot of chaos in it, but only a few lines; “It’s alright / We don’t have to know how / We can make our own thing” which is kind of hopeful right?
Yes! Good thing the album ends with the total happiness and not the total unhappiness.
– Haha yes. That’s also the song I’m looking forward to the most to play live.
Photography by Liam Warton. View all photos on top.