One of Norway’s strongest voices Susanne Sundfør is performing tonight at Kägelbanan in Stockholm. Radar met up with her a while back to talk about the new record and what’s up next (a complete EP about climate change, it turns out).
On her new album Ten Love Songs, released last month, Susanne got assisted by both electronic duo Röyksopp and Antony Gonzales of M83 as well as the Trondheim Soloists Chamber ensemble. But most of the recording, orchestrating and producing has been the work of the Norwegian singer herself, which makes this not only her fifth full-length record – but also an album made fully on her own terms.
Did you have the idea from the beginning to make ten love songs?
– When I started I just knew that I wanted to make a really dynamic and explosive record, both when it came to the music and the lyrics. But when I wrote the songs some of them turned out less explosive. However, they all touched on the subject of love, and so I decided to name the album Ten Love Songs.
Does writing about love come easy to you?
– I think what’s the most important thing, and what takes most effort, is to write about love in a way that makes it possible for people to relate. To not just say ”I love you” but find other ways to approach the subject.
The album, as well as you as an artist, moves between different genres. How would you describe the sound?
– The sound varies. Kamikaze for example is so compact, intense and like an explosion. But you also find the opposite on the album, the more acoustic vibe. The way the songs differ is what makes the album dynamic.
You’ve been an active artist for several years; are you having more fun now – or less?
– It’s more fun now, because I know so much more. When you know how stuff work in the studio it’s much easier to actually be able to explain your ideas and how you want the music to sound to others. That gives you more possibilities and freedom to create what you want.
Moving forward, do you have a list of things you want to achieve in your career?
– Yes, i do! I would actually like to make an EP about climate change. It’s a theme that’s often forgotten, but I want to write songs about how we’re loosing our nature.
That sounds like quite a depressing record?
– It’s definitely a mentally challenging theme, but I want it to be beautiful rather than depressing. It’s a real challenge since, well, when it comes to climate change, there’s really no good news to give…
Photography by: Liam Warton.