Tag: Free Kitten

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Sofia Härdig Releases Moody Yet Upbeat Visuals for “Illuminate”

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Swedish singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and JOVM Sofia Härdig, and as you may recall, she is at the forefront of an internationally renowned Swedish electro pop movement that includes a handful of JOVM mainstays and others that I’ve written about throughout the course of this site’s history; in fact, in her native country, she’s considered a queen of Sweden’s electronic rock scene. Along with that, Härdig has collaborated with the likes of Grammy Award-winning acts The Hellacopters, Bob Hund, Boredoms and Free Kitten‘s Yoshimi P-We — and she has shared stages with Lydia Lunch and Belle and Sebastian‘s Stevie Jackson. 

Härdig’s latest single “Illuminate” is an atmospheric, 80s-inspired, glistening and moody synth pop track consisting of layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a subtle rhythm guitar, a sinuous guitar line and a sultry hook — and while in some way reminding me of Stevie Nicks “Stand Back” and The Cars “Drive,” “Illuminate” is a deeply contemplative and introspective song focusing on the endless and seemingly frustrating search for love and for connection. Although it comes from a deeply personal place, it’s a universal sentiment that we’ve all felt at one point or another — and with a similar yearning to find that sort of love once again.

As Härdig explains in press notes. “I worked with the song ‘Illuminate’ alone in my studio for many long, lonesome nights. It was just the studio, the stars and I, while I played all the instruments, made the soundscape and recorded the single in solitude. Later, I invited over some friends to improvise over the track. Guitarist John Essing and bass player Mats Hellquist, both from the band ‘bob hund’, but also a classical pianist and cellist respectively, added parts to the soundscape of ‘Illuminate.’ I brought all the new recordings back into the studio – tore them apart, rebuilt them and made arrangements, as if I was a mad scientist in my lab. I then brought in Jari Haapalainen to produce the songs. The solitary fashion in which ‘Illuminate’ was crafted reflects the mood of the single.”

 The recently released video by Stefan Sundlof features textured and looped footage of dimly illuminated streets and close ups of Härdig in soft vignette framing — the darkness at the edges of the footage, slowly envelope the Swedish singer/songwriter and producer at one point, leaving only her illuminated. Towards the end of the video, the footage becomes increasingly brighter and day lit, further emphasizing the song’s increasing upbeat tone towards its conclusion. “It’s amazing that three of my best friends are filmmakers, even more so that they’re all involved in some way or another with this album,” Härdig says in press notes “Jessica Nettelbladt took the photos for the singles and the album, Johannes Stjärne Nillson did the covers and Stefan Sundlöf directed this video. The video uses a special version of ‘Illuminate’ that Stefan had fallen in love with; a slower, darker one. Stefan and I often share music and talk about it. When I sent him this edit of ‘Illuminate’ he responded almost right away with a 30 second video clip, that he’d made of what he had in mind for the song. It was stunning. I was convinced and saved the version for the video. So especially for you, here you get a glimpse of another universe of ‘Illuminate’. The one for the video, the one for Stefan.”
 

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Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about renowned Swedish singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist JOVM mainstay Sofia Härdig, who’s at the forefront of a blogosphere attention grabbing Swedish pop movement that includes several acts that I’ve written about at some or another; in fact, in her native Sweden, she’s considered the queen of electronic rock. Adding to a growing profile, the Swedish-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has collaborated with the likes of Grammy Award-winning acts The Hellacopters and Bob HundBoredoms and Free Kitten’s Yoshimi P-We — and she has shared stages with Lydia Lunch and Belle and Sebastian‘s Stevie Jackson.

Last month, I wrote about Härdig’s “Illuminate,” an atmospheric and introspective, 80s-inspired synth pop track featuring layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a subtle rhythm guitar, a sinuous guitar line and a sultry hook that managed to remind me of both  Stevie NicksStand Back” and The CarsDrive” but centered around a deeply personal and yet universal experience — the seemingly endless, frustrating search for love and connection with another. Interestingly, “Let Me Fall,” the latest single from her forthcoming full-length effort, Changing the Order is a thumping, club banging track that finds the renowned Swedish pop artist drawing from industrial electronica and 90s house music — to my ears, it’s a trippy yet forceful synthesis of Depeche Mode, Light Asylum and Snap!

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years of its eight year history, you’ve likely come across an article featuring renowned Swedish singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and JOVM mainstay  Sofia Härdig. And as you may recall, Härdig is part of a rapidly expanding list of Scandinavian artists, who have received attention internationally — and just as importantly, she’s at the forefront of a blogosphere attention grabbing Swedish pop movement that includes several acts that I’ve written about at some or another; in fact, in her native Sweden, she’s considered the queen of electronic rock. Adding to a growing profile, the Swedish-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has collaborated with the likes of Grammy Award-winning acts The Hellacopters and Bob HundBoredoms and Free Kitten‘s Yoshimi P-We — and she has shared stages with Lydia Lunch and Belle and Sebastian‘s Stevie Jackson.

Härdig’s latest single “Illuminate” is an atmospheric, 80s-inspired, glistening and moody synth pop track consisting of layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a subtle rhythm guitar, a sinuous guitar line and a sultry hook — and while in some way reminding me of Stevie NicksStand Back” and The CarsDrive,” “Illuminate” is a deeply contemplative and introspective song focusing on the endless and seemingly frustrating search for love and for connection. Although it comes from a deeply personal place, it’s a universal sentiment that we’ve all felt at one point or another — and with a similar yearning to find that sort of love once again.

As Härdig explains in press notes. I worked with the song ‘Illuminate’ alone in my studio for many long, lonesome nights. It was just the studio, the stars and I, while I played all the instruments, made the soundscape and recorded the single in solitude. Later, I invited over some friends to improvise over the track. Guitarist John Essing and bass player Mats Hellquist, both from the band ‘bob hund’, but also a classical pianist and cellist respectively, added parts to the soundscape of ‘Illuminate.’ I brought all the new recordings back into the studio – tore them apart, rebuilt them and made arrangements, as if I was a mad scientist in my lab. I then brought in Jari Haapalainen to produce the songs. The solitary fashion in which ‘Illuminate’ was crafted reflects the mood of the single.”

New Video: The Surreal, Dream-like Visuals for Sofia Härdig’s “Streets”

Interestingly, the EP’s first single “Streets” possesses an urgent and raw grittiness as slashing guitar chords, squalls of feedback, a throbbing bass line and propulsive drumming are paired with anthemic hooks and Härdig’s sultry vocals to craft a song that sounds as thought it draws from Sonic Youth and Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea-era PJ Harvey — in particular, the song reminds me of a grittier, swaggering version of “Good Fortune.”

The recently released music video for “Streets” follows Härdig as she wanders through a garden, plans a route with an old map and wanders through the streets of Swedish city; but the video manages to possess a surreal, dream-like logic, thanks to the usage of frenetic cuts and lighting.

Last year, I wrote about Swedish-born and based, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sofia Härdig, who with the release of “Streets,” the first single off her two part EP The Street Light Leads to the Sea added herself to a growing list of Swedish artists that have seen international attention across Europe and North America. And as a result of a growing international profile, Härdig, who is considered Sweden’s “rocktronica queen of experimental music,” has collaborated with  Grammy Award-winning acts The Hellacopters and Bob Hund, Boredoms and Free Kitten‘s Yoshimi P-We and has opened for Lydia Lunch and Belle and Sebastian‘s Stevie Jackson.

Interestingly, The Street Light Leads to the Sea was recorded with handpicked musicians, who were known for their improvisational skills, and each musician was encouraged to improvise on the rough sketches that Härdig brought in whenever and however they felt fit. As the Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist explains in press notes “I find beauty in flaws and that which is not perfect is what excites me, I love the unusual, the unexpected, untrained and unplanned . . . ” And as you’ll hear on the EP’s latest single “Sitting Still,” the material possesses a raw and gritty urgency as slashing and angular guitar chords, wild squalls of feedback and rapid fire drumming are paired with Härdig’s punchy delivered vocals in a tense and anxious song that captures a narrator, who’s at odds with herself and her conflicting emotions, thoughts and desires — and does so in a way that feels and sounds like the interior conversations we all have at some point or another. Sonically, the single much like its predecessor still manages to sound as though it were influenced PJ Harvey but equally influenced by Nine Inch Nails and Earthling-era David Bowie, complete with a swaggering, anthemic hook.

 

 

 

Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sofia Härdig is part of a growing list of Swedish artists, who have received both regional and international attention; in fact, in her native Sweden, Härdig is considered “the rocktronica queen of experimental music.” And as a result, Härdig has collaborated with the likes of Grammy Award-winning acts The Hellacopters and Bob Hund, Boredoms and Free Kitten‘s Yoshimi P-We — and she has shared stages with Lydia Lunch and Belle and Sebastian‘s Stevie Jackson.

Härdig’s forthcoming two-part EP The Street Light Leads to the Sea was recorded in three days with handpicked musicians, specifically known for their improvisational skills and although the musicians had a rough sketch of songs, each musician was encouraged to improvise as they felt fit. As the Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist explains in press notes “I find beauty in flaws and that which is not perfect is what excites me, I love the unusual, the unexpected, untrained and unplanned . . . ” Interestingly, the EP’s first single “Streets” possesses an urgent and raw grittiness as slashing guitar chords, squalls of feedback, a throbbing bass line and propulsive drumming are paired with anthemic hooks and Härdig’s sultry vocals to craft a song that sounds as thought it draws from Sonic Youth and Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea-era PJ Harvey — in particular, the song reminds me of a grittier, swaggering version of “Good Fortune.”