Tune In: Sweden

Continuing the Göteborg-Mainz connection, we would like to introduce you to another promising artist from the far North: Anna Henriksson! We got a first impression of her new single “Animals” (release: today, 10.04.2018). It feels like Anna whispers her songs right into your ear. “We are animals” she sings and immediately catches with her beautiful fairy-like but almost therapeutically calm voice. A song about animals and all the cool but also irrational things they can do and how we humans, at times, act like them, too.

who could walk over water

but not resist the neon light

who was afraid of the fire

who would at the right moment

change the color of its skin

who would repeat what you just said

we are animals

we are

In Göteborg, Anna played with bands like Judiths, Lofot and Mira Asma. Recently she decided to go solo as a singer-songwriter and is about to release three new singles. Usually it’s just Anna and her guitar but for “Animals” she collaborated with Anton Alvin from FLAWS. Anna’s minimalistic tunes meet Anton’s electronic beats. Together they created an entirely new sound, somewhere between “the forest and the city”.

Growing up in a small village with only one street, the countryside has always had a certain influence on her and definitely shaped her music. “Landsbygdpop”, loosely translated for rural pop, is what she calls her own music and that’s definitely what you can hear.

Do you feel lucky to have your roots in the Swedish music scene?

Well, I guess so. I can’t really compare to anything else, but I do feel like there is a lot of support coming from other bands and such. A lot of good energy. Especially from the women of music. We need to support each other because it is still a male-dominated area, and that is the whole reason I’m playing music, because of the support and the role-models. I realized that I had wanted to play music for a long time, but had stopped myself because I didn’t think I could do it. And of course I couldn’t because I didn’t practice! So I decided to skip that self-doubt and just start. Who cares if the chords aren’t advanced and perfect? This is what I had to do.

Which Swedish musicians have had the biggest impact on you?

Well, I would say, First Aid Kit to start with, because I listened to them just when I had all that self-doubt. They were so young and talented, and I thought: if they can do that, I can too. Representaion matters. It really does. But sound-wise, maybe I would answer Säkert!, Ane Brun and Susanne Sundfør. But that’s more of a Scandinavian answer. Haha.

Do you think there is something that connects Swedish musicians across genre limits, for example the influence of some kind of shared origin?

Well, it could be. We do have this darkness in the winter that we have to cope with. So I guess maybe some melancholia that is in all of us, and the loneliness as well. We have a lot of single-households in Sweden. But I don’t know how that affects the music. I’m affected by it at least, and that is some kind of evidence!? But I do believe that the nature forces affect more, the further north you come from or live in. Because the weather and light/darkness is more extreme. But still, I don’t want to exotify or anything.

How is the music scene in Göteborg different from other cities?

I really don’t know. I haven’t been around much. Is it cool to say that? Everybody knows each other in Göteborg, and play in each others bands. I’ve been playing with Lofot, Blue House, Mira Aasma, Judiths, for example, well worth a listen!

Who else should we listen to?

Skator from Umeå! Great lyrics. Mariam the Believer. Such a great voice! Xenia Kriisin. A natural force!

Text: Berit; Fotos: Amanda Andréas

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