Unmistakably Nordic in flavor, Sofia Talvik somehow still conforms to American interpretations of her own original music, a North Sea siren blending sparkle and melancholy, creating a special niche of folk music.
In 2006 my Christmas single tradition started thanks to a collaboration with Swedish electronica artist Sophie Rimheden. Sophie was one of the artists who contributed to my album Street of Dreamix, a remixed version of my second album Street of Dreamsthat was released that same year.
Sophie and I decided to write a Christmas single together, doing something different from what we usually do. So we wrote and recorded “Xmas on the Dance Floor” a pop/disco/electronica song about dancing you ass off at Christmas, under the name “Sofia & Sophie”.
Sophie has since released a bunch of albums, most recently an album “HAJ” and a book called “Elektronika Drottning?” (the album is included in the book). Sophie also has her own Christmas Calendar called Sound Calendar that you can check out here!
The last part of the H.A.T.E saga is coming to en end. Swedish rockers Akribi is releasing the EP “E – Part Four of H.A.T.E” December 1st and a year of music has gone by. I’ve had such a great time hearing my songs in new suits. First with all the L.O.V.E EPs which were each produced by one of the guys in my band and ranged from acoustic to pop to electronica to americana. And then the biggest difference of all with the awesome four metal bands Ball of Mayhem, G.A.I.N, Badmouth and Akribi who turned my songs into thundering hard rock! It proves that a song never has to be stuck in one genre – at least if it’s a good song 😉
You can listen to all the EPs HERE and pre-order Akribi’s EP HERE!
I’m so happy to announce that we met our goal in the pledge and thanks to all of you who pledged we will be able to release the last part of L.O.V.E next week. If you haven’t pledged you can still pre-order the physical CD, T-shirts and other goods up till November 1st. After that the EP will only be available as a digital download.
For this update I thought we’d grill the producer a little bit, so I tied him to his amplifier and made him answer all these questions…
Marcus Högquist, you are the producer of “E – Part Four of L.O.V.E” and you are also the guitarist in Sofia’s band since many years, how do you think this recording was different than the others you’ve made with Sofia? More guitars 🙂 The previous recordings I´ve done with Sofia have all been different from each other. For example, the first one we recorded almost completely live with just two microphones. All of us sitting in the same room and playing together. And for that one we used mostly acoustic instruments. For the following records we have been doing more and more overdubs, recorded separetly and used more electronic sounds. This time I’ve tried to capture the essence of Sofia’s songs and let them guide me toward where I was going. Maybe in some cases I’ve put them in a slightly new context, soundwise.
What’s your favorite song on the EP and why? I like them all. But if I have to pick just one I’d say If I had a man. I’m really pleased with how it came out.
If you would describe this EP as the love child of two bands/artists, which would that be? John McEnroe and Mats Wilander 😉
If you would have had an unlimited budget, is there anything you would have done differently? I think I would have recorded the songs live with the band in a big fancy studio somewhere in the countryside. We would stay there for a few days and be totally focused on making the best record ever. For relaxation between the sessions some of us would play some tennis, Christian would go fishing in the lake just outside the studio and Sofia would probably get a nice massage.
How come you chose “Lower Case Letters” as your re-make song? Actually the new rhythm feel of that song came out of a mistake during a rehearsal that Sofia and I where doing for a promotion tour a few years ago. So for the following tour we decided to stick with that new rhythm arrangement and we did on our last US tour with the band as well. Then, when I was asked to pick an old song for this recording I just thougt it would be nice to record it that way.
What was your biggest challenge as a producer? Because I recorded a lot of the stuff myself, I’d say being the the producer and the musician at the same time.
Exactly how many guitar tracks can we expect on “E – Part Four of L.O.V.E” ? 😉 Billions!!!
What’s your best words of wisdom when producing an album? Keep an open mind. It might be good to have a plan for how you want the songs to sound. But be open for new ideas during the process and let them inspire you.
Thanks Marcus! We look forward to hearing your awesome creation!
“E – Part Four of L.O.V.E” is being released November 1st.
On Thursday we’re releasing not one but two EPs! ‘V – Part Three of L.O.V.E’ is the most electronica I’ve ever been thanks to producer Janne Manninen, and ‘A – Part Two of L.O.V.E’ is the most hard rock my songs have ever been thanks to Swedish metal band G.A.I.N. (you can buy them both here! )
Speaking of EPs I just got a nice review from Swedish rock music site Hallowed on my second EP ‘O’. Daniel Källman who wrote it seems to be into singer/songwriters so I hope he won’t get a total chock when he hears ‘V’ 🙂 Here’s what he thought about ‘O’
“This EP is just absolutely fantastic in its best moments. Sure if you are a narrow minded typical metalhead you will probably not like this album but then again you will probably have stopped reading after singer-songwriter anyway. For all of us who like music however, this EP is a real treat.”