On October 6th, Swedish songstress Frida Sundemo, will release her highly anticipated international debut album, ‘Flashbacks & Futures’.
‘Flashbacks & Futures’ is a record inspired by space; traversing a vast universe from minimal synth-pop isolation to heavenly orchestral vistas. It’s filled with colour and beauty and will be released through leading Scandinavian record label, Cosmos Music.
She’s created a debut of otherworldly beauty and describes her sound as cinematic, electronic pop music. From the opening Pet Shop Boyish title track right through to the teary, fearful album closer ‘Astronaut’, this album is where Hans Zimmer meets Boys Noize. Ahead of the release, Frida Sundemo also released new single ‘Gold’, which is a cinematic and anthemic track; It follows ‘Keep An Eye On Me’, ‘We Are Dreamers’ and ‘It’s OK’. Speaking of the single, she says, “‘Gold’ is about being brave and embracing the beauty of life. It’s about having the courage to risk something that’s ‘alright’ for the chance of getting something you really dream about”.
Frida Sundemo sees the album as a soundtrack to a film set in a parallell universe where she is confronting memories as well as future experiences at the same time. We spoke to this endearing artist about ‘Flashbacks & Futures’, the process of getting in to the right head space, and whether or not she’d always dreamed of being a musician.
“First of all”, she began, “I love the way I feel when my mind is set on space. It’s like I enter this place beyond time where you’re free to create whatever you like. I feel that I’m allowed to think and create much bigger than I usually do”.
The biggest influences for Frida Sundemo are film composers like Zimmer and Williams. But space, Daft Punk, sci-fi moves and her nostalgic vein, also play a key role. “Secondly”, she added, “I’m struck by the beauty of it. You’d never need a filter to make a photo of outer space better”.
Space and the universe was the inspiration behind this record because Sundemo has been in love with space and astronomy since she was a child; “I love thinking thoughts that are too big to our minds. I feel like I’m challenging my brain in an intriguing way [laughs]”. The theme came naturally when she found herself playing YouTube clips of different space scenes and movies when seeking inspiration in the studio.
Her mind finds freedom when set on the cosmos; “It’s like I’m erasing everything that’s contemporary. I know that the universe is expanding and constantly changing, but in comparison to planet Earth, not much has happened in the past thousand years. Because of that, I feel more free in the creative process”. But the process itself, varies. “Usually I start with looping an ambient chord to build an atmosphere. Then I play chords on the biggest midi strings I’ve got and try to come up with something special. Sometimes the melodies come at the same time. The lyrics, usually, come last”.
Since her debut release, some seven years ago, her style has developed. She speaks of having built her sound around her acoustic guitar and how the productions were a little more organic. And much smaller. A few years later, she found herself tired of the indie sound and wanted something more hifi, more electronic. Over the last couple of years she has been aiming, more and more for something cinematic and orchestral. Which she has found. “It’s been quite a journey really”, she added. “But I still think that you’d recognise the melodies and harmonies all through the years”.
‘Flashbacks & Futures’ came easily, particularly the songs themselves. “I’ve written and produced the whole album together with Joel Humlén; except for a Lonely Dear cover (which he’s featuring on) and ‘Keep An Eye On Me’, which we wrote with the awesome Nate Campany from LA. Joel and I struggled with finishing some of the productions in the end. Usually, our demo productions are made quickly and sound pretty close to the final product. Sometimes it can be a hassle with the last 10% that really makes the song complete”.
Frida Sundemo has always been split in two; between music and science. So, in all honesty, it’s not a great surprise that the universe played a huge role in the inspiration behind her new album. Albeit the former that has taken over, Sundemo studied medicine for three and a half years before taking a break to work full time on her music; “Even though that break has lasted for many years now, I’m looking forward to completing the studies”, she said. “I’d like to work as a doctor sometime in the future. But for now, I’m happy to do music”.
Even though it is one of the most highly anticipated albums to be coming out of Scandinavia this year, there were no true expectations for ‘Flashbacks & Futures’; “I haven’t actually been thinking a lot about other people having expectations of the album. But I always have high expectations on myself. And even so on this album. I’m really proud of it, and I’m super happy to get to share it with the world!”
With all this said, her final thought is the advice she’d give to her younger self if she could… “Don’t worry too much about the future!”
Pre-Orders for ‘Flashbacks & Futures’ are available via iTunes.
Release date: October 6th, 2017