Black and white photograph of Fågelle next to a blurred black and white image

Track by Track: Fågelle guides us through her new album ‘Den svenska vreden’

27th January 2023 sees the release of the latest LP release Den svenska vreden by Fågelle, aka Klara Anderssen, via Medication Time Records. The title translates as The Swedish Rage and the album explores feelings of isolation and anger. “I was so angry and had been for years.” explains Fågelle, “A kind of adult rage that was new to me. Feeling forced to accept and stay in circumstances making me miserable. To patiently suffer now for a better future. But also, a subdued Swedishness that doesn’t hold space for flaring, tearing, wallowing rage but rather pushes it down from the surface and inwards. Question is, where does the rage go, and which forms does it take? That became a starting point for the record where I kept exploring my personal boiling points, pressures and releases, where to hold my rage, in words and in the body, as a Swede and as a woman.

The expectations placed on women in Swedish society was a particular influence on the tone of the album, “Swedish social norms value the level headed and emotionally subdued. There is a pressure put especially hard on women to function like social glue and to always be consensus oriented. It’s a pressure to practice self control, a self choking of non-agreeable ideas and feelings. Rage being one of them.” 

That rage is articulated through moments of beautiful fragility juxtaposed with layers of noise, creating soundscapes like a collage of the subconscious – sometimes crystal clear with Anderssen’s vocal a point of light and focus, at others raw, jumbled and chaotic with howling choirs, rumbles of static and traditional instruments, improvised percussion and field recordings clambering over one another in a tangle of confused sound. Anderssen traces this experimental approach to her love of free jazz,  “When I was 19 I was invited to a workshop with the saxophone player Mats Gustafsson and his free jazz band The Thing. That changed my life. It was the strangest thing I’ve ever heard. But the energy was thick and palpable and it stuck with me completely. After that I knew that I wanted to experiment more freely and with other types of sounds.

Joyzine are very lucky to feature Klara’s track by track guide to the 11 track release.

Jetzt – Now

Toward the end of making a record, I seem to have the urge to make an overture, a type of introduction to the different stories and sound worlds you’re about to enter. I feel a sort of responsibility to the music to prepare the listener for it, to guide them into the record.

It’s a mix of me playing with a recording I made of doves flying away and many layers of noise and arpeggios from analog synthesizers.

Ingenting – Nothing

“ska känna ingenting, ingenting, ingenting, ingenting jag står inte ut i er besvikelse, svik mig, svik mig”

“should feel nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. I can’t stand in your disappointment, let me down, let me down”

I built this dusty sort of tap-dancer-in-an-abandoned-museum-beat using pieces of my field recordings from digging, stomping around an old stone stairwell and an abandoned oil cistern in Norrköping. The rest of the production we built around the beat.

The song is about feelings of alienation, the frustration of being overwhelmed with feelings that have no outlet. It’s a raw, guttural plea for bodily and emotional peace and a longing for nothingness.

Kroppen – The Body (ft. Joakim Thåström)

“hela vardagsrummet brinner, som en solsjuk strand, ingenting ryms”

“the whole living room is burning, like a sun-sick beach, nothing fits”

I wrote it when I’d just moved to Berlin for the first time, in the empty living room when my flatmates were away. It was an attempt at understanding where I was, where I was heading, and what I’d possibly left behind. An intense feeling of vulnerability in the face of my big ambitions and dreams for the future.

It was a dream and a big honor to work with Joakim Thåström. When I was writing the song, years before we recorded it, I knew it had some of its origins in Joakim’s music. Which is something I don’t shy away from. I think every artist’s personal expression is a mix of all the things they’ve been exposed to, and especially the things that have touched them. So inviting him to sing on the song was like opening the door to that influence and letting it take physical form.

Slavar – Slaves

“en sommar utan några tecken, gömmer våra sår, under himlen är vi ingenting”

“a summer without any signs, hide our wounds, under the sky we are nothing”

Writing this, I was thinking a lot about humans relating to each other and how complex and hard that can be. How we’re often dishonest with ourselves and other people and carry this weight of self-importance, but in reality, we’re just meat packages put under a burning sun. At least in my reality.

I’ve been playing it live for many years in multiple different ways, so I wanted to explore it in the studio as well. I’m not really sure what it turned into. It’s this weird mix of very bare electronics, jazzy, groovy, maybe not completely western, percussion, layers and layers of choirs, and electric guitar. Rhythmically it’s a bit unorthodox, and without sacrificing that, we wanted to make something really groovy.

Aldrig mera här – Never again here

“till oss som inte brann upp, vi var en samlad trupp, längs med midnattsgator, långt bort från slagsmålstorg, lonely souls fyllor”

“to us who didn’t burn up, we were a united troop, along midnight’s streets, far from brawling’s square, lonely souls’ shitstorms”

Not feeling at home in Gothenburg, I was thinking a lot about my home village Sennan in the midland of the Swedish west coast. At a low point, I wrote this song. It hit me that the places and people we grew up with don’t exist anymore. The version of that only ever existed at that specific time. So it’s a sort of longing for and a love letter to my home village and my nerdy friend group who used to have film nights, hang out on the roof of my friend’s house, and lay in the streets at night. Some of the saddest things are the beautiful things that we’ve lost.

Min yttersta punkt – My outermost spot

“det finns en punkt som växer, ur mitten av skogen, som brunnit i timmar”

“there is one spot that’s growing, from the midst of the forest, that’s been burning for hours”

Sometimes there’s worry in my bones, and this song is about that and the mental and physical spots that give me solace. Functioning almost like a mantra, a chant, a prayer, as the chorus repeats itself and the song grows.

In the production, this song really grew into a monster. There are layers of burning wood, cello bow on electric guitar, pine needles in a cardboard box as percussion, a drum set, cut-up vocal samples made percussive, FM and analog synthesizers, and lots of choirs. I used this virtual choir Supercollider patch that I found on the blog “A Touch Of Music” which is wonderfully wonky. The song ends by fading out into noise, a filtered and modulated mass of frequencies. A manmade stormy night. And that’s the end of the A-side.

Tredje långgatan trettonTredje Långgatan thirteen

The B-side starts by fading into another room. A real one. The sound of heavy rain on the flat ceiling window in my old studio room in the iconic Music A Matic studio in Gothenburg. The piano is a little white piamino (that I’ve written many songs on) just recorded on my phone. These phone recordings are really important to me in the process of writing, but they also sometimes serve as capturing and saving a non reproducible moment. The lo-fi quality and the artifacts are part of the medium, part of our times even.

Using long time stretches to almost freeze certain chords and mix in wailing, noisy synthesizers, I wanted to build this state in between memory, reality, and emotion. On the very edge between the way my feelings feel and the way they look. It’s a farewell to this rainy room and everything it has meant to me.

Fåglar – Birds

“en vals i mina segel, en sång om att komma hem, inget kan gnistra så, som det du inte når”

“a waltz in my sails, a song about coming home, nothing can sparkle like what you cannot reach”

This song is about long-winded, agonizing waiting. And death and birds. It’s a memory of going to a funeral of a family friend and hearing the birds singing in the trees as if nothing happened. The bizarre juxtaposition of the end of one world and the mundane continuation of another.

The chorus took several different shapes throughout. But we ended up with this structure where it is unpacking itself every time it’s repeated. And at the end, you get the full version of the chorus, drums, choirs, and all. There are lots of birds, both real ones I’ve recorded over the years and ones I’ve made by running vocal takes through a weird Sci-fi plugin.

Den svenska vreden – The Swedish Rage

This track is the bodily, drone-noisy representation of the album title. It’s a rage that’s simmering and luring in the depths of your stomach, only to erupt occasionally in acidy fury.

Kär i vem som helst – In love with whoever

“det är skrämmande att se dig avklädd, ett blankt öga, en mjuk läpp, du är ett djur på mitt samvete, klistrig som socker, utan hud jag kan bli kär i vem som helst”

“it’s frightening to see you stripped, a wet eye, a soft lip you are an animal on my conscience, sticky like sugar, without skin, I can fall in love with whoever”

It’s a screechy, noisy, electro-pop-anthem for dancing on the verge of tears about that line between overflowing joy and deep sorrow. Which is, for me at least, fine and quite fragile. How big emotions have a tendency to bleed into each other, and how the most profound feelings and practices like love can become a sort of habit or compulsion. Rendering it meaningless.

Jag går när jag är klar – I’ll leave when I’m done

“somnar till en stad som sover, skadeskjutna irrar fritt gamla sår, en plats att vägra, ångrar nästan ingenting”

“fall asleep to a city that sleeps, the gunshot-wounded wander freely, old wounds, a place to refuse, regret almost nothing”

The song is a kind of scolding, farewell, and homage to Gothenburg. I wanted to build a sound world from fragments of life and digital trash, distorted field recordings where Ebbot (Soundtrack of Our Lives) plays Golden Age at a 50th birthday party at Jazzhuset, a few chords on an abandoned piano at a recycling center in Majorna, a late summer evening on two bikes through Kungsladugård. I haven’t felt at home there, but it has been my home. The city has shaped and left deep marks on who I am. The end is a train rolling backward, through my years in Gothenburg, out of the station, and into the next chapter.

Den svenska vreden is released on 27th January 2023 – stream/download the LP via Bandcamp

Find out more on Fågelle’s official website / Instagram / Facebook / Soundcloud

Article by Ioan Humphreys and Paul Maps
Photograph by Anton Johansson

Keep up to date with all new content on Joyzine via our
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Mailing List

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: