Our aficionados are by now familiar with the fact that here at Rebel Rebel we have a weakness for the incredible talent that is Faroese artist Eivor. She is now touring the world (and specifically in these days in the UK), so in anticipation to her live show tomorrow at the Islington in London, we had a chat about her music, her inspirations and the near future.
GP: Hi EIVØR, thanks for your time. Hope you are well and looking forward to seeing you live in London on June 2nd at the Islington!
E: Hello and nice to meet you.
GP: First of all, would you introduce yourself for those who are not familiar with your music yet?
E: I am Eivør and I am a musician from the Faroe Islands. Music has been my passion for as long as I can remember.
I am always curious to combine elements from different music worlds such as the sound of my folky roots with more experimental and electronic sounds.. I have released 10 studio albums and my recent album SLØR just got released here in the UK ☺
GP: Your music has changed a lot through your albums, spanning from light folk/pop ballads to darker atmospheres. Can you tell us what made that happen?
E: Yes that’s true and I guess the reason for it is mainly because of curiosity. I started recording music when I was 16 and ever since then I feel I have been on this endless journey – Learning, discovering and exploring music: The sound of my music has changed along with me and my personal development along the way. One thing that’s been interesting to me is that the past few years I feel I have found a soundscape into which I’m curious to dive even further and explore even more, so it’s an interesting time for me creatively I feel.
GP: A few months ago I was browsing inside the Harp ground floor shop in Reykjavik and your album Slor was playing. I was fascinated by the sounds and the voice. I loved it so much that I had to know what was playing and nevertheless my partner ended up buying it for me right there as I kept on saying how much I was feeling connected to the dark, ancestral and delicate sounds that where filling the air. I loved it even if I couldn’t understand a word. Yet the sounds had something comforting and evocative in them. Now that you are realising Slor in English – and although I know it’s not your first album in English – I’m curious to know how you approached the challenge of such a task without spoiling the enchantment of such a great album.
E: Great to hear thank you so much.
Fair question. The plan was never to translate the whole album. It started out like a playful thing, where I just wanted to translate one or two songs for the English speaking people, to make the album more accessible. I was also just curious to know how it would sound in English, from a musical/sound wise point of view. But once I truly get into something I tend to get completely manic and cannot rest until all the pieces of the puzzle are in place, so I ended up doing the whole album with great help from Randi Ward with whom I have collaborated before. Our goal was to render the songs into English without losing the meaning of each song.. We left plenty of space for interpretation because translating metaphors can be difficult, even impossible in some cases, and in this case many had to be recreated. So it ended up being a project as comprehensive as making the original work itself but like I mentioned before once I truly get into something I tend to get a bit manic 😉
GP: Your music can be so deliciously dark and comfortably deep at the same time. How do you mix the elements in your songs?
E: I guess I have always felt drawn to dark and melancholic soundscapes and I like how dark elements make the bright elements shine brighter somehow..
GP: Who are your artistic inspirations – if any?
E: The music that has influenced me is a very colourful and wide palette. Some of it makes an impact but only stays relevant for a short period of time, while others stay with you forever. I grew up listening to Leonard Cohen and his music will always stay with me. When I was a teenager I started listening to Jeff Buckley, Portishead, Radiohead and Massive Attack, and somehow I just never seem to get tired of listening to them. Singers like Billie Holliday, Joni Mitchell, Marie Boine and Yma Sumac have also inspired me as a singer. And I do enjoy a good dose of pop music every now and then as well. So I guess it all depends on which mood I am in. I also love to discover new music and my latest obsession is Jain from France.
GP: Every time I listen to my favourite Scandinavian artists there’s always an underlying tone of melancholy and deep connection with the soul. Do you think this might have to do with your relationship with Nature?
E: There might be something about that.. I come from a place where the landscape is filled with contrast, the softness of green mountains and the harshness of stormy seas surrounding the Islands. I like to express these contrasts through my music as well. It´s like my inner landscape.
GP: What triggers you to write music? Where does inspiration come from?
E: I write songs all the time in my head and I often grab little moments during the day to write down little sentences and ideas. I don´t believe much in waiting for inspiration to arrive because I believe that inspiration is something you have to recognise and grab when ever it´s there. And sometimes you need to go looking for it in a good book or somewhere else.
Wild and untamed nature has always been an ongoing inspiration for me and love in all it´s many forms is something that triggers me to write music. I feel all my songs are love songs in one way or another. Anything from a walk in the rain – a night out with my friends – a memory from my childhood.. It´s the situations I get myself into that trigger me to write a my songs..
GP: How would you describe your music?
E: I feel this explanation is quite insufficient 🙂 I always find I tricky to put a label on the music I create but Folktronica would describe it quite well I think... In my music I like to find simplicity in the complicated and advanced – to find the peace in the storm and chaos. I like to combine very rough industrial sounds with organic sounds to see what happens when elements from different worlds meet.
GP: Is there anything you would change in the music industry today?
E: I guess I try to not let the “industry-thing” be a thing that concerns me too much. Everything will naturally change and evolve. We go from LP to MC to MP3, and then back to the beautiful LP format. I imagine there will always be a change in all of this. The most important thing for me as a musician is playing live in front of an audience.. The ancient way of bringing music to people. An area that hasn’t changed all that much through time. That´s where I feel my songs come alive and serve a purpose – And it´s a great thing that I can have a close relationship with my audience on social media….
GP: What’s in the future for Eivor after the tour?
E: After touring a lot the past few years, performing live has given many of my songs a new vibe and energy.. I am currently working on gathering the best recordings and preparing the live album which I am planning to release by the end of this year. Next year I am planning to dive further into my songwriting, excited to start working on my next studio album..