Denmark’s GRETA released her second album Forever we’ll be dancing last week, a landscape of synth-wave textures and celestial evocative melodies that transport you to different planets at a time when many of us have been stuck staring at four grey walls for months.
The album was co-produced by Norwegian artist Farao, who also produced GRETA’s 2020 debut album, Ardent Spring, after the two bonded over their shared love for harps, vintage synths and ’80s disco. It was written in the midst of lockdown within a romantic symbiosis shared between her and her husband, but also during a time when his depression was growing increasingly worse.
The enlivening dance floor flutter of ‘Vibrant‘ in some far off stratosphere, is a strong opener. The title track is a collision of early 90s trancey synths, delicious beats and euphoric harmonies that surf the ups and downs of life, it gets your mind moving and your body grooving!
Standout ‘Out of Mind‘ elegantly oscillates in its own galaxy, sparkling with glistening synth-pop and airless production its underpinned by a keyboard motif, it sounds like a futuristic retooling of ‘80s sound. Rippling with GRETA’s sensitive vocal that sounds like it’s floating around disconnected in a weightless space pod. Pirouetting through pulsing beats and shimmering soundscapes puts one in mind of the warmth of Alison Goldfrapp by way of the whispered playfulness of early Grimes. Elsewhere there are film-like synth soundscapes that tap into her influence of Steve Reich or darkwave such as ‘Nict Allein‘. We caught up with Greta to find out more.
Hi, How are you today?
I am very good, thank you. <3
How did lockdown treat you?
It was a very transformative time for me, I’ve learned a lot about myself, my relationship and my hopes and dreams in life… more about that later.
Over what period were the songs on this album written?
Actually, during lockdown. Mostly the first one, where the virus hit like an explosion and looking into the future was really hard, my husband was dealing with a heavy depression and everything was so surreal. My computer became my safe place where I could hide and escape reality for a while.
I feel and hear a real need for escape in the songs was this inspired by thinking of better times?
Definitely! Music and writing this album really was my refuge in that time, I dreamt about living more unconcerned, about clubbing, dancing and being free.
You worked with Farao what did she bring to the sessions??
So much. Farao and I also worked together on my first album. We always work with every song based on my demos/pre-productions but she has a huge influence on my sound and really helped shape me as an artist. She is the queen of ’80s disco, sexy basslines, beats, an absolute synth wizard and working with her is so easy and inspiring and felt like a huge, playful flow, especially with the second album.
I love the balance in sounds between disco, synth-pop and dreamy trance. Was this something you envisaged or just how it emerged in the studio?
Thank you! I very much dreamt of and envisaged it since I only listened to this kind of music in that period of time. In beginning, it was a lot of fragments and then it emerged to its final sound in the studio.
Were there any records you used as touchpoints when recording?
Not records, but artists. I f.eks listened a lot to Moderat, Boy Harsher, Sassy 009, I Break Horses, Blümchen, Steve Reich and Roedelius.
I love the synth sounds on ‘Vibrant’ how did you achieve that sound?
The whole album is a love letter to FM synths. We used Yamaha Dx7 mostly. The Spanky bass is created with Native Instruments FM8 and the pad as well, the latter with Juno 106 on top.
‘Out of Mind’ was the track that initially hooked me on what it’s about? It transports you to a different place!
I am happy to hear that. Out of Mind is the first song I have written for the album. It’s a snapshot of the feeling of losing your mind during the lockdown, losing all sense of time and being forced to wait for life to happen.
Some of the songs are inspired by people who inspire you or the men in your life. Did they emerge naturally from thinking about them or were they specifically written for them before you went into the studio?
I write very intuitively and just compose what comes to my mind in the second, so they definitely have emerged naturally. But I also always write about what surrounds me. Since it was just me and my husband in isolation, the album naturally ended up revolving around him and our relationship.
What are your top five songs on your playlist right now?
Adrienne Lenker – two reverse
Hidden Rivers – What’s Up G
Boy Harsher – Machina
Heartdisc – Time Girl
Brimheim – favorite day of the week
Are there any new acts that you are enjoying right now that we should keep an ear out for?
Jouska ( Because I really don’t mind)
Murmur (Me & You)
And my all-time favorite: Sassy 009 ( Heart Ego EP)
Do you have any festivals or shows lined up?
Oh yes! I will play a headliner show in Copenhagen on May 7th, then comes the festival season (everything is still a secret) and then I will go on my so far biggest headliner tour in DK during the fall.
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