The Swindie Blog: Meet My SisterBy Milene Larsson
Did you know that music is one of Sweden's biggest exports? Yep, just after weapons and so much wood and paper that only a sad three percent of its primeval forest is left come Abba and Ace of Base! But, IMO, what makes Sweden’s sonic climate great are the countless bands growing out of pretty much every other basement and garage. Maybe this Swedish music epidemic is the result of a genetic mutation that’s made people from Stockholm and Gothenburg extra musical? Like how some Swedes are genetically immune to HIV and how guys in the north of Sweden have a macho gene that prevents them from feeling pain. Or maybe it's because there's nothing better to do. I grew up and spent most of my 29 years in Stockholm, so I can vouch for that AND I don't have HIV!
Long story short: most of these Swindie (Swedish indie - duh) bands are incredible and, not to come off as a #HumbleBrag, many of them are my friends. They keep sending me emails with press releases coupled with the plea, “It’d be great if you could write something about it," which end up marked as unread in my inbox, guilt-bombing me every morning. However, I’ve finally come up with a cure for my bad consciousness: a fortnightly Swindie blog! Are you excited? Obviously, it’ll feature every talented Swindie artist I come across, not only my friends. Having said that, I’m going to start with my sister.
My sister is called Halina Larsson and she makes me teary-eyed every time her vocal chords blurt out anything even remotely melodic. I haven't been able to write about her before, because, you know, that’d be nepotism. However, now that she's teamed up with Swedish house legend Alf Tumble, and their single “The Right Words” is being hyped on Swedish music blogs, I feel there are sufficient grounds. Here’s the video for the song, along with an excerpt of a conversation we had this morning. Enjoy!
Noisey: My friends at the UK office think “The Right Words” is the most Swedish music they’ve ever heard. Does that offend you?
Halina Larsson: Not at all, I love Swedish music! Especially The Tallest Man on Earth.
How come you started working with Alf Tumble?
He found one of my songs online a couple of years ago and asked if he could remix it. It came out on vinyl on the UK label Centric.
You showed me this remix when I visited you in New York over Christmas. How come you’re releasing it now? Is it because I said it’d be a summer hit?
Um, it was actually out when you heard it, as a remix of my single “Fires and French Horns.” Recently, Alf decided to release a radio edit of it on his own label, gave it a more house-friendly title, and now the Swedish national radio seems to dig it and some people are writing it up.
Will you and Alf record an album together?
Maybe in the future, I have too many projects on the go at the moment. My new band Tórild is my main focus. It consists of me, Brett Aveni and Chris Pennie, who founded The Dillinger Escape Plan. We toured together when we were both playing with Coheed and Cambria. We had the same taste in music and wanted to do experimental electronic music, so we started a band. We’re putting out a record in September and have a bunch of shows booked in the States.
So how come you started singing in the first place? Was it because I was singing and you always copy me? Like how you’re currently wearing my Vans and my jacket?
You can’t say that in the interview, then people will know we’re sisters.
They know that already. So, did you or did you not start singing because of me?
Fine, I’ll give you that one, as you convinced me to join that gospel choir with you when we were kids. You claimer.
I almost forgot about that. We didn’t speak English and didn’t realize the songs were all about God.
And we quit when they kept asking us to talk about the first time we met Jesus, and to join them in prayer and shit.
And how come you’re a singer today?
I went to music high school. After that I moved to the States to study at the LA Music Academy, got a job as a background singer for Coheed and Cambria, and started singing professionally and then moved to NY to work on my own stuff.
You need to learn how to give more exciting answers, you know.
Come on, I would’ve given more exciting answers if anyone else was interviewing me.
I’m going to use that in the interview.
FINE. I don’t care.
You have yogurt on your blouse.
Give me a break.
If you like the radio edit of Alf Tumble’s remix of Halina’s ”The Right Words” you can download some more remixes of the remix here.
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