Band of the Day

2014.03.26

Linnea Olsson

A Scandinavian songwriter constructs an entire album from a single voice and her cello
The tears I cry are for no reason, empty hearts are so last season.
lyrics from Ah!

Ah! is an album constructed simply from Olsson’s voice and her cello. Only in one song does she have accompaniment, and it comes in the form of a Middle Eastern goblet drum called a darbuka that Olsson discovered through good friend (and producer of the album) Fredrik “Gicken” Johannson. Throughout the release the two elements of cello and voice are warped and bent by the delay modeler and loop station that Olsson cherishes as integral parts of her music. “I abuse delay,” she says. “It is my favorite effect of all time.” The New York Times states, “With this album, Ms. Olsson joins the international ranks of loop enthusiasts—songwriters like Andrew Bird, Theresa Andersson, Ana Laan and Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards—whose ingenious methods disappear into their songs.”

Of writing the album Olsson says, “I just felt I had a lot of music inside me that I just had to get out…[the songs] already had written themselves inside of me.” After this fruitful and solitary writing and recording period, Olsson asked Johannson to mix and help with the finishing touches shortly before departing out tour with fellow Scandinavian artists Ane Brun and Frida Hyvönen,

Olsson grew up in Halmstad, Sweden with parents who were both musicians. She began cello lessons at age six and sang in choirs at a young age. At the same time, she was developing her music taste by listening to musicians such as Bjork and ABBA. Her tastes and her talents clearly collide in her own music, creating a pop-infused, modern take on a classical foundation. The jumping off point in her musical career came when she was 14 years old and performing at a wedding. For the first time with an audience she used the “pop” singing voice that she’d only every practiced in front of the mirror. Soon after, Olsson was forming bands with her friends to play music that she wanted to play. “Music is a part of my life,” Olsson says, “like love or food or air, really.”