Track Of The Day: Cuntrie – ‘The Singer’

Lo-fi beats and lush, longing vocals blend together on ‘The Singer’, the debut single from Cuntrie (aka Ebba Gustafsson Ågren). Ebba is best known for fronting Swedish duo Wy, but under her new moniker she’s exploring different, more personal themes.

Accompanied by a self-directed video, ‘The Singer’ sees Ebba open up to knowing more about herself, and her subject matter. Her intimate lyrics and clear vocal delivery sit comfortably over the visuals of her filming herself, singing in to a variation of mirrors.

Speaking about her new music as Cuntrie, Ebba explains: “A solo project allows me to write about things I never felt fit into what we’re doing with Wy, things like my childhood. I feel like I can experiment a lot more with the themes of the songs. “I’ve wanted to challenge myself in terms of producing and writing for a while now, and this is the result of that.”

We’re definitely on board with Ebba’s new sound. Listen to ‘The Singer’ below and follow Cuntrie on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@kcbobcut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Stainwasher

Swedish artist Stainwasher is not one to shy away from darker states of emotion. Her 2018 debut EP What Did I See, was a sonic journey through personal fears and unsettled thoughts, and her new single ‘Drying’ flows in a similar vein. She explores both the good and the bad in the world through soaring synths and tentative vocals, believing that it’s “easier seeing life as an experiment, rather than something absolute.”

We think one of the best ways to get to know a new artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Stainwasher to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you listen to her new track ‘Drying’ at the end of this post.

1. Mazzy star – Among My Swan
Hope Sandoval is for sure my favourite singer, and it seems that every track she sings on instantly becomes magic. This album is amazing. It’s mysterious, beautiful and very inspiring to me. This album is actually the biggest reason I use tambourines, sliding guitars and organ in my music, which says a lot about my feelings for the album. The track ‘Umbilical’ is so stunning it makes my thoughts blurry, which is very nice sometimes, and the track ‘Happy’ is just perfect with its perfect chords mixed with perfect vocals. I love CDs and have most of my favourites on CD, including this. The best way I enjoy this album is to listen to it on speakers while lying on the sofa, smiling and thinking that if we lost everything, we would still have Hope Sandoval!

2. Portishead – Third
The biggest reason for mentioning this album is the track ‘The Rip’, which I usually call my all-time favourite song. I’ve got a thing for songs that build up and slowly explode, and this song does it so well! The first times I heard Portishead I had a difficult time listening to them because I genuinely got scared by the creepy music and spooky voice, but when I heard Third, I was hooked and got used to the weird but pleasant feeling they left me with. I think the most inspiring thing about this album – and their music in general – is the structure of their songs, and how making surprising changes seem so natural.

3. The Knife – The Knife
I’ve loved this duo since I was like 13, and it is impossible to get tired of their music. This was the first full album from them that I heard, by borrowing the CD from my dad. I remember being so fascinated by their music, even though it was catchy, it still was super special. I can’t say exactly how this album inspired my own music, I think The Knife always have been in the back of my mind when making music, perhaps I wanted that uniqueness they have. The anonymous part of Stainwasher is most likely influenced by The Knife. If I wasn’t so scared of playing live, I bet my shows would be very inspired by their live performances as well, except that tour where they do aerobics since I hate sports.

4. Nordpolen – På Nordpolen
Where do I begin. This guy saved my teenage years and still saves me from time to time. I didn’t like going to concerts when I was younger due to panic attacks, but I knew I HAD to see Nordpolen live, so he became the reason I faced those fears. However the most special memory I have with his music is when he played at Emmaboda (a Swedish festival), and I was not there. I was in bed crying and listened to his album from start to end pretending I was there. Nordpolen is also the biggest reason I started making music. It sounds a bit cliché, but he had helped me so much with his music and I thought if I could help or induce some kind of emotion for someone with music, I would be so grateful. In this album, he uses a lot of synth-choirs, which inspired me to try that as well. His lyrics are very straight-forward, something I love and also try to achieve. Even though the lyrics are sad, this album leaves me with a streak of hope.

5. Hazelnut ice-cream
I have a hard time making my last choice, no album feels right. That’s why I’ll tell you about my favourite ice-cream flavour, hazelnut. I was seven years old the first time I tried hazelnut ice-cream which was in Italy on a vacation with my family. I was immediately stuck and that was pretty much my diet for the rest of the vacation. The flavour is an amazing mix of salty, fat and sweet, and I can eat a lot without getting tired of the taste. Whenever I eat something really nice I become quiet, I want to absorb what I’m eating and it bothers me when people distract me, or even worse, want to taste from my plate, so I prefer eating ice-cream alone. To me, eating hazelnut ice-cream on a warm day is like hearing Hope Sandoval’s voice; soothing, pleasurable and makes me believe that there are still good stuff in the world worth fighting for.

Thanks to Stainwasher for sharing her favourites with us. Follow her on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Ebba G Agren

FIVE FAVOURITES: CRONICLE

Swedish artist CRONICLE may have cut her teeth playing in punk-pop band Tantrum to Blind, but now she’s exploring her song-writing talent through the medium of brooding electronica. CRONICLE (aka Melanie Mohlkert) has shared three singles to date, with her most recent offering ‘Bruises’ focusing on the aftermath of a relationship.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a new artist is by asking them what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with CRONICLE to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you listen to her track ‘Bruises’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Taking Back Sunday – Where You Want To Be
Taking Back Sunday is the band I still call my favourite band of all time. It’s kind of funny actually, because the first time I heard one of their songs I was like “What the hell is this noise?” but I was 13 years old and my (really cool) cousin who’s just one year older than me was super into them, so I was intrigued.

Then diving into their music opened up a whole new world for me. I was already a big fan of bands like Nirvana, The Offspring, Millencolin and Good Charlotte, but these guys were just something else. Their angsty and raw vocals with intense, emotional lyrics that literally have no filter at all, backed with sick guitar riffs and energetic drums just made me FEEL so much. It was like an amplifier to your heart and soul at that age and to be honest, it still is. I love this band so much. I feel like their way of phrasing what you want to say in lyrics, their guitar riffs and emotion will always be one of the core pedestals in me as a songwriter. Being able to show how you can be hurt and vulnerable with your music but at the same time saying “f*ck you” is definitely something they taught me about, and I’m forever grateful for that.

2. Ellie Goulding – Halcyon Days
This album is f*cking incredible. I actually can’t remember when I came across it first, I think it might have been that I fell in love with Ellie’s song ‘Figure 8’ and after that, checked out the whole album and damn, I couldn’t stop listening to it. It definitely was my first proper introduction to the electronic pop world and those kind of soundscapes. I think there are parts of this album that are pretty similar to the whole emo alternative rock elements I’m so in love with. To be honest ‘Figure 8’ would make a sick emo rock song, but here the electric guitars are kind of replaced with heavy synthesisers instead. I think that’s what I fell for. I also love, love, love the vocal production, how her voice is often used as an instrument. Then there are these rough organic sounding instrumentals, mixed with amazing electronic sounds. Ellie has generally really inspired me and been a big role model as the badass female solo artist that she is. I’m not a huge fan of the direction she’s taken musically over the last few years, but she’ll always have place in my heart.

3. K.Flay – Life As A Dog
I think it was in 2014, when my band had split up and I started getting really into electronic music that some friends of mine sent me a link to K.Flay’s tunes. They had just been doing Warped Tour in the US and got to know her because she was playing the festival too. They were like “Mel you’re gonna LOVE this chick” and oh my, they were right. I was hooked by the first synth that hit my ears in ‘Make Me Fade’ and K.Flay’s amazing whisky voice, smart, full of attitude lyrics and awesome beats. There’s also some electric guitars and bass, cutting through the production here and there and it’s simply a mix of everything I love.

The fact that she’s this awesome smart rapper just makes her pretty much royalty to me. Her Majesty K.Flay – the Queen of everything. I was at her first ever London show when she supported Lights and nobody really knew who she was. I had brought some friends with me who really dug her too after my passionate introduction and we were in the back of the room, jumping and singing along to her set. Her manager caught our little private party in the crowd and had to come up and ask how we knew about her. Then the craziest thing of this story here is that I actually got to support her when she had her first headline show in London and that was my first ever Cronicle show!

4. Twenty One Pilots – Blurry Face
I remember seeing ads on YouTube for their music videos and I thought to myself that there was just something really cool and real about them. After checking out the album I was a fan for life. I feel like I’ve always been really drawn to artists who are genuine and speak the truth in their music and these guys definitely do that. They also know how to write BANGERS. This is my “pick me up” album. It’s the one that I turn on loud as f*ck in the morning to get me going, to get my mood right for the day. I also love driving (read speeding) and skating to it. They are incredible musicians, performers and Tyler’s lyrics are just something else.

I will forever regret that I missed Reading Festival a couple of years ago when they played it. I was sat home behind my laptop watching their set online and even just through the 13” screen their show was absolutely mind-blowing. I also really respect how much hard work they’ve put into their career in terms of playing shows, touring so much of the world before they “made it”. They’re the real deal and I’m stoked to see how huge they are today, it gives hope to someone like me.

5. Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
What can I say, how can you not love this album? Lana is an incredible songwriter and she really knows how to drag you into her world and turn you into an addict. This album is the soundtrack to my summers spent broken hearted and lost. It made them more beautiful somehow. I’m so captivated by her voice and lyrics and again, the production is a mix of organic instruments and electronic elements – my favourite thing. Lana is sharing sadness and pain in a proud way and there’s just something so empowering about that. I feel proud to be a woman with a broken heart not afraid to share my deepest pain because of her.

Thanks to Melanie for sharing her favourites with us!Follow CRONICLE on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: ShitKid – ‘SuMmEr BrEaK’

Inspired by her rebellious emo school days, Sweden’s ShitKid has returned with new tune ‘SuMmEr BrEaK’. Taken from her new EP [DETENTION] which is set for release in May, the track brims with teenage angst and anticipation, forming the ideal backdrop for the kids to cut loose too.

ShitKid began as the solo project of Åsa Söderqvist in 2015, but now she’s been joined by bandmate Lina Molarin Ericsson. Together, the pair are set to release eight new tracks that Söderqvist says were inspired by her nostalgic love of pop-punk music: “I started listening to the bands that I loved in school again, and I felt inspired by it. It’s a genre that’s quite embarrassing to go back to, and I knew that would make it really fun. I used to be emo in 2008, and now nobody plays that music anymore! There’s nothing about being kids and nobody understanding you. It felt like time to bring it back.”

Recorded at Stockholm’s Country Girl Studios with producer Lovina Isaksson and cut almost entirely live by an expanded four-piece lineup including Söderqvist, Ericsson, guitarist Arvid Sjöö and drummer Josefin Ahlqvist Lyzwinski, [DETENTION] aims to evoke a rebellious, youthful spirit that everybody can relate to. Söderqvist has said she aims to release a pop album and a screamo next, and if it’s anywhere near as catchy at this new release – we’re certainly be in to it.

Listen to ‘SuMmEr BrEaK’ below and follow ShitKid on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Moa Romanova

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut