Swedish songstress Alice Boman has played a fair few festivals this year. She started out performing at Eurosonic in Groningen in January and, next up, she will be travelling to Reykjavik for Iceland Airwaves. We caught up with her before her departure so she could share some thoughts about her impending trip.
If you are looking through an A to Z of music festivals for new and emerging acts in any one year, you could say that Eurosonic (in January) opens the annual touring season and Iceland Airwaves (in November) closes it. To be playing at both in one year is no small feat, when you consider that Alice Boman began her career in a somewhat of an accidental manner.
The first tracks she penned were never intended to see the light of day, maybe making their way onto a demo but definitely not initially planned for public consumption. Thankfully that first EP of delicate sounds did get released (in May 2013, see our ‘luistertip’ here), followed this year by another wistful collection of songs on EP II – the video for the first track of which sets the scene nicely for this interview.
Now, are we all sitting comfortably? Lets begin then.
Hello Alice, how are you? What are you up to right this minute?
Hi! I’m good. I’m sitting at my kitchen table listening to music and drinking tea.
The songs on your first EP cast a spell on anyone who listened to it (that’s my impression anyway). To say they were never meant for public consumption (only perhaps destined for a demo), how has life been for you since the release?
Well, things have been changing. And things have been great, but intense. I’ve been touring with my music quite a lot and seeing a lot of new places and meeting new people. And slowly I have been realising that all of this is actually happening.
How does it feel to welcome in voyeurs into your own private little world?
I like it – the sharing. Hopefully some people can find comfort in that. Just like I can find comfort in the worlds of other artists.
The first track from this year’s release EP II is called ‘What Do Your See’. How do you see the world?
Actually, the title is just ‘What’. And what do I see? The world feels dark. But I guess it has always been there, the darkness. All the madness and all the misery. The horrors and the ignorance. It frightens, me how things have been evolving. And how it keeps on. How things are repeating and repeating itself. But I also see a lot of people fighting against it. So I see the light too.
How would you describe your sound? We get an impression of you as gentle soul but I bet you also secretly have a wild side. Done anything crazy recently?
I hope it feels timeless and real. & I guess we all do crazy things sometimes – acting in weird ways or doing weird stuff. Nothing too specific though.
Haunting is another word used to describe your sound. Iceland has its fair share of myths and spooky stories. Will this be your first trip to Iceland?
Yes, this will be the first time I go there. I have been dreaming about it for a long time so I am very excited! I was so happy when I got the request to perform at this festival. And I think it’s going to be fantastic.
Any thoughts/expectations? Will you get out of Reykjavik to explore a bit do you think?
People talk so much about the Icelandic nature, how grand it is. And the peacefulness. I really hope we have time to go exploring. Or, we must find the time. I really want to visit the hot springs. And travel through the landscape.
And what about the rest of Airwaves? How are you gonna approach it? Meticulous planning or unexpected encounters just to see what you discover?
I think I will just see what happens, take one thing at a time. I will not do much planning, just try to enjoy everything, taking it easy. I’m not very familiar with the Icelandic music scene today, but I am really excited to discover some new music over there. I have heard so much good about Iceland Airwaves. If anyone else has some tips though, that would be good.
Any Swedish advice you can offer for surviving the Icelandic cold weather?
The sauna! But maybe there aren’t any saunas in Iceland? I’m actually from the south of Sweden where it doesn’t really get that cold in the winter, so I’m not the best at advising. But woollen clothes. And socks. And layers!
And finally: you’ve made quite a journey this year. Thinking back to Eurosonic in January, how did you like it? The 2015 festival will have a focus on Icelandic artists – any tips for those Icelanders who will be making the trip to Groningen?
I really enjoyed it, it was a fun atmosphere at Eurosonic. But I didn’t really have time to explore that much beyond the music so unfortunately I don’t have any great tips…
EP II – Released May 2014: