Susanne Sundfør might well have recorded the most audacious pop album of 2015. Endlessly inventive and unrepentantly her own, Ten Love Songs—her fifth long player since 2007—sees the Norwegian chart topper skillfully weave complex layers of synthetic and organic instrumentation to create a mix of precision-engineered electro and drama-soaked mini-symphonies. It is the sound of an artist operating without boundaries, seeing each idea through towards its maximum potential.
There’s so much to love about Ten Love Songs and the lead single, ‘Delirious’, is a certain standout. How did that one come together?
Thank you! Well, I wanted to record a pop song. Most of the arrangements were written in bed, actually. The melody was the first thing I wrote. Sometimes I just start with beats or baselines, which is what I did with ‘Insects’, and the vocals came later. I don’t have a recipe for how I do it. It’s completely random what comes first.
Lyrically, ‘Delirious’ is dark: “I told you not to come, my victim number one.” It feels quite aggressive compared to a lot of the other tracks on the album.
It’s sort of a game, isn’t it? I wanted to write from a femme fatale perspective. It’s still a pop song, and pop music doesn’t necessarily have to be fun. Arrangement-wise, it’s definitely more pop than anything I had written before. I wanted it to have a spy movie-vibe to it as well. The harmonies were inspired by Depeche Mode.
What kind of parameters do you set for yourself when you’re making music?
Since it’s a big task, I’m a fan of being in the moment. That just works really well in the way I like to work conceptually. I think coming up with a concept for an album is the hardest part. Luckily, I work with people in the business who don’t push me. The only pressure put on me is my own doing. They just know how musicians like to work. There are certainly musicians out there who can tour with a 9 to 5 job and go into the studio at night, but I don’t work like that. When I work on someone else’s music, I would never want to give them something I’m not happy with.
What are some early ideas you’re toying around with for the next album?
I think I’ll maybe go a little more ambient and darker, and not so much pop. I don’t really know yet because I haven’t had the time to think about it in-depth. It’s like Ten Love Songs and how I wanted it to be very dark and industrial. I recorded ‘Fade Away’ and that made the album something different. So that’s what’s in my head.
What is your FAULT?
I’m whimsical and forget things all the time!
Photographed at the Urban Villa Hotel
Words: Kee Chang
Fashion Editor: Rachel Holland
Make-Up: Faye Marie Quinton
Hair Stylist: Kieron Lavine
Stylist’s Assistant: Belda Chung