Norway’s Tuvaband is the maker of incredibly icy shoegaze sounds. The solo project of artist Tuva Hellum Marschhäuser, the moniker offers her the ability to craft songs that are both personal and explorative. Writing and producing her album all by herself, Growing Pains & Pleasures is brimming with her strongest work to date. We spoke to Tuvaband ahead of her album release to find out about her writing process, the Nordic secret spark and artistic adaptation.
Hey Tuva, we’re loving your new single “Fully Mature Things” at the moment. Can you tell us more about it?
Hey, thank you!
‘Fully Mature Things’ is about letting go of the past to make space for something new. It felt kind of liberating to write this song, as writing lyrics and composing music for them always takes me deeper into the theme and make me more conscious about it. I also think this is my favorite song on the whole album.
It’s taken from your forthcoming new album Growing Pains & Pleasures. What can we expect to hear from the new album?
If you’ve heard my last album, I would say this album is a little bit more relaxed than the last one. A little bit less heavy. To me it also has a more hopeful vibe, even if I’ve heard some people say it’s very dark. It’s an experimental album which is exploring different sounds, built around my vocals and lyrics. I am much more into the sound design and production than I am in genre. The album is unpolished, and rough in the edges. Each song still have layers which I recorded already in the making of the song, but also recordings which was added later in a more professional studio than my own.
What was your writing process like for the album?
I always start with the lyrics. Straight after I find the right chords for the lyrics, I start the recording of the draft. Here’s where my favorite part comes in: trying to find the vocal melody, improvising on top of the chords. This is the foundation of each song, and it has to be great before I can move forward. After this comes the drums; I’m drawing them inside Logic (my daw). Or you could call it programming. Then I try out different things on my guitar and synth, and different bass lines on the bass strings on my guitar.
Many months later when the demos sounded great, I went to a studio with a few musicians. We re-recorded the drums and the bass, and added viola and a few more synths. After that week I was sitting down tweaking, choosing tracks and raw-mixing for 1-2 months, before an external mixing and mastering engineer took over, making it sound more pro.
How do you think you’ve changed as an artist since the release of your debut album?
I never went to any music schools or took any lessons, so I’ve been learning while doing since I started out, so I feel like I’m always developing in different ways. I still haven’t done any compromising, and I’ve always known what I don’t want musically, but now I also feel like I know much more about what I want; I want more.
Now, Norway always creates some amazing artists! What’s the Nordic secret?
I don’t listen to way too many Norwegian artists myself. But maybe the dark and long winters, combined with a working welfare system, is making people good at melancholic-vibes. And to me melancholic vibes is a good ingredient in music, even in happy songs. The dark and long winter seasons alone could have made people write depressing instead of melancholic music, but because of the safety-net of the welfare system, the average population don’t fall way to hard to the ground before they’re being “picked up” again. There is also a lot of fundings for artists, so a lot of artists can afford using a lot of their time on music.
Who should we be listening to from Norway at the moment?
Ane Bjerkan just released an EP which is really nice! I also really like Das Body’s latest album. I also know Sea Change has new music, which I hope will be coming out soon.
What’s your plans for the rest of the year?
The coming months I will be finishing a new album. I hope I can play a few shows in the autumn, even if I think the tours will not happen before 2022.
And finally, what album are you listening to on repeat at the moment?
Actually, I’ve surprised myself by listening a lot to a pop album these months. I normally don’t listen to this kind of music, but these last months I think I needed something easy and catchy to ease my mind. So yeah, I’ve been listening a lot to the album ‘Not Your Muse’ by Celeste.
Thanks for talking to us!
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