Vibeke Falden – Interview

Interview

Vibeke Falden is one of those artists that perks up my mood whenever I hear her. Introduced to me by The Handless Organist, I’ve been religiously listening to the Danish songstress ever since and her album Debut is 16 tracks of precise, lo fi electronica that’s as beautiful as it is intelligent. While at times she can recall the likes of Bat For Lashes and My Bloody Valentine, she’s seeped in her own sound with a voice that would enchant Oscar The Grouch. It’s gold from start to finish and with a remix version of it released last month with Ireland’s very own The Handless Organist, The Karman Line and Puca contributing to it – she’s also a fan of the Irish contingent which is a great thing. I caught up with the lovely multi instumentalist for a very informative chat on recording, gigs and the Eurovision. 

I suppose firstly, what was it that got you interested in and writing music?

I’ve been singing and playing music since I was very little, in bands, in school plays and in music school. I had a great music teacher in school who played rock guitar and loved the 60’s so I grew up playing the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Kinks, Creedence Clearwater Revival etc. Listening to music was like going into my own private world. Like an escape from reality. I didn’t feel very happy growing up. So I put on my headphones, listened to records or radio shows, recorded live concerts on my tapes, letting my imagination drift – and I guess it made me feel independent. 

Along the years, singing became a way of expressing myself emotionally. I started writing poems when I was teenager. My best friend got a piano for her confirmation (is it the right word??) and we used to sit in her room and write melodies to them. She had a big room and a lot of old Doors records that we used to listen to. In the 80´s 🙂

When I was around twenty and learned how to play the piano, I started writing songs on a regular basis. During the same time, I was accepted for the conservatory of contemporary music, and from there I started my own bands and met other musicians. During the last ten years, my focus has moved from pop to rock to electronic music. At the moment it’s free vocal improvisators like Maja Ratkje and Sidsel Endresen that I listen to. 

What is it in particular that appeals to you about electronic music?

It must sound funny, but with my background as singer, I find it fantastic to listen to music without words! And I love the textures, layers, beats and sounds in electronic music. I love the complexity and beauty that can be made of sound elements. The contrasts that come out of combining different sounds. That it’s abstract.
Also, you can write it on your own. Produce on your own. Play on your own.

How would you describe your sound to someone that’s never heard you?

My no 1 very difficult (hate) question 🙂 I just never know. I have to ask someone who’s just heard it for the first time…
 
I am a vocalist and singer creating my music on a platform of electronics. My music is a melodic mixture of electronica and pop, added scenic chords of vocal, spoken word and organic beats (I had somebody write that description)
 
You also run your own label wUNDERwELT. What releases have you out/upcoming on it?
 
I will release a new record next year. I don’t have the time or money at the moment to release other people’s music. Running my own label gives me 100% ownership of my music. I cherish my independence – but I also know that I have to work with other people – maybe other labels – in order to make my music reach a broader audience.

 

Your songs have a lot going on at times.  How do you approach translating this live? 
 
Live I use Ableton 8. I spent a long time last summer, setting up a live set that makes it possible for me to remix my own songs, exactly the way I feel like it when I perform. So I can change between choruses, verses etc and turn off samples, build it up and down again. Also, I improvise a lot over the beats, looping and using both hardware and software effects.
Sometimes I play with a drummer and a synth guy. The songs are then much more structured.
 
How is the scene in Denmark at the moment? Any artists of particular interest to look out for?
 
Ohh, I am not the right person to ask that question… I am so behind the trends 🙂 But there is a guy called Rangleklods, a band called Badun and another one called Athelas. One of my Danish favorites is Band Ane and of course Bjørn Svin. Locally there is a girl called Tone, who is cool also.
 
You released your debut album Debut last year. How long did it take you to write it? Are you a complete perfectionist?
 
Debut was released in Feb. 2011. It took me approximately six months to make and it was an experiment. I was new in electronic music, new to recording with myself, and when I started, I decided to allow myself to do exactly what I wanted. That’s why it’s a rather confusing record. It’s not perfect at all but I am very proud that I did it myself (I had others to mix and master).
This new project I am releasing next year will be much more homogenic in sound, theme, lyrics and all. It has an overall concept which I have used a lot of time to develop. I have written 12 sketches already and I am working with a producer. I hope it will bring me more attention that the last album did.
Yes, and I would say that I am almost a complete perfectionist, ha ha. There is probably a reason why I am a solo artist…
 
You just released a remix album of Debut remixed with Irelands own The Handless Organist, Puca and The Karman Line providing remixes for you. How did this come about? Are you happy with everyone’s take on your stuff?
 
I have a webmaster who has a friend in Ireland, Laserface. Through Søren, I got in touch with Laserface a few years back, and we did a collaboration together. Laserface arranges the Ctrl Alt Delete concerts and through him I got in touch with The Handless Organist, The Karman Line and Puca. I am very happy with what they did to the songs. I think it’s really great.
 
When you sing in Danish, I feel that you’d make an excellent entry for Denmark in the Eurovision . Is this something that you’d ever consider?
 
Arh, that’s a funny question!! But thank you for saying that!
 
I am just way too little mainstream for Eurovision, plus I don’t know the right people. But if somebody asked me and it was a good song, I probably would consider it yes…. It would probably make the number of likes on my FB page go up 😉

 

What does the rest of 2012 hold for you?
 
I am studying at the conservatory again (an extra two years in songwriting and electronic music) and I have three exams in May. It’s all related to my music so it has been great to study. I have to focus on that for the next two months, and I will be playing some shows in April also. And hopefully by the end of the year, my home recording studio is finished which I am looking very much forward to.
In June I am having a baby, which I have never tried before. If all goes well, I will take a break for a few months and then start finishing the new album.

 

Massive thanks to Vibeke for the interview and check out the full UK version of Debut below and make sure and give it a purchase over at itunes and support a brilliant artist.

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