After making waves with their incredibly well-received debut EP 'Shift & Flux' last year, Bristol-based musical collective Ålesund have now returned to unveil their eagerly-awaited new EP 'All Hail To Your Queen'.
Produced by Jake Bright, the new collection sees frontwoman Alba sweep and swoon her way through a bright and euphoric musical landscape that channels the breathtaking aesthetic of artists such as Aurora and Banks. With her soaring voice remaining the focus of this new release, the rich and diverse production adds a level of brevity to their new offerings that we rarely get to see.
So with their new EP available now, we sat down with singer Alba to find out more about her earliest beginnings and what helped carve this musical path for her.
What were the first instruments you fell in love with?
I think I actually fell in love with the drums first. I grew up in Hastings where they celebrate EVERYTHING, so there are constant street parades and parties and always big drumming groups. I loved it when you could feel the drums rattling through your whole body, it’s quite primal.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
As a band we share a mutual love for Radiohead, Jeff Buckley and Foals and we’ve definitely drawn on their music for inspiration and covered some of their music. Although influence doesn’t come just through listening to other music, I’m inspired a lot by the natural world around me, growing up by the sea I have found it constantly sparks my imagination.
What kind of music did you love as teenagers?
I listened to some pretty cringey stuff in my early teens, I was obsessed with Christina Aguilera and I actually credit her for making me teach myself the piano as I really wanted to play and sing her songs together! I’d like to think my tastes improved as I got older. The indie scene exploded and I started going to festivals so it broadened my musical ears.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
Hmmm that’s a tricky one, I remember getting a CD of The Beatles Greatest hits when I was pretty young and the first time I heard Come Together play I thought it was the coolest thing ever. It’s such a timeless bassline it struck me the moment I heard it.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
I get quite obsessed with new music that I have discovered and fallen in love with and I’ll listen to it on repeat for a week solid. Like I have to consume every last lyric and melody until I know it inside out. So it’s quite dependent on what new tunes I’ve found and need to devour…
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
All my songs are related to personal experiences or situations or relationships etc. I think my best writing has always been my honest writing, so the people in my life do end up becoming subject matters from time to time.
What have been the most memorable moments in your career so far?
Going on tour to Europe just as the coronavirus hit was pretty memorable…! I think the most magical moments have been each of our three sold out home shows. Each one we just felt so much love and support pour in from the crowd and a real excitement about the show we were putting on and the music we were putting out.
Outside of music, what are your biggest passions?
Being in nature, or by the sea, or being with animals, specifically horses. I’ve realised the older I’ve got how it calms me down and almost resets me. I think animals can teach us a lot too, they are very grounding.
If you weren’t musicians, what other path do you think you might have taken?
I studied drama and theatre at Uni, so perhaps I would have ended up on the stage somehow or working in the TV or Film industry. It would have to be something creative...I wouldn’t know how to do anything else!
And what advice would you give to those looking to start a career in music?
Make sure you are ready to live and breath it. It’s all consuming, relentless and pretty hard core at times. You need a thick skin, boundless energy and passion. But if you have all of that it is the best job in the world.-
Ålesund's latest EP 'All Hail To Your Queen' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.