April 11 2012 will see the release of a very special album. Namely Lena Swanberg’s debut album “The Art of Staying Young & Unhurt”.
Lena Swanberg’s background is in the jazz scene. The songs on the debut album move between dramatic pop, bluesy moods, and fantasy-like soundscapes, all rooted in the singer-songwriter genre. The debut is produced by Göran Petersson (who has earlier produced Sofia Karlsson and Jeanette Lindström). Some harmonies lean towards pop music while others towards jazz and blues. Sometimes there are mystical subtleties that lead one to think of Nina Simone if she would be a 29 year old Swedish girl. By all rights Lena Swanberg and her producer Göran Petersson have created their very own musical universe.
Lena grew up in the rural Swedish county of Hälsingland but spent much of her childhood in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kenya. In her mid-teens Lena entered a dark period. “In the struggle to understand oneself, one must confront many monsters” Lena said. “There was not only room for the beautiful and the good; the other stuff had to come out too.” The turning point came when she travelled to Brazil and found life as she wanted it to be. She met a colourful culture full of life, warmth and excitement. As she describes “All things that were beautiful were embraced, and the rest was simply ignored… During this period I questioned my educated way to relate to music.”
“My own voice and music have always been there for me waiting to come out. When I have been able to express it, it has given me comfort. If it can comfort others it’s even better,” Lena said.
Lena is still unknown to a wider public except for the fact that she was awarded the Monica Zetterlund scholarship which she accepted in 2009.
”Ideally it would be unfair to call my debut album for jazz. If people bought it thinking it was a pure traditional jazz album they would be disappointed,” Lena said with a smile.
If you listen with an open mind then you will hear so much more. The songs have much more depth to them. There is something that resonates throughout the night when the telephone has gone quiet and one can hear the influences of many rich styles. Listen to the careful longing on “Breakthrough” the sensual feeling in the ballad called “Lover” (a duet with Christian Kjellvander) or the driving pop intensity on “Second Start”. On the first single “Dream On”, the vibe is of classic seventies songwiters such as Carole King, Joni Mitchel or Carly Simon. The track is co-written with guitarist Joel Sahlin.
On April 11 we will release the album The art of staying young and unhurt . Keep an eye out then.