Following on from her first official UK album last year, Stockholm's Jennie Abrahamson is back with new album Reverseries.
A giant leap forward from the already-great Gemini Gemini, Abrahamson has made something really special on this record. Dealing with personal relationships as well as the social and political atmosphere in Sweden, Reverseries is a stunning alt-pop achievement.
Below, you can stream the album in full - alongside Abrahamson's track by track guide.
"This song came about after a voice memo I recorded during rehearsals with my band. In between songs, my keyboard player suddenly broke into this manic organ riff which later became the spine for the whole song, and during my writing period I found this 14 seconds of brilliance in my phone and asked if I could use it to build something. I wanted it to be an unreasonably big song, larger than life. The lyrics revolve around that ever-elusive feeling of wanting more, greater, faster, more feeling, wanting to climb and evolve, and constantly wanting things to shine more brightly, the hunt for meaning and greatness. The more we have, the more we want. Yet when it all comes down, all we ever really need is somewhere or someone to come home to, a place where we feel safe and loved. "
"It's about the fight between sense and sensibility, all the contradictory thoughts and feelings that you're going through when someone invades your world and you finally decide to resign and let them in. It's one of my personal favourites off the album."
"This song is basically about fanaticism of all sorts - anyone who come to the conclusion that if everybody else does not believe/act/feel like he does, the person is essentially doomed in one way or the other, and beyond saving. It doesn't necessarily have to be in a confessional sense, but religious images are easy to play with when working with this theme. Hence the baptism-related "take me down to the water"... Since it has touchpoints with both gospel and country, I wanted to exaggerate the production of it to be as cold and modern as possible."
"This was actually the very first track I sat down to write after a long period of doing everything but writing. In between every album it seems I always think I've lost the gift entirely and will never be able to complete a song ever again. And then one day I always just decide to sit down and do it. ‘Bloodlines’ was written and demoed in its entirety in just 30 minutes, and was a kickstart for me into the whole project of ‘Reverseries’. I realized, once again, just how much fun it was to get to create music. Lyrically, it's about the difficulty of showing true emotions in very close relationships, like with family. Can we see each other for what or who we truly are, do we dare to let each other in?"
"...is sort of a plea from ‘the other’. I did not mean to write anyone else's story, or take on me the role of being their voice, but after doing some voluntary work with refugees arriving in Stockholm, their stories and faces hit me so hard. Entire families arriving, tired and torn, after travelling Europe for weeks and months. I remember thinking if I were them, I would not be able to grasp why people or entire countries were so hostile, why nobody would want us or want to help us, or how the hell my life turned upside down and got me into the situation in the first place? It must be so absurd. Any human being with a heart should understand this."
"It was written after Sweden made a quick turn last fall and passed some laws and regulations that made it more difficult for people to come here for asylum and protection. It was a curveball from ‘we must be an open country and help these people, be role-models for the rest of Europe’ etc etc to the fact that we closed our borders and turned away from people in need, people who were not welcome anywhere else. It was a huge fall-back in showing humanity, and a lot of people in Sweden did not agree with these political decisions."
"...is a love story, a first love revisited in older days - a story about expectations, dreams and where life takes you. The song itself was written years ago, but had never really gotten a suitable costume. I've kept returning to it now and then to see if I'd get a new idea, and this time - playing around with that side chained bass and a more dance-y approach. I think it found home. It's so much fun to play it live now, and I can tell it's a favourite for a lot of people."
"This is a love story about a situation so out of hand, it can't really be put into words. About the difficulty of putting words to strong emotions, about dealing with a situation no one wants to deal with, but just linger in... about the good and the bad and everything in between, about needing and depending, wordlessly. An acquaintance of mine posted it and wrote he wished he could go back in time and have his first-ever slow dance to this track... I loved that thought. And if you were dancing with someone you really fancied, it'd be totally awesome because it's a really long song. It holds the record on this album; 6 minutes and 40 seconds."
"'Summer' is sort of continuing where 'Don't Talk' ends; the vain hope that maybe a seasonal change could make things better or bring along a change of sorts.... If everything around is warmer and life is easier, maybe one would not need this escape anymore."
"A beautiful love song about dependence, about letting oneself be lifted by love. That's how I interpret it! But it's written by Bruce Springsteen. I first heard it when I was on the mat in a yoga class. I remember being still for quite a long while in a quite complex position, but despite the heavy body work my mind just drifted away to this song and I found tears running down my face. It had such an immediate beauty to it, it spoke right to my heart. I've listened to my fair share of Springsteen, but on this track I didn't even recognize his voice. It's a rare track that not many have heard of, it was written for a film back in the '90's. Anyway - one day when I was having a dull moment in my studio I just started playing around with it, I wanted to see if I could make a sort of icy and airy pop song out of it. I played the demo to my band and they all agreed we needed to record it. Once we were to decide what tracks were going to end up on the album, 'Lift Me Up' just seemed like a perfect closing song."