With her new album set for release next week, Norwegian pop queen Sandra Kolstad has today unveiled the final taster for the record.
On "Hurricane", the third single from Kolstad's forthcoming San Silva album, there's a warm organ introduction which slowly slips itself into a pop structure as the track develops.
Alongside the pitter-patter of jazzy drums and warping, colourful synths Kolstad's beautiful and clear voice delivers lyrics urging herself to push through the bad times to something better. When a chorus appears, it's both euphoric and empowering - and the sound of one of Norway's best pop writers at somewhere near her very best.
We spoke to Sandra Kolstad to find out more about the single and album.
What can you tell us about "Hurricane"?
"This is actually a song I wrote a couple of years ago, but it took some time to produce it in a way that felt right. It's about having to go through dark and painful times – both as individuals and societies, I guess – fighting hard to get rid of the pain, and finding new, better paths forward. It's also about being afraid of and facing what is most important of all in life and the world – love. The video for the song is made as a kind of a excorcistic ritual, in which we wanted to create a dance that somehow enables the dancer (in this case me) to get rid of what dark forces has entered the body and mind."
How does the track fit with the rest of the album?
"Hopefully well! On this album I wanted to write about things in a manner so they can mean many things at the same time. Love songs that appear to be love songs, but are maybe something else (as well). A 'you' that is not necessarily the 'you' you would expect it to be. This song is like that, I think. It's also one of the more poppy songs on the record. I've already played it live when I was touring South America, and it worked very well. So looking forward to playing this in the future!"
Are there any particular influences or themes to the album?
"Well, I wanted to write songs that both capture some personal experiences I've been going through, but I also wanted to try to capture my belief in a world and society where justice and love and hope is possible for all, and where fear and differences and borders between people aren't what we navigate by. The concept of utopia was important for me in the making of this record. A personal utopia, but also a collective utopia – as I think that a true utopia isn't only an individual dream, but a collective endeavour. I believe art is a very powerful force, because it has it's own way of approaching elements in life that it isn't necessarily so easy to approach. Art can reach people in very strong ways and deep places, and by that, it has the possibility to change people. And change is the beginning of everything! So for me making art is a big responsibility that I take very seriously. It's about documenting and putting words and sounds to things and trying to figure something out."
You worked with Miss Tati on one song, are there more guests on the record?
"Miss Tati featured on 'Mango Corner', and Danish boy power queen Asbjørn contributed on 'BLING BLING BLING'. Besides from that, I've been working with a lot of very talented people on this record: My creative soul mate and producer Yngve Sætre, the swedish sound artist Isak Eldh, the Argentinian Diosque and Iceland's own Viktor Orri Arnason. So it's really a bouquet of the most wonderful people who made this record happen. Making a record is at some points in the stage a very lonely thing – but in my experience it's always in the working with other people that the music really finds itself."
What's still to come in 2017?
"First of all the release of the record, which I'm super excited about! Doing some very special shows with the new music this fall, and hopefully also in spring. I'm also composing and producing the music for a jubilee performance at the House Of Litterature in Oslo, where I make music to new texts by Edouard Louis, Kristina Leganger Iversen and Athena Farrokhzad. And then, as always, writing new music new music new music!"