She's hauntingly honest, poetically pensive, and radiantly real. Lena Anderssen writes songs for rainy, contemplating days; the kind of songs that play in the background of the most life-changing moments in your existence. She describes her music as "Poetry Pop" and she's dead on. Her words are placed in a manner that seem to rhythmically dance with her melody, creating an alliance that weaves its way into your thoughts. She's already had a song of the day on Music Gems, but heck, I'm not sure you can overdose on Lena Anderssen! Here she is...
Who/What inspired you to pursue music?
First and foremost it has to be my love for music and creating it. When I
discovered that this was also an outlet for my inspirations, frustrations and everything else I wanted to say…that’s when I decided to make it “the thing I do”.
How do you usually write your songs?
I don’t have a set pattern or specific way of writing. Sometimes I’ll be walking on my way home from somewhere and a melody starts building in my head…I hum it over and over until I get home, grab the guitar and start working chords into the idea. The words usually come after…but often a phrase or a lyric idea is born together with the melody.
Other times I write out of pure necessity. Like if I’ve been totally down and need to pull myself up out of the mire. These songs usually come within ten minutes. Both melody and lyrics. And these are the songs I’m usually most proud of. They come from a place you had to experience in order write about.
I also write a lot of my songs together with my partner Niclas Johannesen…and that’s a very dynamic process. He throws out an idea, which I react to, bounce something back to him and sooner or later we have a song.
What is the first artist you remember loving as a child?
As a little girl I remember loving Karen Carpenter. She had such richness in her sound. I was always so fascinated at how much meat was on her lower notes. She didn’t become raspy and disappear into a course whisper, but sang out those low notes with texture and conviction. I also remember my first time hearing Judy Garland sing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, and thinking to myself “I want to sing.”
If you could collaborate with one musician, dead or alive, who would it be?
There’s no doubt about it. It would have to be Bob Dylan the genius mystery man himself.
What is your dream venue to play?
My dream venue would be The Royal Albert Hall. I remember seeing a Lillith Fair concert there, where so many of my favourite female artists were performing. There’s something fragile and vulnerable about being on a stage where the audience is actually seated above you and around you. Something unnerving and yet at the same time totally empowering.
If you could experience another decade of music first hand, which would it be?
I’m torn between the sixties and the seventies. The sixties because so many revolutionary ideas and musicians sprung from that period. To be part of a decade when the world said “Enter Beatles” would have been thrilling to experience first hand. And the seventies, purely for Led Zeppelin and the rock guitar hippyness of it all! I love that.
If a movie is ever made about your life, who would play you?
She was magical to watch in Lost In Translation. It’s Scarlett Johansson. She has a way of catching the very nuances of a character. She doesn’t overplay and that subtlety really makes her characters come to life. Now if Woody Allen directed it, we would be able to capture the neurotic side of me too.
If you could pick a gemstone to symbolize you and your music what would it be?
I would choose a pearl. A pearl is classic. And kinda like the way I want my music to be. Not just something that’s a fashion statement or a hit right now. But something you can pull out of your music collection in twenty years and it won’t sound as if it’s outdated or grown old. A string of pearls is like a stack of good albums or a handful of must-listen-to songs.
Is there anything that I haven't asked that you'd like to say?
I think you’ve asked some really cool and refreshing questions. But I must say that I’m totally serious about that Bob Dylan collaboration.
There you have it guys...
Now, Go Listen!