For the last decade or so, some of the best music to come out of Sweden has been focused on and associated with non-Swedish places. Gothenburg bands like Studio and Air France got called "Balearic" — in the style the chill-out come-down music popular for early mornings in Ibiza and other club-heavy Mediterranean islands — but their songs tended to draw less on the specific sounds of that scene than it did on the hazy quality of distant shores and dreamy memories.
Victoria Bergsman, former lead singer of the Concretes — you may know her as the female singer on the oppressively catchy Peter Bjorn and John song "Young Folks" — went even further than the coast of Spain. In 2009 she traveled to Pakistan, where she wrote the gorgeous East of Eden (produced by Studio's Dan Lissvik and released under the moniker Taken By Trees), an airy, bright album that, straddling the divide between traditional musics of Pakistan and Bergsman's Swedish-flavored pop, evoked the thrilling and melancholy feeling of geographical and temporal distance.
"I'm going for that idea — to go somewhere and to see where the sounds and songs take me," she says. Her new album, Other Worlds, which comes out in October, was written in Hawaii and partially recorded there — about as far from Pakistan as from Sweden. "I want to reach as far as I could from where I was. I think it's important to kind of shake yourself, and go to unfamiliar places," she says. "And I always try to push myself to keep exploring."
We're premiering the video for her new song "Dreams" here. Anchored by the muffled dance-y beatwork of producer Henning Fürst, whose band The Tough Alliance mines much of the same territory of memory and distance, "Dreams" sounds both immediate and detached, present and far away; the video, filmed on Oahu's North Shore by Amanda Marsalis, has the same, ethereal, uncatchable quality — the feeling of watching a sunset and understanding it as a memory even before it's even over.