The rising Indie Popper spoke to The Pop Smarts about the inspiration and meaning behind her new LP.
In a world where nordic synthpop has become a Teflon brand, one newcomer is throwing her hat into the ring further than the rest. Enter Heidrunna, a pop singer-songwriter who’s been enlisted by iconoclasts like Kylie Minogue now entering the fray with her own name. The Icelandic chanteuses’ debut album Melodramatic strikes a delicate balance between synthpop and folk, preserving the sensibilities and thrill of both while in a lane decidedly her own. The album features production from Liam Howe, who has worked with a who’s who of Indie Pop stars including Ellie Goulding, Lana Del Rey, and FKA Twigs.
We spoke to Heidrunna over email about her new LP, read below.
The following interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
P: To start off, congratulations on your debut album, Melodramatic! A few influences like Beach House, Lykke Li, and The Weekend are quite apparent when listening. What story were you hoping to tell with this LP?
H: Thank you so much!
The story that I’m trying to tell with this album are little stories that occur from life’s daily scenarios that I think most have had happened to us. It started with me going through some of my older songs on my computer and thinking it was such a shame that some of these songs would never be heard. They still sounded cool to me; these songs were “Borderline” and “Love Don’t Come Easy.” It was then I decided to make an album and funnily enough when I thought it was going to be mostly an album of my old songs I ended up writing 6 new ones!
P: The cover art is striking – it’s colorful and abstract in a way that commands attention. What’s the story behind it?
H: Thank you, yes the artwork is amazing! The illustrator of all my artwork is Julie Verhoeven. Incredible artist. She had done artwork for me previously that I always loved so much and I thought that would be great to carry on working with her. I basically send her my music and she makes these amazing images. I think she is a genius!
P: A lot of artists tend to go the self-titled route for their debut record – what made you choose not to do that this time? Might you do that later?
H: I didn’t realize! Haha….. maybe I should have done that! I just love that word Melodramatic and it sums up the album very well….song drama!
P: This seems to have been the case for a while now, but Scandinavia/Northern Europe seems pretty well represented in the global Pop music field, with older acts like ABBA and Robyn, but also recent additions like Tove Lo, Sigrid, and Dagny to name a few. What do you make of that trend? Is there something about the cold that inspires people to make Synthpop?
H: I’m not sure, maybe you are right, it could have something to do with the cold… Way back when people were freezing their asses off and all they could do in the dark and the cold was make love and music…
P: I’m sure you’re exhausted already, but what’s next on your to-do list after the release date?
H: It’s been hard work to get this album together but also really enjoyable so I would easily do it all over again. On my to-do list is trying to get the album heard by as many people as possible. So that’s the next mountain to climb.
P: Is there anybody you’d want to write for or with one day?
H: I’m not sure, if someone/something exciting came my way I would definitely be up for a writing session but I don’t think I wanna write for anybody particularly, I always think my best songs are written when I’m just doing them for myself and then other people are welcome to use them or do a cover.
P: Do you have any plans for touring yet?
H: That’s a really good question! I’ve been so busy getting this album off the ground that I haven’t been concentrating on the live stuff, but now I’m definitely trying to put something together so I can start to play the song live. I’m hoping I will have it all ready in the summer or early September at the latest.
P: Who are some artists you can’t stop listening to right now?
H: The artist that I can’t stop listening to….well not out of choice as my daughter keeps on playing it on TikTok, Tyler, The Creator – “See You Again”.
Check out Heidrunna on the cover of the Pop Smarts Spotify playlist, featuring tracks from Melodramatic below.