Growing up in a rural suburb outside of Stockholm where, “every tenth resident was a Horse”, was bound to have an effect on anyone, let alone a person more into guitars than equine pursuits. That was where Rebecka Reinhard spent her formative years, before moving, first to Paris, where Rebecka played her first solo shows, then to London, where her debut EP, Cherry Trees, was recorded. In many ways Cheery Trees was a record that was all about place, it’s impossible to imagine someone growing up in a densely populated city creating a record with such space. Even when the instrumentation is ramped up, as on Shining Star and the country licked, Don’t Look For Me, it still feels as vast and empty as a night sky.
Since that EP was released, around a year ago, Rebecka has been recording back out in Sweden, working on new, louder material to share with the world. Next week Rebecka is one of the acts we’ve roped into playing our Blogtober show at The Finsbury, showcasing some of the wistful classics alongside some newer material, like the superb recent single, Nonsense In Your Sleep.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Rebecka Reinhard?
Here’s a random collection of epithets in no particular order: Swede, guitarist, low key geek, excellent cook, hopeless romantic, Pisces, songwriter, autodidact producer, Ravenclaw, francophile, introvert, recovering control freak.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
I had just moved to Paris, and my friend Anton thought we should do a gig together. It seemed fitting to play at the local hangout bar Pop-In where I already spent five days a week sharing pitchers of beer with my flatmate. I wore my mom’s old white dress and played my dad’s old nylon stringed guitar and it wasn’t all bad. Although my grumpy, French, hungover neighbour poked her head out the window and shouted “TA GUEULE!” when we were practicing on the balcony. Looking back now, it makes me think about Devo and how in the beginning of their career, promoters tried to pay them just to stop playing and the crowds would storm the stage and beat the crap out of them. They didn’t quit or change though. Haters gonna hate. I think they came up with that phrase actually.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I ask myself that question all the time. Actually the question is rather “Why do I have to make music?”. Because it doesn’t really feel like it’s a choice, and it’s certainly not always fun, it’s rarely fun. It’s just always there and if I don’t do it, everything else turns to shit. People that don’t make music often say stuff like “Ah man, I wish I could sing and write songs!” And I’m like “Ah man, I wish I was into law or architecture or medicine!”. I’d probably have some money and an apartment.
FTR: What can people expect from the Rebecka Reinhard live show?
Quiet music and loud music. I love both and with my band I can finally do both. A few unorthodox time signatures. Hopefully one or two lines of lyrics that will stick till the following day. Some people cry a little? I’m all for that personally, I’ve had my best cries at gigs.
FTR: What’s next for Rebecka Reinhard?
I’ve got my second EP coming out around March next year. My friend James Shuar, brilliant producer and person, had set up the cosiest bedroom studio where we recorded it whenever I had five minutes to spare (I was working three jobs at the time and sometimes just dozed off on his bed with my shoes and jacket on and everything while he was mixing). I’m pretty much playing all the instruments myself and it’s definitely a DIY lofi solo EP. But my first full-length album is already in the making and it’s gonna be with a full band and slightly more hifi (i.e. actual drums rather than an 808 drum track created with an app on my iPhone etc.).
They Listen To…
Car seat headrest – Fill in the blank
Such an intricate and clever song that still sounds effortless and obvious. Like it already existed somewhere before he wrote it, like it was just waiting for the right skinny, indie nerd to bring it up to the surface.
Mitski – Happy
There’s so much I admire in Mitski. Her songs are all filled with this hypnotising imagery that I want to revisit again and again. She has a way of delivering lyrics that makes me cling to every word. Ans there’s a sense of urgency in her songs, which for so much music is crucial in order for it to work. Mitski has it, she oozes urgency. And the production of this track is just perfect in all its weirdness.
Cate le Bon – We might revolve
This song has all the stuff I love about Cate le Bon; multiple time signatures, poppy melodies over dissonant chords, freaky crescendos and those Cate le Bon guitars. She’s one of my all time favourite guitarists, and def a big influence on how to arrange, layer and create space with guitars. Very excited she’s producing the next Deerhunter album!
Angel Olsen – Unfucktheworld
I’m such a sucker for a good song. That kind of song that can be stripped down to the core and be so so good. Where all the words come out because they are sung with intent. And the song in itself sounds ingenious and simple but you can’t write a song like this unless you’re prepared to be vulnerable in the performance of it. That’s why it’s so hard. And why there are so few artists that are as great as Angel Olsen.
Owen Pallett – Lewis takes off his shirt.
There’s a video of Owen Pallett performing this song at a festival in Guelph and it is pissing down with rain. There are roadies running all over the stage trying to cover the monitors as the rain intensifies and Owen keeps playing his violin as if his life depended on it. They try to get him to stop before the electrics blow up but he shouts “LET ME JUST FINISH THIS SONG!” as he goes in to the last chorus, repeating “I’m never gonna give it to you” over and over. It’s the perfect setting for this song that’s built out of sheer tension. Massive crescendos that just keep going and going and it feels like it’s gonna break at any point. Can’t get enough of this.