Mothers sleep at night (or at least wish to)
Mixing a smooth and sweeping piano-led aesthetic with her rich and velvety voice, this fresh and vibrant new single showcases exactly the kind of passion we can expect on her next studio LP.
Speaking about the new offering, Astrid said, “Mothers sleep at night (or at least wish to). In their sleep they cannot mother, because they go away into dreams, just like the kids they tucked into bed in the evening. At night mothers are adrift in the world, they have their secrets, their past selves and their current desires. In the morning mothers are back but dreaming renews them and makes them better in the day.”
D/other finds Swan writing about motherhood, dreaming and sleeping – realising her most complete and personal musical statement yet. Composed over the course of the last five years, the stories Swan tells over the ten songs of D/other cover themes of dream-states, mothering, loss, creativity, digital versus analogue, feminism and relationships. D/other was produced by Swan herself. Her long-time collaborator Mikael Hakkarainen recorded and mixed the album. Along with Hakkarainen and Swan’s trusted musical partners Alina Toivanen, Veli Kauppinen and Johannes Salomaa, the Canadian visionary Owen Pallett also performs and arranges the strings for the album.
Speaking about the new record, Swan said, “I set out to write about mothering, being a daughter and a mother. I was informed by the simultaneous research process for my PhD which investigates maternal life writing in blogs and memoirs. The title D/other comes from this research. It is a mother/daughter in digital form, and a trans-affirmative concept which argues that mothering is done by anyone who performs care. In my songs, I wanted to explore sleeping and dreaming as states of unconsciousness which connect us to each other, and to different times and to those who are dead and that which is in the future. I wanted to explore the logic of the liminal and intra-active, that which slides and transforms. I focused on clear, comforting and uplifting lines, trying to crystallize what I do melodically. In this case the lyrical depths are presented in comforting pop structures.”
Astrid Swan is a songwriter, performer and a writer. Between 2005 and 2020 she has published six solo albums as well as a series of collaborative releases. Swan’s solo albums have been released in Finland, USA, England, Germany and Scandinavia. Over the years she has performed her music on many tours in Europe and the USA. Her sixth solo album From the Bed and Beyond won the prestigious Teosto Award in 2018. The album was shortlisted for the Nordic Music Prize and was also nominated at the Emma Awards (her second nomination for a Finnish Grammy.)
Swan’s songs draw from the American songbook of singer/songwriters, blending pop structures with a cold weather poetry of the North. Accompanying herself with piano she exists on the precipice of pop and art. Her lyrics combine emotional accuracy with poetic storytelling. The result is the feeling of being comforted through hell. Swan writes, produces, records and mixes her music. Over the years she has collaborated with a diverse group of artists and creatives: Jimi Tenor, Otto Donner, Emmi Kujanpää, Aamu Song, Nick Triani, Adel Abidin, Stina Koistinen, Owen Pallett, Koko Hubara, Timo Wright to name a few of her collaborators. Her latest release was the SWAN/KOISTINEN EP (Soliti) from 2019, a collaboration with singer Stina Koistinen (Color Dolor) and the Canadian violinist/composer Owen Pallett. In 2019 Swan published a memoir Viimeinen kirjani. The Finnish language literary memoir touches on her personal experiences of mothering, artistic development, life with metastatic breast cancer, analysing her experiences in the contexts of feminism, class, whiteness, Finnish and American cultural confluence, romance and illness culture.