Photo Credit: Märta Thisner
Like a scene from a movie, Alice Boman sat in the studio with Patrik Berger working on what they felt was something more than usual. Elvis was spinning in the background and out from them poured melancholy comfort in the shape of her debut, ‘Dream On.’ We talked about the beauty of sad songs, fellow Swedish favorites, and more with Alice in the following exchange of words.
Kendra: ‘Dream On’ is full of sad songs listeners can find comfort in, but thinking back – can you remember the first melancholy tune that provided that same level of comfort for you and was that the song that eventually inspired you to pursue music?
Alice Boman: When I was a teenager I listened to a Swedish artist called Håkan Hellström A LOT. His music made me feel very emotional. His lyrics really hit you. It was a lot about love – often the unrequited kind. And I loved being in that sentimental mood that some of his songs put me in. One of those songs is called “Vi två, 17 år” which translates to “The two of us, 17 years old.” But which song actually made me start writing and wanting to make music. I have no idea honestly. I don’t have one song like that. There are too many really.
Kendra: Speaking of sad songs…”The More I Cry” is a hauntingly, beautiful piece that sounded very cinematic to me. I instantly imagined it in a drama where a couple is most definitely at the end of the road. The audience is taken aback and “The More I Cry” comes into play. If you could place anyone song off ‘Dream On’ in a recent movie, which would it be and why?
Alice Boman: Oh, I’m happy that you find it cinematic. Movies are really an inspiration to me. More than music actually. Or at least a more direct form of inspiration. I often feel such an urge to sit down and play when I feel moved after watching a good movie. “The More I Cry” is actually my favorite song on the record, so I would choose that one and place it in ‘Marriage Story.’ I loved that movie. Because it is, as you’re saying, about something ending, and it would fit in there, wouldn’t it? And oh man, having a song in a Noah Baumbach movie, what a dream.
Kendra: You dropped four singles from ‘Dream On’ ahead of its release. What about those four stood out during the writing and recording process for them to earn the representation status of being singles?
Alice Boman: The only one that I thought about as a single when working on it was “Don’t Forget About Me.” The rest of them we decided on when the album was finished and we started discussing which ones to release ahead of the album. We didn’t want the first one to be an evident single, but more like a sample. “The More I Cry” wasn’t supposed to be released as a single actually, we decided on that at the last minute. But I’m really happy that we did. And I like that it feels like the singles kind of sum up the album in a nice way.
Kendra: You worked alongside producer Patrik Berger on ‘Dream On.’ With a resume like his that includes a lot of Top 40 hitmakers, were you nervous about what he’d bring to your sound?
Alice Boman: I was a bit nervous, yes, or more curious really. But it felt so good to work with him right away because it was clear that he didn’t want to change my sound, to turn it inside out, to make it sound like something else. He wanted to see what he could bring to it and how the music could evolve. I loved working with Patrik, it was really fun and inspiring. And his studio felt like a very warm and safe space where you could let yourself experiment and play around with ideas and instruments.
Kendra: The album’s out in January and then you’re heading on tour a month later. When working with a debut album on a tour, do you feel like tossing in surprises in the set? Covers? New songs you’ve been working on since wrapping the album?
Alice Boman: Yes, I’m so excited about this tour. But I don’t really know if there will be any surprises on stage. I’m just really excited to play these new songs live. And we won’t start rehearsing for the tour until a couple of weeks. So we’ll see then…
Kendra: Any plans for after the tour or is that too far ahead to think about?
Alice Boman: There’s so much going on right now around the release of the album so I haven’t thought much about that. There might be some more traveling this spring. And then in the summer some festival gigs. And I’m looking forward to writing again, to spend more time doing that – further ahead or in between things. Spending some time somewhere else. Bringing a synth to just write and make music, being able to really dive into that. I like to work like that, focused.