Lykke Li is a singer and songwriter from Sweden. She started releasing music in 2007, and for much of her career, she’s worked with producer Björn Yttling, who’s also a member of the Swedish band Peter Bjorn and John. Her second album, Wounded Rhymes, came out 10 years ago. It was named one of the best albums of 2011 by the New York Times, Pitchfork, the Guardian, and more, and it won the Swedish Grammy for Best Album. The song "I Follow Rivers" was the breakout hit from that album, and for this episode, Lykke and Bjorn break down how they made it, with help from co-writer Rick Nowels. I spoke to the two of them while they were at Björn’s studio, Ingrid Studios in Stockholm.
For more, visit songexploder.net/lykke-li.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
You're listening to song exploder, where musicians take apart their songs and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. My name is
she case your way solemnly
Voters brought you by progressive. Have you
the name, your price tool, yet it works just
wait sounds you tell progressive how much you want
Pay for car insurance and they'll show
New coverage options that fit your budget. It's easy to start a quote
and you'll be able to find a rate that works for you,
It's one of the many ways you can save with progressive get your quote today.
So, dont dot com and see why, for
but a five new auto customers recommend progressive for
casualty insurance, company and affiliates pricing.
Average match limited by state law. This episode
what is sponsored by indeed, indeed
it easy to hire great talent, and you can
it all in one place, which is why more than three million businesses worldwide using D
to hire great talent. Fast,
start hiring now with a seventy five dollars, sponsor job credit, to upgrade your job post at indeed dot com, slash
song exploder her
offer? Is valid through March thirty, first good, indeed doc
slash song exploder to claim your seventy five dollar credit before March thirty, first, indeed, dot coms,
flash song, exploder terms and conditions apply, need to hire. You need indeed,.
This episode contains explicit language,
Luckily is a singer and songwriter from Sweden,
She started: releasing music in two thousand seven and seven
but she's worked with producer Bjorn. Yet link was also a member of the swedish band, Peter Bjorn and John per second out.
wounded, rhymes came
ten years ago. It was named one
best albums of twenty eleven by the New York Times, pitchfork the guardian and more of the swedish Grammy for best album. The song,
I follow. Rivers was the breakout hit from that album.
Today's episode of urine break down how they made it with help from co writer bricknose, I spoke to the
while they were at your studio, Ingrid Studios in Stockholm,
before getting into the making of this song
I wanted to start a few years earlier and find out how the two of them first started. Working together,
my name is legally. My name is Bjorn Cling
I think I met him when I was twenty and
had done. Some demos that I played for this right,
label guy in, and he told me that
so the kind of bad
you would really need a producer, and then he
me touch with Bjarne who's, quite famous
Sweden at the time it was a very big deal. So I came.
the studio, and we had a very proper meeting
played the Wurlitzer and sing a song,
based on that, I guess
You thought I was weird enough to.
the challenge I
didn't really like the songs she brought, but she had
something I guess star: quality,
or something like that, you know they had something
maybe you had the most important thing
as you can always write a new song that
just something to work with. But that thing that
quite hard, like
chief, if you don't have it, and also
like your tone, of course, in the voice
so then he started coaching me on how to read
I really like that ever since I was a kid, I've always been drawn to be someone's pupil and that's how
I remember, laying on a bed in some strange hotel room.
Something in New York
we kind of had the riff, like
supervising a groove.
We did a lot
you playing guitar
This awesome me playing a really untoned out a harp
and then we sang on the rest there
so we it but can be
set for a while, and then we got back to Stockholm,
to really figure out. You know how to make a song from it. It took quite a while before
We even went into rehearsals and did a lot of
percussion ideas and stuff the. But this one
wasn't, really finished. It was more like
created a sound.
Because I didn't love this song. She kept it in the
garbage can yeah.
For quite a while yeah.
And I think also from personal point of view. I had just gotten mega mega heartbroken, so
That was maybe the headspace a lot of hurt and anger, and you know
do you want to somehow triumph at the end,
at the end of the album writing process. We had Rickman
was coming in to write songs with us
or is it Grammy winning songwriter and member of the Sun Writers Hall of Fame. He had asked
to work with us and I was pretty opposed to it because we're both
a protective over the craft. But I looked
his credit he's worked with
a pot of artists over the decades, including Madonna Adele, to pay
John Legend and Stevie Nicks and I'm a big,
Stevie Nicks fan,
so then I was like okay. Why don't we I mean? Let him come. Let's see
try something and then he flew and matter.
In the studio here in Sweden, and it was a good trio for like getting results fast to because I could produce fast like us. Work on
their extent. He was really encouraging you now and he asked a couple times so
What do you think is the strong
Part of the song, the riff, maybe
dunno, no, no, no, no, and no, no, no, no naming our who seeing the riff Yo Yo
river running high run
If run wild
run the run.
What is really good about Rick from a poetic standpoint? Is he always asks? Okay? What's the title you pain
a picture from their from an emotional standpoint
I find very, very interesting. I mean I don't
actually say, I follow rivers anywhere. That's just the title. I think it's more about the theme and the current of a dark,
It was like. I was writing from a very subconscious level about the dynamics and the archetypes of love be ocean. The guitar, the I feel like the
cowbell. Is such a strong hook in this song
life played by air by an the studio owner? Actually,
playing an old jam rock band. So he just took two cowbells that was
nicely tune and take them up Luton. Then he paid to do that.
It was like different layers of life.
playing this lot of live playing on the whole record we boast,
really enjoy real.
Alison real instrument.
we're playing real moments. The imperfections that come out of that
well, there's no synthesize! You know on this record yeah
The piano was marked up
ABBA recorded dancing queen on that piano and we
distorted the shit out of it, so you can't really tell it just sounds really really cool and good. I think we both kind of
but taste for like the fucked up
I see them me or you pitched down lifted up
It's like regular, snare, so much board the regular case. So so we tried other. You know like this is maybe a japanese cheese, a drum or something you know
there are two drummers Larsen Young John in my band and laws that always place with liquid, bring those things
I feel like to. I don't know what it is. It's like
Iraq, because something that's kind of
being thing, and you know you're following someone baby, the do you remember, recording those vocals
I do I'm surprised, because now I feel I sing softer. I must have been really upset
about what happened. I have.
that kind of tone of a broken woman.
you know, I'm just trying to write exactly what
feeling. So whenever I sing my own songs, I just go there
automatically I'm lake in the emotion- and I'm just you know, one hundred percent is feeling the the lyric and the sub text,
because I'm not also very good singers, not like. I can do very much so
well for me, it's just about being as honest as possible.
plug in plugins, broken kept
liquors workers just for infinity and we like instead, is what s tat like.
for the record, it is recorded that before
Often it was never did you can never
Create that again so was sort of like a.
Big rug of liquors vocals from the whole song. So it's like. Oh that's, the sound that we need for the intro.
Like its sirens, calling you out to the bottom of the ocean,
because it's about.
being with the person that is pretty des
given you know that they are going
some other place
but intimacy in a way to you know if someone has those types of hidden
doors and rooms that they always go towards and I'm standing there and I just want to be close, even if that means being self destructed, herself, yeah and four
JANET Lee at that time. Yes,
The thing is also when you are an artist, it's a bit dangerous because
we're kind of really interested in going to those deep places
that make you feel so much where everything is so heightened
dramatic. So you kind of see the poetry in those situations and maybe a bad way, but at the same time all
movies, these paintings books, poetry, songs,
are all made by a bunch of love addicts
Integrity is a bit. You know you do everything for the art or for that feeling
and for me, that is the most
Well, the thing about writing songs is just tapping in
And watching it unfold and not being in the way or caught up just letting it flow.
like a river.
and now here's. I follow rivers by Lykke in and its entirety.
to learn more visit, song, exploder, dot, net you'll, find
to buy or stream. I follow rivers and you can
the music video for it.
Don Exploder is sponsored by Dave's killer. Bread actually love Dave's killer bread, but they gave me a script to read so
attention shoppers we now
I taste in the bread, Aisle Dave's
bread. That's right. An organic bread
it's no longer a sedative for your taste, buds.
the bread is on a mission to make the most of the loaf to rid the world of Gmos, high fructose, corn
an artificial ingredients
the seeds of good and all, although they beg killer, taste, killer texture, always organic Dave's killer, bread, bread amplified
Thanks to Squarespace for sponsoring the show square
is an all in one platform that lets you build a beautiful website for your business or your art or your band. If you,
sell stuff. They've got e commerce templates. If you want to
the blog, they give you buttons to your audience, can share your posts on social media, and you can have my
contributors, so you can work on your site together. Check out,
where space dot com for a free trial. When you are ready,
I've go to Squarespace
dot com, slash exploder, to save ten percent off your first per
I a website or domain.
This episode was produced by me with editing help from Teeny Lieberson and Casey deal artwork by Carlos Lerma production assistance from Chloe Parker and music clearance by Kathleen Smith son,
explorer is proud. Member of radio Tokyo from PR acts and network of independent listener supported artist. Don't fight casts
you can learn more about our shows at Radio Tokyo, DOT Fm. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at risk here way and you can follow the show at song. Exploder. You can also get a song exploder t shirt at song, exploder dot net, Slash shirt,
in Rishikesh. Your way, thanks for listening,
There's a brain, you show joining Radio Tokyo called or products every week. History
when Leah Wright, Rigueur and Kelly Carter Jackson are going to dive deep into the cultural significance of the Oprah Winfrey Show- and you might know, Kelly Carter Jackson because she's the host of another radio to be a show this day
an esoteric political history on Oprah
the two friends are going to talk about. Why Oprah matters to culture and how
open, made so much of the culture from diet,
book clubs to slumber
interviews to make overs and our spin offs. If you love Oprah,
you just want to learn more about her. You have to check out Oprah dynamics, the study of the queen of talk,
stays starting March Thirtieth, listen at risk,
the utopia, DOT, FM
wherever you listen to podcasts
Transcript generated on 2022-03-27.