Robyn is a Swedish singer and songwriter. Her first album came out in 1995, when she was 16 years old. It went platinum in the US, double-platinum in Sweden. Since then, she’s been nominated for five Grammys and started her own record label. But there was an eight-year gap between Robyn’s album Body Talk, which came out in 2010, and her most recent album, Honey, which came out last October. Time, Rolling Stone, and Pitchfork all named it one of the best albums of the year.
For Song Exploder, Robyn breaks down the song “Honey,” the title track from that album. The first time the public heard the song was in a 2017 episode of the HBO show Girls, but that’s not the final version that was released on the album. In this episode, Robyn traces the long history of how she made “Honey,” a song that The New York Times called “her masterpiece.”
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Story of how they were made. My name is way. Sherway
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Robin is a swedish singer and songwriter. Her first album came out in nineteen ninety five, which was just sixteen years old. It went platinum in the: U S and double platinum in Sweden since then, she's been nominated for five grammys and started her own record label, but there was an eight year gap between Robin's, Album Bodytalk, which came out in two thousand and ten and her most recent album honey, which came out last October time, rolling stone and pitchfork all named honey, one of the best albums of two thousand and eighteen for Song Exploder Robin breaks down the song honey, the title track from now. The first time the public heard the song was in a two thousand and seventeen episode of the H b o show girls, but that's not the final version that was eventually released on the app in this episode Robin traces, the long history of how she made honey, a song that the New York Times called her masterpiece, the baby ooh. Oh,
my name is Robin me
Susan, my band. We had a phone,
and he had brought this SAM.
The Casio synthesizer that I was messing round with,
if you've heard those little are, but they sound amazing. They sound like video games, and so he should
me. A silly could hold two buttons and do something wrong with that Particular Casio, so that when you have
these two buttons it would go
so that you could like separate the baseline out of this pre release
little bits that were in the synthesizer, and I did that with a
it sounds really
Oh just on its own, this, as it is
It's not an even baseline, because it's there was something about that. Just felt really groovy to me
I always love when music
as that when it does something unexpected and changes the way you think about rhythm, then I just can't
that beat Eric. We recorded it and I kept it and we started making songs with him. He and Marcus just tried different things, and I didn't
like it was exactly what I wanted it to be, and I just kept it
This was like maybe two thousand and thirteen, maybe and then-
when I started writing again for this album in, like two thousand,
this? Maybe I brought the bit out again,
I was looking for like new ways to sing rhythmically, because I was feeling kind of claustrophobic
coming out of the music I had done before. Like I mean I love the music that was in the problem, it was more like rhythmically. I wanted to light still freer. I guess
That was what I was working out during those months when I was in the studio by myself, just like Rewire, my own way of relating to rhythm
so I was in my studio in my house in the basement of the building. I live in Stockholm and I was
trying. I gotta different sounds and rhythms free styling on this bit.
And I did for like two months-
would do it as an exercise because
I knew there was a song in there, but I it was always. I go
breaking it down like
the disintegration like maybe get to the core something, and then I remember one day I just found my way into a mess.
I d that felt much more natural than anything I had written on it before, which was
down and d
when I was writing this song. I think the feeling that I was going was to find finally some kind of healing for myself
place? Where could call myself down, and that felt
really good, when I sang it, so I kept it I recorded and I kept it.
and then I took you with me to the studio where I was writing with class. When I started writing together with other people,
since my long time collaborator he's always liked. Second member of the band Robin.
isn't that I made music with
more than anyone in the last ten years.
who's going to work with him for this album, but it took
until I was ready to collaborate again. It was
exciting to collaborate on,
the thing that I had already put together
It gave me a lot of freedom to Canada,
write my ideas in this more like protected way.
Assuming close, we wrote the course together
no get what you need.
What's your holiday
wrote the words for the verse together as well.
I knew that I wanted the verse to be this abstract disk
the option of a feeling.
Every color and every taste every breath birthday wishes. Your name is cycling on the payment.
It's not me saying I feel sad and happy at same time an aim
I feel hat and I went to have sex with you. It's not that is you know it's like I want.
to feel free, but also one of the present listening to music, to find that own space where they could take associate more freely about?
pleasure, sensuality peace of mind, those kind of things.
Can you open up to the suck it up and I change let the finest days be a passion.
They go your dad. Let it soak up into the the press, this kind of and and
this whole other process started where we
he started working on the production,
You mean classmate aversion of honey that was used in the less absurd of girls. The tv series, because it basically learner Dunham, asked me for music and I sent her these demos and she wanted to use honey
The happy that she wanted to use it, but I also knew that it was
finished, and so I went
after the demo.
and I started arranging it again with you
the song already written with me and Carson, went back and took
but his production- and I started working on that and then I asked Joseph Mount to come in and work on.
Production, he has a ban.
Maternal me, that is when my
favorite bands- and I
it is music for long time and I got guarantee
tweet. If you wanted to work with me and we spent
we were so in the studio very early on and
He started playing around with these strengths, any kind of strict a lot of
The things away as well, so we kept the vote
Oh and the Casio Joseph is
so sparse and minimalist in a way the and that for a long time it was like going to be the finished version the and then Joseph
Changed his mind years, I think this is what we should do
and then we went back into the studio together me and Joseph, and if an
close if took all the things that we had done, though
strings in the chords from market all the things we ve done and he created this sample. Though we started calling the sauce we still to filter this,
fun but stupid house till the end.
kind of made
the underwater feeling. You know of all those things why I think we wanted it to feel like you're underwater, but then you look down on you like there's thousands of metres down to the bottom of the sea. You know is feeling like something opening and nice, but I felt like you know: the sauce was amazing, but so undefined, and so I just wanted there to be more hints of like the actual quote structure, we just needed more melody. We needed like a hook in there, this like a really simple melody. That leaves a lot of space like a lot up to the imagination, oh
I was really inspired by all this.
And music that grown up listening to basically music made for clubs and tat
and music. It doesn't really have a beginning and an end, and that you know a and an enormous song structures away a lot of pop music. Does it
relates to the dramaturgy of a song in it totally different way.
music is about is about putting you in a place where your in your body dancing with,
thinking about when it's going to end. That is like more about the moment and
and how it makes you feel.
So the demo that I made does
a thing we released. Thou maturer
but there's a rhythm in the baseline that stood there,
that has a little bit of that First Casio Dacascos did it that they didn't didn't, didn't didn't, didn't
We kind of kept that kind of thing.
And the other one. As far as I can, a petticoat was a way to create the site galloping resume. Together with a kick John and his kind, I swore to pay science. I
gun this record. I started to sing in a different way than I had done before. I didn't.
and to feel post or pressure in any way. I wanted it to feel relax.
the soft, then
started singing differently, and I
it like discovering new kind of things that I could do when I,
It's a new one
Dan in the
show me in class recorder, the vocals for this song. Like three times you know I saw
I'd relaxed as
much as I should have been, then I kind of ticket even one step further and
next even more as wow, is sounding even better and then we did it
one time, because I knew that like I can take this even further. It really
first I think,
a lot of times. It's not about pushing harder, so about going softer
then deep, the honey sweet yeah
when I listen to the song, even though I've heard it so many times
it so many times?
the line that still gets me,
is the line but down in the deep, the honey sweeter, because there's something about that.
talks about, for me at least like how, when you kind of face,
yourself or if you dig deep into yourself, there's like a sweetness that comes with that digging with the
or the pain sometimes like going deep into things
Saying that it's a reward, because you know when you go through difficult things in life. Thank you
I feel like it makes sense, or that is necessary or are they you want to do it but
think when I was writing this song, I was coming out of something that had been quite painful end.
I knew that I had learned things from that and then
I maybe also been able to kind of come closer to something that felt like me, something that
honest. I think anyone who has gone through difficult things maybe can.
Understand what I mean, and so
the singing also was a part of like the healing process. For me,
I'm not going to get what you need.
Come get you honey.
When it was time to mix, I had this idea that I wanted to give them
to Philly bizarre.
phillips at our was one half of the hugely influential french dance duo, caches and a Grammy winning mixer and producer because
I just felt like this song needs to be mixed as a club track
and sing it is and was known for doing. These amazing pizzaleh takes where you would put the vocals to at eight today and that's what you can hear they're in the mix.
I think it's the first time in my life that I go to mix back. There was good from the first time. I heard it
Baby having a baby.
I remember just getting
stuck on the word honey
I don't know why I was so obsessed with that word. I thought it was funny that it meant
The way you call your lover and this
Here it kind of interesting but little bits.
Lasting substance that these make their enemies an image in your head of who eyes.
NG something to do yeah is a specific person. Does that person know that you were thinking? You know
I think the intention of honey is like really good.
something I feel really happy:
happy that I
the space and that I explored it. I think
perspective on, it is changed like several times, but this
How it should be, I think-
I think that it's a healing song,
and I also think that when
he left the dire who makes the song died from whence ago. That also,
changed it for me like right now, the song is like very, very emotional again because he's not here anymore
and you know I'm sure it's going to change again. You know it's like that's how it works with music and I think the experience of making the song in all the way from me like styling, these are
the demos with markets and then on my home and then spending all this time. Writing in a really trying to define this feeling in the work of Joseph Class, and they re doing the vote goes in the production of leading a really take the time needed to get well on its being was really amazing. I'm really happy that I was able to follow that throve low away just being
Able to record this freedom that I felt that the song was trying to describe. Thank you, honey by Robyn and its entirety.
The taste of a birthday list is your name is the taste of a museum name of the day. Oh the space be game enough to suck it up inside the space, be the.
Visit song exploder dot net for more information about Robin her music and her
It is on honey, you also find
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-27.