Stockholm’s Förstaden Talk Experimental Electronica

Another fascinating discovery from Stockholm, Förstaden make some brilliant experimental electronica music. Fredrik and Jessica talk us through their sound, what they have planned for next year, and also discuss some excellent places to visit in Stockholm!

Tell us who you are and what is your sound?

We’re Fredrik Mjelle, aka Beem, and Jessica Pehrson and together we are Förstaden, a new electronica duo from Stockholm. Our sound is a blend of experimental electronica and more conventional pop, with strong vocals. 

What exciting projects have you got coming up?

With two singles out, “Soon” and “Convince Me”, we’re working on our first album. Hopefully it’ll be out during spring. There might also be a third single out before that… Apart from that, video plans are being made and back in November we did a live(streamed) gig (our debut)! It’s a viral show called Up Up & A Ray, hosted by Amelia Ray.

Where did you grow up and what music influenced you?

Jessica: I grew up in Stockholm and…I can’t answer that question, it’s too big! But I can tell you the very first record that really got to me was “I am sailing” by Rod Stewart. I was six years old and my dad came home with it from a trip to the US. Don’t think he got to listen to it very much, I remember going completely crazy. Kind of hard to grasp now and quite far from everything else I’ve ever listened to since then.

Fredrik: Umeå, a creative place with a lot of diy spirit. There was so much music that was totally magic growing up, my head exploded at least once a year. Synths sounded so god damn cool. Public Enemy was like music turned upside down. Sampling was unreal. All the electronic stuff of the 90s.

What cool places do you recommend to visit in your city?

Jessica: I’m not cool enough to answer that question. But If I had a visitor here during summertime I would take them to Millesgården, an art museum, since I’m an art junkie and it’s got one of the most beautiful sculpture parks in Stockholm. Then we’d escape the city, take the boat to Rosenhill, an organic farm where you could eat, drink, maybe listen to some music and then sleep in a tree house. (I’ve never done it but would love to!) Or maybe we’d end the night dancing to some nice techno (if lucky) somewhere in Slakthusområdet. 

Enjoying some outdoor fika at Rosenhill (Photo Credit: Tove Freij / Visit Stockholm)

Fredrik: Stockholm got a lot of small quirky events (normally), and nice bars etc. There’s a sickness though – the will to remodel everything and keep everything in top shape. Places don’t get to be run down. But a concrete tip would be Wirströms Pub in Gamla Stan, that’s a nice and weird one. And Snotty Seaside. And the JAM synth store.

We love recommendations – what have you been listening to, watching, or reading recently?

Jessica: The other night I watched a movie called ‘Under The Cherry Trees’, a beautiful Japanese movie that moved me deeply. I also saw a documentary about Sara-Vide Ericson, a Swedish painter who’s really amazing. Apart from that I watch tons of British crime series and I also have a severe, guilty pleasure in dating series of all sorts. (Yes, I confess, there, it’s out). 

Fredrik: The album Cult Survivor from Sofie is really neat. Roya just released a nice album – Bound. And Oneohtrix Point Never Long Road Home is like the song of the year.

Finally, what was the last thing that made you swear out loud?

Jessica: The last thing that made me swear out loud was when I accidentally stept into freshly laid concrete outside my workplace. Before the eyes of twelve construction workers I slowly sank down into it, feeling like a cartoon character. I yelled the f-word twice, then started laughing.  

Fredrik: My headphones kind of punched me the other day, with all the power of it’s headband’s flex. It hurt a lot more than you would have thought.

Interview by Alex Minnis

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