We get to know Cala, a Danish songstress from Aarhus, who releases her double singles ‘From Children’ and ‘Woman’ today on Blik Flak records. Her debut album ‘We’re Still Young’ will be released in the autumn of 2022.
For those that have not discovered your music how would you best describe it?
Imagine The War On Drugs meeting London Grammar in a smoky bar in the middle of the night. We’re somewhere in that bar as well, and my best words for it would be imperfect indie-pop. Sometimes it’s whispering and dusty. Other times it’s wild and trembling. And sometimes it’s more of a continuing vibe going on as in our spring single ‘Pretty Girls’. Combined with words you could have read in a diary, I would say that my band and I try to break down some facades, that I’m a little tired of wearing. So I will show some ugly sides and disturbing thoughts, that we all have – and it’s covered in noisy guitars, pumping synths and naïve vocals.
Talk to us about your new tracks – you are releasing a double single is that right?
Yes, I release two songs from my upcoming album, ‘WE’RE STILL YOUNG’. The songs are called ‘From Children’ and ‘Woman’. I guess you can say that both songs are about a transformation from being a kid to being a grown up woman. As a child I kind of figured that you had won in life as soon as you became an adult – well, now I am, and when I look at all the people closest to me, I guess it’s safe to say that neither of us has won yet. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, cause otherwise it would all be too boring. So there’s some childhood nostalgia, a fear of growing up but also a lot of optimism behind it all. ‘Woman’ actually is about the specific day that I turned into a woman – the day I found out I was pregnant and instantly had a fallopian tube removed. I was sort of threatened on my womanliness before I even felt like a woman. That’s just my day, but I know that many women have had such a day, only the specific story is different. It’s totally scary, and I didn’t like the realisation, but you gotta own your story. And I try to do that in these songs.
Tell us about some of the inspirations going into the tracks?
Well, I’ve already mentioned a couple of bands that inspire me – The War On Drugs and London Grammar – but I will throw Amason, Bon Iver, Kate Bush and the Danish band, Lowly, in the jar as well. It’s not only the tracks that inspire me, I really like the way that all these bands and artists don’t follow every single rule and go with their own flow instead.
It seems like none of them wants to make just regular pop music, and the results they come up with inspire and push me to find my own thing as well. Otherwise I get inspired a lot by the musicians I meet in real life, and especially my band. They dare to do things differently, and they’re just awesome and talented as fuck.
Are you hoping to start playing live soon?
Yes, very much so! Luckily, I know there will be some live gigs in connection with the release of my album, and I can’t wait for it. I’ve been in release-mode for quite a while, so preparing some concerts again just feels awesome. It’s a very different process to work on live material compared to producing, and it’s just like starting the creative process all over again. Plus – it’s always a lot of fun hanging out with my band, and there will be so much more of that in the near future. So live gigs, that’ll be great.
Where are some of your favourite spots to hang out in Aarhus?
Aarhus is quite a wonderful city with a lot of awesome places. I’m kind of a bar girl, and this is mostly where I go out. I like the small, brown places such as Le Coq, Cafe Aarhus and Kurts Mor. On Thursdays I like the jam at Fatter Eskil, where I love to fire up some Danish 80’s music.
A lot of musicians just chill here, and there’s no prestige – just good vibes! If I want to go to a concert, I really love the venues Radar and HeadQuarters. The venues are not too big, and there’s a lot of upcoming music, which I love! Otherwise I often meet up with some friends at the local park, Mølleparken, where there’s always people skating, playing basketball and doing yoga. As long as there’s awesome people, I guess I’m not too picky about the places.
What was the last film/TV series you watched, the book you read, and album you listened to?
Well, I’ve just spent some time in California, where we wound up in LA. So quite inspired by that, I once again started to watch the series Californication. It’s kind of a tragic comedy about a writer living in the city, and it’s pretty much just following the ups and (mostly) downs of his life. Very unflattering, very entertaining and very much behind the facades. I like that in series as well as in music. Just a masterpiece, if you don’t mind a lot of sex scenes and disturbing behaviour. Not a single character is out of place.
When it comes to books, I just finished ‘High Fidelity’ by Nick Hornsby. If you don’t know it, read it. Music permeates the entire book. I don’t think there’s a single page without the mention of an artist, album or song, and it’s almost the basis for the main character’s way of thinking. It funny as well, tragic as well – all I want in a book!
Albums… There’s just so many good ones at the moment. Well the last one I heard was ‘Screen Violence’ by CHVRCHES, it’s very much a favourite alright now. I wanna dance every time I hear it, and if you want something to make the cleaning a bit more entertaining, this is absolutely the way to go. In addition I have quite fallen for The Smile’s ‘A Light for Attracting Attention’ as well as Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers’. Even in Denmark there’s a lot to choose from these days. Listen to Brimheim’s ‘can’t hate myself into a different shape’ and PRISMA’s ‘Inside Out’ if you want some upcoming gold from Denmark. And now CALA of course!
Interview by Alex Minnis