By Land is the moniker of Swedish producer and songwriter Björn Lindberg. His debut album will be unveiled in spring, and he’s just released new single and video ‘Half Of Us’. We caught up with him to find out more.
Perfectly crooked pop.
First up, tell us about yourself - what got you into music?
My dad is a music teacher so I got to try out a lot of instruments as a child. I really got into this 90’s Yamaha keyboard which could record midi tracks, so I made hundreds of songs on that keyboard before getting a computer.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
The melodies and moods from the Swedish band Kent, and the amazing productions that Emelie Nicolas makes. Also Tirzah because she has such a straightforward expression in her voice.
How would you describe your musical style?
Perfectly crooked pop.
Why ‘By Land’?
I wanted an open-ended name so I could fill it with emotions over time. By Land brings up images of wide fields - a place where I can gaze far, and aim for something in the distance. Maybe there’s a small village out there. (In Swedish, ”By” means ”Village”)
You’ve previously collaborated with ALMA. How did that go?
I made a track together with my friend in Wolf Cousins studios in Stockholm, ALMA liked it and they later made a song out of it. It hasn’t been published (yet).
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
You were nominated for a Grammy. How did that feel? Did it open any doors?
Felt fantastic! It confirmed that I’m good at the things I do, and it was an encouragement to carry on creating music I believe in.
Tell us about your single ‘Half Of Us’. What’s it about?
For me it describes a mood - walking with a feeling of getting nowhere, because I’m following a crowd that is constantly changing directions. In Half of Us I try to break up with the crowd in my head and find my own way.
When did you write it and where did you record it?
I borrowed a house in the woods, near the sea, a two-hour drive from Stockholm. I stayed there alone for two weeks to have dinners with myself and write a lot of music. The first idea for Half of Us was born on the porch of that house. That original version was in Swedish and had a more acoustic vibe to it. It took several different shapes before Half of Us got its English lyrics and twisted guitar sounds. Everything is recorded by myself at ’Rabbit Hole Studios’, my studio in Malmö.
How does ‘Half Of Us’ represent your style?
It’s full of small details, sounds and instruments that only appear once throughout the track. I love making productions like that. With ‘Half of Us’ I wanted to make a straight-forward song that is unpredictable enough to make you curious about what’s going on. I would say the mood in the song is very By Land.
What are your hopes for ‘Half Of Us’?
I love when music brings out emotions in people, and it’s great to hear when people are affected by my songs. I hope listeners will keep reaching out, telling me what they’re experiencing!
How’s 2020 looking?
Exciting! I’m producing music videos for my singles right now. Next single ‘Drift’ is released on Friday, March 6th. It’s followed up by a full length album later this spring! And I’m already experimenting with sounds and sketches for new songs.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
I would tell myself not to be so worried what other people think of me — just finish the music that’s in your head and get it out. But I guess my indecisiveness is part of the lyrics and moods of By Land, and I’m really proud of the upcoming album!
Watch the video for ‘Half Of Us’ on YouTube below. For news follow By Land on Facebook.