Blackbird Peregrine spoke to ALGB last July having featured on the fourth volume in our Beautiful Songwriting series a month earlier, although it wasn't until September that their debut material as a duo was released. A melodic combination of well crafted and highly accessible indie-folk, Youth is an enjoyable and melodic beginning for the Swedish pair, characterised by warm harmonies and gentle but affecting songs. We caught up with both members to learn their thoughts on the record, with guitarist and vocalist Alice Siwe telling us about the sources of inspiration behind her songs, sharing songwriting duties, and the change in outlook that has eased the burden of writing. (Our interview with Jassy - the other half of Blackbird Peregrine - can be found here.)
It just feels good to have reached many people, and different people, who like the EP.
Alice: It feels really great. I feel proud of us and what we have done.
Alice: I don’t know. Maybe, that we recorded it so quickly. We met for the first time in January, and then we released and recorded our EP in the summer, so it was really quick, and that was pretty awesome, I think.
Alice: Yeah, I did. I think you’re always pretty self-critical, so I doubted it, but I don’t anymore. I’m proud of it, and it feels good to have done it yourself.
Alice: Perhaps my songs. Since they were my first released songs, it was pretty scary.
Alice: … No, not really. [laughs] I’m pretty self-critical. But, I understood that they were good when Jassy was so happy and so encouraging.
Alice: I think all the great feedback that we got: so many new people liked our fan page on Facebook and stuff, and we were featured on YouTube channels. That was really cool, and yeah, it surprised me.
Alice: I think that it has been working really well, because we’re fans of each other and really like each other’s songs. And I think we pretty much want the same things and want the same sounds, so it was really easy to make this together. And we are both are open for changes: if I had written a song and Jassy’s like, “Oh, maybe we should try this here.” We’re both really open to trying new stuff.
Alice: Yeah, I think I got more secure in myself. Since it was really scary to release it, it felt so good when we did it.
Alice: No, I don’t think so. The first EP that Jassy released was perhaps a little more folkish and acoustic, and this (Youth) was a little more electric guitars, drums: a little more [about] instruments. So, that’s the difference, but I mean, I think that we still have the sound that we want. We still have that folkish heart, but maybe a little more poppy.
Alice: I think of summer, maybe because we recorded it in the summer, but I think I’m Coming Home, Keep You Hand on My Heart and Two Wanderers Lost in the Night are very summer-ish. And youth, maybe; since it’s called that.
Alice: Two Wanderers Lost in the Night is about love and being in love with someone, and I think everyone has experienced that at least once. Need You Now: I think many people see that as a love song, and it is in one kind of way, but it’s about losing someone. I wrote it for my best friend’s sister, who committed suicide. So, from my friends perspective, it’s like she’s singing what I sing. So, I think I get most of my inspiration from life experiences that I or someone close to me has experienced.
Alice: Maybe that we don’t just write typical folk songs. Both me and Jassy listen to very different types of music, so maybe that reflects a little more in this EP. There’s more pop, and the electric guitar is a little rockier feeling.
Alice: I’ve been doing music for a long time, but a couple of years ago I didn’t get much inspiration, and didn’t feel so much for making music because I wasn’t feeling so good psychologically. That made me really sad because I really love music, but I couldn’t do it at that time. So, it felt really cool to release it. I love music so much and it made me want to do more… Maybe that was not the answer to your question. [laughs] I don’t remember.
Alice: Maybe. Mainly because I think that I’ve started to just see the fun of it, and not that it has to be really good. I just feel like I write because I like to, and if that turns out to be a good song then great, and if it doesn’t: so what? – [laughs] – maybe the next one will be good.
Alice: There has been lots of great feedback we have got, but they wrote about us in Alvesta, where Jassy lives: that newspaper. That was pretty cool: to be in the newspaper. We’ve also got a lot of nice small message from people, just writing, like, “Whoa, it’s great!” and what they like about it. It just feels good to have reached many people, and different people, who like the EP.
Alice: Yeah, I’m happy. I hadn’t listened to our songs for quite a time, but a couple of days ago I logged in on Spotify and listened to our music. I felt proud.
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The corresponding ALGB interview with Alice's partner in music, Jassy Gabriel, can be found here.
Blackbird Peregrine reveal a little about their process and much about their personalities and friendship, along the way telling a barely believable tale of fate, and disclosing, entirely unabashed, just how much their fledgeling project means to them.
Alanna Eileen discusses her melancholy artistic tendencies and the affects of introversion.
Natalie Evans speaks of her fondness for days gone by, being misunderstood, and the need, as an independent artist, to split both her time and personality.