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Astrid Swan

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In the age of all-access and constant self-confession, what do we really know about our favorite artists? Forget social media for a minute and consider another route – the works. Astrid Swan arrived with her debut album Poverina in 2005, a completely self-composed album, which not only displayed her songwriting gifts but her multi-instrumental skills and ambitious ways with the songwriting craft. Poverina caused a stir because women were not supposed to be so aware as regards their music in Finland. Elsewhere caught on too, so impressive was the album. US solo tours, and Killers cover that ignited the blogosphere way before Finnish artists were doing so, marked Astrid Swan out as not only special and groundbreaking, but different. Any easy categorization was dismissed when Astrid released her second album Spartan Picnic in 2008. Gone were the lush orchestral arrangements, replaced with an aggressive drums-and-piano missive that debated gun control and borrowed Sylvia Plath. Experimental and edgy as Spartan Picnic was, it still dented the TOP20 album chart. Melody had not been misplaced. Spartan Picnic saw Astrid Swan’s music played and released in more countries, all the while her reputation growing. But another turn was taken in 2009 with the introduction of a new band (The Drunk Lovers) and an album Better Than Wages that saw Astrid move into a traditionally masculine terrain: noisy indie rock.

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