Taken from the Autumn Issue of Wonderland
From the wilderness to the recording studio, meet the Swedish singer penning tracks to scream along to.
“I just got completely drenched by the rain!” MY, full name My Helmner, exclaims, breathing heavily down the phone from Stockholm. The singer has just got in from a run when I call her from the Wonderland offices, on a rare day off in the midst of writing and recording songs for her debut album. I’ve been looping her new track “White Water” ahead of our chat, with its delicate, sugar-sweet intro that gallops into a rock’n’roll crescendo. Her sound matches the emotion and energy of Paramore with the synth-y elements of fellow Scandi, Robyn. By that I mean it’s the perfect music to scream out loud to whilst you dance around your bedroom. Aptly, Helmner describes the track as being about “losing a bit of control and realising you can’t control everything, and that there are positives in that.”
Hailing from the small, remote Swedish village of Branä, MY grew up surrounded by forests. As such, strong natural imagery peppers her lyrics. “I grew up being outside,” Helmner explains. “There were a lot of birds and wolves, it was something else really! It gave me a love for the freedom you get from being surrounded by nature.
“There were always instruments at home,” she continues. “But there was no pressure to play or be a musician. I just loved spending time on my own and being creative, like with the guitar. I just didn’t know how to play it, so I did it my way.”
MY has stayed true to her “DIY ‘til I die” approach. “Before I started the MY project, I was in a band for eight years,” she tells me. “We did everything, we booked our own shows, wrote everything. We didn’t really know how to record things, so I used my laptop and Garageband, anything I could find to record my ideas.” After releasing a few EPs with the band, Helmner made the bold move of moving from her small town to Stockholm. It coincided with the break up of a long term relationship, and with these fresh feelings to express, the MY project was born. “I was having an identity crisis of being alone in this new city: new people; new life; everything happened at once. I started writing a lot; there was so much to write about because there was so much raw emotion there. It gave me a lot of freedom.”
In person, MY is just as raw as the records suggest. “I feel everything, both the good and the bad… It’s a bit of a roller coaster, so I can always find an emotion to give me inspiration to start a song, be it happy or sad.” With a bank of almost 80 songs under her belt, a debut LP is fast encroaching. As is a string of live dates. “I think that on a stage is the place where I feel I can be the most free and myself. It will be amazing to get out there and show people who I am. It’s a lot of energy. I just can’t really control myself!” And why should she? If we had the kind of raw, wild freneticism MY harnesses, we doubt we’d be able to, either.
Thanks to West Central Studios