Melancholic music has never felt so good.
Oslo based Tuvaband are about to become your new favourite group. Made up of Norwegian singer songwriter Tuva Hellum Marschhäuser and British musician Simon Would, the duo are making effortlessly cool and utterly enchanting tracks. With their signature melancholic indie style, their stunning vocal layering blends beautifully with the reverb-heavy guitar chords, creating a dark and delightful sound.
Having released their hypnotic new single earlier this week and with one half of the duo heading to perform at SXSW (more on that later), we caught up with Tuva to find out all about the band.
How did you guys first meet?
We met at Internasjonalen, a bar in Oslo. Simon’s friend, the vocalist from I See Horses/Misha Non Penguin had been looking for a female singer for a call & response song. So then we all decided to go home to Simon’s for a jam. I didn’t dare to sing for two hours and most of the people on the couch had fallen asleep. But eventually I did, and then it went from there.
Tuvaband was originally just you! Why did you decide to change this when you met Simon?
I didn’t like to play guitar that much, but played it to make songs. I would rather be free to just sing, not being distracted by the guitar. And for the two years I had been doing music in my room, I was dreaming about having a band (Tuvaband) and being tough enough to sing in front of others. So from the day Simon joined, the guitar has only been an instrument to make songs. And of course Simon adds a lot more as he can do more than just pulling the strings up and down. And sometimes Simon has a guitar track which I sing my lyrics on, which offers a new dynamic to the songwriting.
How does being from Norway and Simon being from England have an influence on your music?
An example is in the two first songs we released; I sing a word in a sentence that doesn’t make sense in English, in both of the songs. Simon figured this out after the release. So then we decided Simon should double check before releasing a song.
For someone who has never heard your music, how would you describe it?
We would say it is very melancholic, a little bit dark, raw, and calming. At least we get calm when we play our songs. Also the songs are dynamic, with each time we play live, the songs played differently. The songs are played depending on the mood or the atmosphere.
“For the two years I had been doing music in my room, I was dreaming about having a band (Tuvaband) and being tough enough to sing in front of others”
Can you tell us about your new single “Everything We Do Is Wrong”?
The same week as I was shown how to play chords on the keys, I made the melody for “Everything We Do Is Wrong”. Months later, we decided to keep it simple and not add melody-lines, as I like to make the melodies with my voice. We recorded the different tracks together both in our apartments and in a rented practice space where we found a piano.
You describe the track as about being trapped in a materialistic world. Where did these feelings come from?
When I wrote the song I had reached a point where I had no idea how to act anymore because I realised that so many things that we are used to are bad for the environment. I had seen too many documentaries about the effects on the environment that we cause, and suddenly I felt like there was not much left that wasn’t wrong. I had to write a song about it to calm down and get it all out. After writing I felt more relaxed about it.
You’re about to play SXSW, how are you feeling about it?
Actually a little bit sad. Two days before leaving, Simon’s VISA was suddenly rejected. I have never sung in public without Simon before, and SXSW was also Simon’s idea. The night before I was leaving, we asked if the musician, Signe Eide, that was gonna play some keys for us at SXSW, if she could learn all the songs in one night, which she did. So this will be a totally new experience, having just half of our duo playing. But it will be better than not playing at all, and we believe that this set will also be sounding nice.
Out of the other artists playing, who are you most excited to see?
We haven’t had the time yet to do the big research on who to see. But so far I’m really looking forward to seeing Marika Hackman, Chasity Belt, Cat Clyde, Let’s Eat Grandma, Sløtface and Agnes Obel. And both of us really wanted to see Khruangbin, but unfortunately they’re playing at the same time as us.
What else is in store for 2017?
We have a lot of new songs, so now we just need to finish the re-recording of some of them before releasing a new 4-5 track EP. There will also be an European wide tour, supporting a few bands and hopefully with more festivals.
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