The Norwegian singer-songwriter on her new EP, “femme florale”.
Following her debut EP “a sensitive being” earlier this year, Norwegian singer-songwriter Iris is back this week with “femme florale“, a record that feels like both a natural continuation from her debut and a deeper, more expansive portrayal of her sound and identity as an artist.
Each song captures a state of blissful infatuation, seeing Iris layer her signature ethereal vocals over delicate guitar and keys on “hidden springs”, euphoric synths on “your mind, the universe”, a haunting melody on “creature” and frenzied electronic sounds on “cotton candy”.
Marking a time of inner development and self-growth for the singer, “femme florale” feels confident and celebratory, like the turn of a new chapter for Iris. After touring with AURORA last month, we caught up with the singer to hear more about the project and what we can expect next.
Hey Iris! Let’s go back to the start – what did music mean to you growing up?
I’ve always been surrounded by music and it has always been a big part of my life: listening to records on road trips with my family, listening on a Discman or mp3-player jumping on the trampoline in the garden, or just alone in my room. Music allowed me to escape.
When did you realise you could to do it as a full-time job?
It’s been a long process. I dreamed about it when I started singing at just six years old, but I didn’t dare to believe in myself or in the dream until I was 17. I had to build up some confidence, practice and write a lot. When I could finish a song and could do a concert, and do it again and again, and it still was the most exciting and fun thing I could do, that’s when I realised its actually the only thing I really want to do. And the only thing I will do.
What genres and artists have influenced your sound?
Early on it was mostly singer-songwriters, like Damien Rice, Regina Spektor, Joni Mitchell and Taylor Swift. Soundwise, I’m more influenced by artists such as FKA Twigs, Låpsley, Bon Iver and Banks.
“Cotton Candy” feels like an evolution from your previous music – how would you say your sound has evolved?
It feels very at home for me. I think my sound is still in-between acoustic and electronic sounds, a mix of trap beats and acoustic drums.
Do you put yourself in a genre?
It’s hard, but I’d like to be somewhere in between singer-songwriter with acoustic elements, mixed with R&B and alternative pop.
Can you explain the story and lyrics behind “Cotton Candy”?
It’s about love, and also my confusion with my own sexuality. I’ve been opening myself up, accepting and allowing myself to love. It was the most freeing thing ever.
How does it feel to release such personal material into the world?
It is so strange and painful, but also the most beautiful thing I know. It makes me anxious, but it has become more meaningful and less anxious realising that there’s many of us feeling the same feelings, having the same experiences. It’s comforting that we can feel less alone with all this emotional mess.
How does the song compare to the rest of “femme floral?”
It’s different; it’s more of a cool vibe. I feel like the other songs are more dreamy and more chill.
What does this EP represent for you? Does it feel like a time of self-growth and establishing yourself as an artist?
Yes, definitely. The EP is just another chapter, showing another side, telling other stories. the name of the EP is the concept of growing and healing and becoming better and kinder. I’m working on that. The songs are just a glimpse of my life and what I’ve been thinking about and going through… Definitely a time of self-growth.
What other themes does the project cover lyrically?
It doesn’t have any limits. Whatever themes make me feel something. It’s not always heavy or sad, but it’s always personal.
Where do you find inspiration for your visuals?
Movie trailers, people and nature. Mostly nature.
How was your November tour with AURORA?
It was intense and incredibly fun. I still haven’t landed from it. I just feel so lucky to get the chance to tour with the best humans I know, and to get to see all these places and meet all these people. It’s insane. I don’t understand it.
What do you hope for your future career?
More. I want more! I want to keep writing and release more, make more videos, play more shows. Everything.
Hair & Makeup
Hannah Brooke at Gary Represents using CHANEL Desert Dreams and CHANEL Le Lift