Sofia Härdig lives up to her rocktronica reputation with her new single, Illuminate. Championed by Belle and Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson, she has worked with major Swedish artists including Grammy Award winners The Hellacopters and bob hund.
Furthermore, she has collaborated with Yoshimi from Japanese noise-rockers Boredoms and the alternative indie band Free Kitten. Sofia’s experimental nature shines through with her new material that blends rock and electronic influences.
Sofia Härdig’s radiant new single, Illuminate, is a fitting addition to the 80’s-themed Drive soundtrack. Deep glowing synths and echoing vocals take the wheel on a late-night cruise. The track builds with subtle guitar rhythms that scream at times like screeching tyres. Lyrically, the song explores loneliness and a seemingly endless search for ‘another heart’. Driving through the night, she looks skyward to navigate the road to a new love.
It’s a contemplative rocktronica song that demonstrates Sofia’s tight control over her craft
indieBerlin asked the lady a few questions…
indieBerlin: Can you introduce yourself?
Sofia Härdig: My name is Sofia Härdig. I am an artist, singer, guitarist, composer, and producer.
indieBerlin: How many musicians are in the band?
Sofia Härdig:This album Changing The Order is recorded by me on my own. I played most of the instruments myself and I spent a lot of time in my studio arranging, rearranging and producing it. In the end, I had some guests coming in that I recorded, improvising parts for the songs. These parts I used as sample material. That I cut up and use in the productions of the songs. When I play live I perform solo, duo or as a four-piece band.
indieBerlin: How did you met the musicians?
Sofia Härdig:The people that are guest musicians on Changing The Order are people I met during tour and friends. The people in my live band are all hand-picked because of their background in both experimental music, improvisation, and rock. Very openminded musicians and people.
indieBerlin: What instruments do you play?
Sofia Härdig:I play voice, guitar, keyboard, percussion, programming, electronics, laptop, the studio and what else might be needed for the songs.
indieBerlin: Are the instruments on the record programmed or played life?
Sofia Härdig:There is a mix. I’ve played a lot of whats on there live. And then I’ve done drum programming. I also built soundscapes. Then I’ve used things that guest musicians played live as samples. Cutting them up into tiny pieces. Rearranging and rebuilding.
indieBerlin: Tell us something about the recording process!
Sofia Härdig:It’s an album made in extreme solitude as well as on tour meeting lots of people. So it’s an extremely introvert album and extrovert at the same time. So yeah I spent a lot of time on this album on my own. Recording producing. Playing the instruments myself then I toured and got inspired by people that I met recorded them improvising over my songs. I then used the guest’s recordings as sample material tearing then apart and rebuilding them again. It took a long time but I had a lot of fun doing it.
It was great to work with someone who is as nerdy as I am and enjoys going into all the tiny details.
indieBerlin: How did you get to know your producer Jari?
Sofia Härdig:We have common friends and Elena Wolay booker for a lot of good shows and writer of a fanzine in Sweden, said when she heard my material that Jari should be a good match for me to work with. I got in contact and it turned out that he really liked my stuff. He is a picky producer that only works with material he is really into. Since I spent so much time on the record on my own. It was great to work with someone who is as nerdy as I am and enjoys going into all the tiny details. So the collaboration actually brought out my own productions even more. A contradiction that is a given.
indieBerlin: How would you describe your style?
Sofia Härdig:Electronic with roots in Noise and new wave.
Anyone’s interpretations are as true as anybody else’s.
indieBerlin: What are the topics of your songs, specially your new single?
Sofia Härdig:I try to leave the interpretation of songs as wide open as possible. The song when it’s released isn’t mine anymore. Now it’s free to go out into the world and be explored. Anyone’s interpretations are as true as anybody else’s.
indieBerlin: Are you doing something besides music?
Sofia Härdig:At the moment it’s hard to get time for anything else. I write a lot, and in the past, I also worked as a dancer and an actor.
indieBerlin: What are the things you´re interested in besides music?
Sofia Härdig:Books, and writing. Film, art, Philosophy, psychology, maths. Nature sience,
Most things as above related to why we are here and what we can do not to destroy each other and ourselves.
indieBerlin: What are the films and books you like?
Sofia Härdig:Oh, where shall I begin there are so many!
Films: the 3rd man, wild strawberries Ingmar Bergman, To have or have not and anything else with Lauren Bacall in it,Chinatown, Hitchcock films especially vertigo, Living In Oblivion, Films by , David Lynch, Sofia Coppola, the Coen Brothers especially O Brother Where Art Thou?, Luc Besson, Polanski, Peter Greenaway, Tarkowski, Lars Von Trier, Michael Gondry, Christoper Nolan, Gus Van Sant,Hayo, Miazaki, Taratino and many many more ANd of course, Drive that my single ILLUMINATE has been related to.
Books too many to be mentioned here! Italo Calvino especially if on a winter night a traveller, Murakami especially his short stories but love his novels too, Paul Auster, ( especially New York Trilogy, Moon Palace), Alice Monroe, Nick Cave, Roald Dahl, Bulgakov, James Joyce, Strindberg, Dostojevsky, Aldous Huxley ( brave new world), Michel Ende ( especial Momo) And I have read most of Shakespeare’s dramas it’s a great read…
indieBerlin: What are your musical influences?
Sofia Härdig:Alan Vega , Suicide, Birthday Party, Einsturzendeneubauten, Nick Cave, Neu, Can, Faust, Laurie Anderson.Lizzy Mercier Descloux.
Intense, challenging and like there is no tomorrow.
indieBerlin: How is the Swedish scene in comparison to berlin?
Sofia Härdig:There are more bands around here in relation to the size of the population. It’s kind of a movement over here and been for long.
indieBerlin: Can you describe your life show?
Intense, challenging and like there is no tomorrow.
indieBerlin: We are looking forward to your show at Schokoladen on may 2!
Oh yes I am as well! I love playing in Berlin!
“Her singing has the same kind of absolute urgency that Patti Smith and Tom Verlaine once had.” (ROLLING STONE)
“Masterly, majestically, in summary, a high-quality production that leaves an intense and powerful imprint” (Nöjesguiden (SWE) National Swedish paper)
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.