Norwegian born artist Anna Lena has always been musical.
In a way, it's even in her blood - her grandfather was a noted composer, someone who continually worked against the grain to find his own identity.
And so it goes. Now based in London, Anna Lena released the 'EERA' EP last year, a means of drawing together the threads of her new project.
Since then, EERA has grown in leaps and bounds. Dank, down tempo electronics infused with soul, she recalls everyone from Portishead to Elliot Smith while retaining that shrewd, individual streak.
Debut album 'Reflection Of Youth' is out now, with EERA set to play a special in-store at London's Rough Trade East this weekend.
Clash sat down with the Norwegian artist to discuss a few points of inspiration...
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PJ Harvey – 'The Devil'
What I love about PJ Harvey the most is that you can strip off all of the arrangements of her songs and they will still stand up on their own without any crutches. She is a pure songwriter that cares deeply about her lyrics as well as the music.
She has been an artist that I’ve followed for as long as I can remember really. I don’t remember how or when to be honest, she’s just always been around throughout my musical journey. There are so many songs of her I’d like to post on here, and it feels impossible to choose just one.
I’ve chosen 'The Devil' since I used to be obsessed with this album; its purity and honesty. She has definitely been a huge inspiration for me vocally as well. How she chooses to use a different type of vocal delivery for each album is inspiring and something I’d like to challenge myself to do as well.
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Deerhoof - 'The Tears And Music Of Love'
A mate of mine introduced me to Deerhoof when I was at Uni, and immediately their songs blew me away. Their music is the sort that you can’t have in the background, you have to take the time to really get in to it and enjoy every element.
I’ve chosen a live video of the tune since they are by far one of the best live bands I know; and I should know this because I have seen them about seven times now. Ha!
When I was traveling in North America a while back I by chance followed the same route they were taking on their tour, so I was super lucky and got to see them at a tiny venue in New York and also a very cool outdoor stage in Austin! I’ll never forget those shows. And if you don’t like Greg Sauniers drumming….. well then you’re just dumb. They have definitely been an inspiration to me whilst writing my album.
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St Vincent - 'Party'
One of my favourite parts of this song is the lazy the drum feel in the verses and then all the elements of surprise you hear. Each part of the song is quite different to the other, but yet she manages to effortlessly glue them together. The lyrics are very straight to the point, which I love, but yet they paint vivid pictures that you can make your own interpretation from.
Sadly I feel like her latest releases are slipping away from what I enjoy, but I go back to her first three albums all the time. She is one of my favorite guitar players as well, such a unique style.
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Elliot Smith - 'Waltz #1'
This is by far one of my all time favourite songs. Every time he sings “And what was I supposed to say” and “I wish I’ve never seen your face” I forget about time and place; that melody line melts my heart. It’s a very simple song but because of his voice and delivery it turns in to a masterpiece. Elliot Smith is a classic songwriter that I will always return to and that will continue on to inspire me. I’m so sad that I never got to see him perform live.
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Pixies - 'Where Is My Mind'
I love music that’s imperfect, that feels one-hundred percent real: I definitely feel that Pixies fit that description. I’m in love with their guitar tones as well, the perfect distorted guitar - a tad off but it works.
I got into Pixies very late, so I’m still catching up on their catalogue. I know this is the classic one to post on here but I just couldn’t resist. Through Pixies I also found The Breeders of course, awesome band. My gut is telling me that these type of bands will inspire me more and more towards future releases but then again, who knows, my stylistic mind travels all the time!
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'Reflection Of Youth' is out now.
Catch EERA at London's Rough Trade East on November 18th - details.
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