With the release of her 2019 debut album, None Of My Words, Louien immediately made a name for herself as one of the most exciting new voices in the indie-folk genre. With her deeply personal lyrics and ethereal voice, she’s an artist you can listen to endlessly. This year, she’s getting ready to release a new EP, going into a different direction that showcases her versatility as an artist, while remaining true to herself. We asked her a few questions about her latest single Deep Within and her music-making process.
RC: Hi! Can you describe the music you make in three words?
L: Spontaneous, introspective, independent.
RC: Your latest single Deep Within has just been released, what’s the story behind its creation?
L: This is one of the first songs I wrote with a new release in mind. I tried a new tuning (open E) and fell in love with the way the guitar sounded, and the base of the song was one of those stream of consciousness-moments I tend to get if I’m very inspired. It kind of wrote itself.
RC: Your debut album was deeply personal and tackled some pretty heavy topics: what was the experience like, putting so much of your own life into your music? Is it quite a therapeutic process for you, or do you find it difficult?
L: I’d say it’s both therapeutic and difficult. It’s not something I’d do if I didn’t feel like I had to, and at the same time I loved doing it. Music is a way for me to express myself very profoundly, and with all the things I was going through at that time it felt very good, yet extremely vulnerable to write and sing about it. So yeah, it’s definitely both.
RC: With “Deep Within” you have gone in a new direction both in sound and subject, what made you make the change?
L: I needed a change, needed to stir things up a bit. And I’ve always loved to try new things musically, work with different people, get new input and just have fun with it.
RC: Apart from your own life, what do you take inspiration from when making your music?
L: I mainly take inspiration from other people’s music and lyrics, as well as films, art, nature. In the creative process I get inspired by the people I work with. At the moment I’m also very inspired by my friends in the Americana community here in Norway – it’s packed with talented, creative, kind and hilarious people!
RC: How have you felt the process of making your debut album differed from your new music? Has your approach changed a lot, or is it still the same?
L: My approach is still the same. I’m in it for the music and for the creative process, to connect with people and to express myself. I’m still working with the same producer (Øyvind Røsrud) in the same studio, and so the process is similar. But we’ve evolved the soundscape and the vision for the music as well, as we’ve gotten to know each other better and as I’ve written new music.
RC: What are your hopes and goals for the coming year?
L: That we get to play shows again, travel abroad with our music, hang out with friends and colleagues backstage/on stage, connect with the audience live again!
RC: Is there any venue you would love to play in and why?
L: I’d love to play at the Opera in Oslo! One of the most beautiful venues I’ve ever been to, and the acoustics in there are insane! I saw PJ Harvey play there some years ago, we were standing somewhere far along the back and very close to the (very high) ceiling, and I still felt like I was on stage with her.
RC: Lastly, if you could perform with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
L: I’d love to sing with Sinead O’Connor! Her voice, her music, her politics… She’s such a legend.
Louien’s Deep Within is out now.