After breaking through with their brilliant 2019 debut album The Big Rewind, Norwegian alt-pop outfit Secret Treehouse have been readying us for the new music throughout 2020 as they share their latest single Broken Soul.
Following on from their comeback track At Sunrise earlier in the year, the band look to follow in the footsteps of other euphoric acts such as The Naked And Famous and Haim to deliver a wonderfully bold and uplifting release, filled with blissful moments of joy. So with the group back on the new music wave, we sat down with frontwoman Anja Bere to find out more about their influences and what led them to the point they are now.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
For me it has always been vocals, and I suppose it is the most intuitive instrument for us all, especially as children. Of course, it takes practice and technique before it is a full-grown instrument, but it is available for everyone and such a healthy activity for your body. I remember singing from an early age and daydreaming about being on a stage.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Being 5 in the band, we have very different inspirations. Some uniting us and some dividing us, haha. To name a few I think we can all agree on David Bowie, Radiohead, Røyksopp, Robyn, Susanne Sundfør. Radiohead and Sundfør’s way of being uncompromising about their music is very inspiring and liberating.
We can all gather around the vision that we want to make music that has great melodies, carrying indie vibes with both light and melancholy. At the same time we do see ourselves placed solidly in the pop category.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
Our musical backgrounds are quite diverse I would say. Sveinung’s (guitar) first real obsession when it comes to bands was Radiohead, and they still make much of the soundtrack of his life. Radiohead was and is still a big inspiration for me too and I was a big fan of U2. I also grew up listening to Alanis Morissette, Genesis and Nirvana. Marius (drums) really loves the world of drums from the 80s and he is the one in the band who loves commercial pop the most.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
That is a question that really takes me back to childhood memories. I cannot remember a specific song, but rather artists that have made me sing along to their music and starting that inner urge of wanting to go up on a stage and perform. It is a kind of energy that just builds up in your body, and the feeling of wanting to communicate an energy and conveying a feeling to the world. To name one song, let’s say “Perfect”, by Alanis Morissette. I also have strong memories of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
Wilco is the perfect soundtrack to a calm morning, having a long breakfast and listening to their album “The Whole Love”. The last song on the album “One Sunday Morning” is a song that could just go on and on, and you don’t get tired of it. It has a perfect calmness to it.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life
When I write lyrics I do not like to be too direct. I am definitely inspired by people in my life and my own experiences, and I think that to be able to write about something you have to place it on an emotion or experience you can relate to. So I would say every song, but also none 😉
What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?
I could only answer for myself, but here I remember the time we got played on national radio for the first time. Generally, the best feeling is when the listener really gets our music and sees it the way we see it. For instance, I remember an American music podcast who analyzed our record with a great score, and the feeling of hearing how the panel really understood our music was very fulfilling.
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
I have a master’s degree in Social Anthropology, so I am generally interested in people and how we function as groups in our society. I have job experiences in social welfare and HR at a university, so working as an adviser is something I like to do.
And what advice would you give to those looking to start a career in music?
Get out there and play concerts, and network with fellow musicians and people in the business. The music business is all about networking and selling your music, which can be difficult, but that is how it works. Be visible in social media, but make sure to have a high standard on your content. Quality before quantity.
Secret Treehouse’s latest single Broken Soul is available to stream and download now.