Every January, there’s a sense of mystique and potential in the air, welcoming you into a new year full of opportunity and lessons. And for Norwegian mastermind Tuvaband, this January has brought the birth of her latest project, the pensive New Orders. “Everything could be different soon,” she coos on the title track, serving as a thesis statement of sorts for a record all about thoughtful growth and expansion, coming alive and letting the less desirable parts of your past fade away.
“Since I released my first single and until the summer of 2022, everything around me has gone way too fast, because I’ve been too busy to realize that I could benefit from a slower pace,” Tuvaband tells TREMG. “I’ve been the one speeding it, but I haven’t even noticed. There’s been so many things that I’ve been thinking must happen, this and that way, and there hasn’t been any time to just be, and reflect on other options.”
From the very first track, the mystifying “Rejuvenate,” you can tell that New Orders is raw and harrowing to an extent that not many projects quite reach. There’s a level of self-awareness and awareness of others, gracefully balancing frustration and empathy while ultimately encouraging grounding and reflection.
“When I started writing, I was kind of writing [‘Rejuvenate’] to a friend,” Tuvaband explains. “But as I continued to write, it also evolved to cover broader topics. In some way I wanted to put myself on the outside of a situation to understand what was going in. Because I had a feeling that what was going on wasn’t really about me, but about the other person having a bad time. I observed some people struggling with the pandemic; changing their behavior. Because I think that when someone is struggling, it’s not the easiest time to behave in the best way.”
New Orders presents Tuvaband at her peak so far, effortlessly intertwining sounds from indie rock to synth pop with equal parts nostalgia and forward-thinking wonder. It prompts reflection on your own thoughts and actions and the behaviors of those around you, making it the perfect project to start off your year with. By shedding your unhealthy habits and ideas, you make way for “Something Good” to come into your life to replace them.
“It’s just been such a long process from when I started creating this album, so it feels like a big relief to get it out there,” Tuvaband confesses. “Like I’m closing a chapter and starting a new one.”
You can find New Orders on your favorite streaming services now, and get to know Tuvaband on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and her website! Keep reading for more from our conversation with this thought-provoking artist.
Congratulations on your new album, New Orders! How does it feel to finally share the project with the world?
Thank you! The last few days it’s been the only thing on my mind. It’s just been such a long process from when I started creating this album, so it feels like a big relief to get it out there. Like I’m closing a chapter and starting a new one.
New Orders opens with the immersive “Rejuvenate,” which encourages someone going through a hard time to be patient with themselves. What inspired you to make that the opening track, and what does the song mean to you?
When I started writing, I was kind of writing this song to a friend, but as I continued to write, it also evolved to cover broader topics. In some way I wanted to put myself on the outside of a situation to understand what was going in. Because I had a feeling that what was going on wasn’t really about me, but about the other person having a bad time. I observed some people struggling with the pandemic; changing their behavior. Because I think that when someone is struggling, it’s not the easiest time to behave in the best way.
Musically, I tried to create trip-hop drums, and put them together with guitars inspired by Lazarus, by David Bowie. There’s also hundreds of layers of synths, deep in the background, which feels like they’re from outer space.
There are so many incredible lyrics on this album that capture a feeling so well, with one great example being “last but not least, it lasted too long / Later than last, can we count on the future?” Is there a certain lyric on New Orders that you’re particularly proud of?
Thank you! I think I like these the best: “By the time you hear this, I’ve been traveling for a very long time,” and from another song: “At night we watch the same moon, but I was eating from a silver spoon. Everything could be different soon.” I like the last one because it’s such an absurd thing to think about; At any time, no matter where you are in the world, we all see the same phases of the moon. Even though everything else around us could be totally different. I could be looking at the moon, having the best time of my life. At the exact same moment somebody else could be watching the same phase of the moon, while having their worst time ever, surrounded by a war. And my wealth could even be the reason for why this other person is living in the opposite reality. But that’s a totally different topic.
Which song on New Orders means the most to you?
It’s been changing throughout the whole process, as I’ve been in different states. The title track, “New Orders,” is the song where I’ve been able to cover the most topics, and therefore been able to process more thoughts and feelings, worries and hope. So I guess this is the umbrella of the album. But I think maybe “Rejuvenate” is the nicest and coolest song.
Which tracks on New Orders took the longest and shortest times to make?
The song “Something Good” took the longest. I spent so much time figuring out what should be the main instrument, and recorded it in various ways. I also struggled with the programmed drums; finding the right drum rhythm and fills. At a point they were too much, and at another time they were too boring. I also didn’t know if the song should be stripped down or filled with details. I was happy with the result in the end.
I think “Rejuvenate” took the least amount of time. This is a song that came very easily and naturally, both the lyrics and the music. I liked it straight away, and I felt very sure of all the choices.
You wrote your latest single, “By the Time You Hear This,” during the pandemic, and it explores the concept of time through the lens of a time where everything felt more uncertain than ever. What inspired you to release the song as a single and give it its own shining moment?
I didn’t think this song would be noticed by many people if it wasn’t released on its own. And I really wanted people to give it a chance, even though it’s a little quirky. But it wasn’t really the plan to release yet another single, but someone suggested it. As a little “hi” in 2023, before the album release.
You recently told Authority Magazine that when you were first starting out as an artist, you had a lot of fear when it came to performing and usually closed your eyes or sat in a chair to make it feel less daunting. How did you become more confident in performing, and which new song from New Orders are you most excited to perform live?
Of course the more I’ve played live, the less scary it has become. But when I sang live the first time, I hadn’t even sung in front of my parents before. So I didn’t even know how it would feel. I learnt some tricks through something called Timpani-technique, and that’s what made me less scared at one point.
I look forward to playing “A Liquid Matter/Attenborough” live. We haven’t played it live before. I like how it’s building in the end, changing to a big chaos and to just give everything we have. Lose control. It feels so satisfying to sing this song, and I’m playing synth melodies which feel natural to play while I sing. That’s not always the case on this new album.
How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist since your last project, 2021’s Growing Pains & Pleasures?
Since I released my first single and until the summer of 2022, everything around me has gone way too fast, because I’ve been too busy to realize that I could benefit from a slower pace. I’ve been the one speeding it, but I haven’t even noticed. There’s been so many things that I’ve been thinking must happen, this and that way, and there hasn’t been any time to just be, and reflect on other options. I’ve made so many stressful deadlines, without realizing I’m the one who made these deadlines. So I think things are and will be more thought through from now on. It will be easier to find my own path in this career, because I’ll have time to think of what way I want to go. I’ve realized I don’t need to do what’s expected of me, because I’ve realized it won’t necessarily get me where I want. Right now I’m trying to enjoy where I’m already at. And this way I think everything I put out to the world will be of a better quality. But who knows…
For anyone who isn’t familiar with your music already, which of your songs would you recommend to them to get a feel for who you are as an artist?
As my music can be everything from this and that, I think the introduction could be “Rejuvenate,” “Something Good,” “Growing Pains,” “Post Isolation,” and “Annie Blackburn.” Maybe also my very old song “Horses,” just to show the more stripped-down side of things.
We at TREMG love getting to know new artists who haven’t gotten the success or attention they deserve. Who are some of your favorite underrated artists at the moment?
Saya Gray, Clarissa Connelly, Ydegirl, Laura Groves, Porridge Radio, and Eartheater. Or maybe some of these has been quite successful in the indie scene, but I think they could reach a bigger audience. And when Ayka, Yndling, and Ane Bjerkan from Norway, and Minru from Sweden release more music; I hope they will get more attention.
What can your fans look forward to in the rest of 2023?
A tour in the autumn. But also a collaboration album I’ve been part of with New Age Doom and various artists, which will be released in the autumn. And maybe the EP I finished in 2022 will be released in 2023. But I actually don’t know the release date, as it’s up to the author of the book that this EP is based on. Already in February, New Age Doom released a remix I made of their song with Lee “Scratch” Perry.