Yet again juxtoposed to the last entry, here we have some twee, folky, singer-songwriter stuff from Sweden.
Tvärvägen is one chap making delightful and happy music, in both English and Swedish. He reminds me of Sufjan Stevens, except he knows when to end a song rather than let it drag on and on. "September" is the phenomenal song that got me into this guy - go and listen to it on his Myspace. His debut album, Sånger från Tvärvägen, is packaged in a delightful manner, in a knitted pouch and an obviously lovingly handcrafted cardboard sleeve. More of this, please.
Who are you, where are you from and what is your role in Tvärvägen?
Henrik: "I am Henrik. I'm originally from the north of Sweden, but now situated just outside of Stockholm. I am Tvärvägen's only member."
What does Tvärvägen translate to in English? Babelfish doesn't have Swedish yet.
Henrik: "Tvärvägen is a common streetname in Sweden. In direct translation to English it means "crossroad". And that's the name of the street crossing the one where I live."
"September" was one of my favourite songs of 2008. What is the song about?
Henrik: "Thank you! I'd rather leave it to the listener to interpret the songs, hope you don't mind. That's how I like listening to music myself as well. To be able to fill in the gaps in what you hear with yourself and your own feelings."
You write lyrics in both English and Swedish. Which are you more comfortable with and what are your views on language barriers in music?
Henrik: "When I listen to music myself, I almost never remebember the lyrics. When it comes to most of my favourite songs, I haven't got a clue what they're about. But at the same time I can't stand bad lyrics. That can really ruin a whole song. At the same time, I can really appreciate music in languages I don't know; for example I really like French hip-hop, even though I don't know a word of French. So with that in mind I can appreciate the melody of the words rather than the meaning. Myself, I'm more comfortable when I write in English - that's maybe why my Swedish lyrics are so short. And also, I'd rather make an instrumental song than put lyrics on it just for the sake of it. The vocals should blend together with the rest of the music naturally."
There are lots of famous musical artists from Sweden, from ABBA to Opeth. Which is your favourite?
Henrik: "There's a lot of good things going on, here's a few of them in no particular order:"
"And, of course, the other bands band I'm involved with:"
Tack så mycket, Henrik.