The Danish Dream pop duo Sweet Tempest is comprised solely of Luna and Julian – a charmingly bohemian pair with a succinct meeting of free-spirited minds. They cite Rhye, Tom Waits and the Beach Boys as influences to name but a few. The two have also been likened to the Cocteau Twins, Beach House and Au Revoir Simone, drawing inspiration from the adventurous aspects of everyday life to create their songs and sound.
A bittersweet combination of acoustic and electronic-ethereal-soundscapes, carpeted by dreamy guitar walls and catchy vocal melodies, the semi-erotic video was built as a montage of memories spread across summer capturing a nostalgic, honest and compassionate storyboard that complements the music coherently.
The Playground had the rare opportunity to get to know these two uniquely curious minds, and find out what makes them creatively tick. This included guzzling champagne alone and playing Die Antwoord to name but a few…
Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?
We’re good thanks! Today is fraught with the perils one must face when having had too many drinks the night before!
Oh dear that doesn’t sound pleasant! To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
In the simplest of terms, we guess we’d like to call it dreamy pop rock.
What are the 5 albums that have influenced you the most?
That’s almost impossible to answer! But these ones have definitely done a number on us:
Tom Waits: Closing Time
Massive Attack: Mezzanine
Beach Boys: Pet Sounds
Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
Luna: Kings of Convenience and Madelaine Peyroux. They both sport greats amounts soothing atmosphere, harmonies and what we in Denmark call ‘Hygge’.
Julian: Right now it’s all about Vangelis and Supergrass for me. They’re rather different from each other but both know how to write fantastic melodies.
Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?
The Omnisphere Synth always gets whipped out first thing when we get started. It sounds wonderful, and we can bring it everywhere with us.
The UK music scene is certainly always changing. Some might say that at the moment it’s more electronic oriented. Do you think this makes it more difficult for indie/alternative acts to get recognition than it would have done ten years ago?
Probably that the market is so saturated. There’s neither room nor economy for this many of us. And streaming isn’t exactly paying the bills.
Where do you gather song writing inspiration?
We like to have fun painting everyday occurrences with different colours and turning them into our own adventures so the inspiration could be anything from a walk on a cold day to an emotionally jarring experience. Also, part of being Danish involves talking about the weather many times a day so that certainly finds it’s way into the songwriting too!
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when put music together?
It usually starts with Julian playing around with sounds and synths whilst Luna fetches a bottle of champagne or two. After that it’s all about candles and isolation. We just play and sing together until something clicks.
What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
We played a great gig at a Copenhagen venue called ‘Huset’ (The House). We were trying out a completely new set up which is often quite nerve wracking but we absolutely nailed it, everything came together exactly as it should or better. The place was packed and because it’s not a very big venue, it made for an intimate experience with the audience.
And the worst?
Ahem. We played a gig not so long ago at the Carpark Festival. It’s almost difficult to remember because our brains have done their best to forget it but basically, Murphy’s Law was having a field day. And to make matters worse, we were just standing there on that stage so shocked by how badly it was going that it threw us off course and we played even worse. It was absolutely horrible.
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
Luna: On paper I would probably say a Florist but deep down it would have to be an actor.
Julian: I haven’t ever actually pondered the answer to this question even once which is probably why I’ve always been broke. So I guess my answer to that question is I would probably be nothing.”
If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?
Roskilde Festival, the biggest music festival in Denmark. There are far bigger and more expansive festivals out there but because Denmark is a small country, one can usually be sure that most of one’s friends and the musicians you’ve had the pleasure of playing with throughout your life will be there. It’s always heartwarming to see someone you know take the stage. Aside from that, it’s generally just a great festival! Well, we know we’d be a terrible match because we sound nothing alike, but definitely Die Antwoord because of wow and reasons.
Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
We’re working on our second EP! We expect to be releasing singles and videos over the next half year. We humbly hope you enjoy them!
Sweet Tempest – The Truth
Sweet Tempest‘s next single, “Empty Box” is out on the 2nd December, stay tuned!