Stockholm is famous as a creative hotspot that exports music all over the world, but if you dig into what young Stockholmers themselves listen to, you’ll find that the answer for a lot of them is one of the country’s brightest pop artists, Lorentz. The Forumist catches up with him as he releases his latest album into a strange and frustrating world.
After starting off his musical life in the duo Lorentz & Sakarias with his brother, Lorentz kicked off a solo career with his albums Kärlekslåtar and Lycka till. Both showed his skills at stitching together elements of several different genres into a unique and innovative sound. With the release of his third album, Krig och fred, come high expectations that he will reach the same heights.
Krig och fred comes three years after Lycka till, with the album coming together through Lorentz’s usual working process. “I don’t know if it has been difficult or easy to do this album [in relation to the earlier records]. I’ve never thought of the album in those terms”, he says. “Music is something I do when in harmony, and everything is done intuitively. Then, of course there are a lot of man hours behind every little decision when those small notes have been sung. And then, when getting those small last things done, it gets tidied up”.
One of the notable things about the new record is that Lorentz has taken over sole production duties this time. He says this allowed him to better shape the sound the way he wants it, and think through the music in a deeper way on the record. “It has for sure. The process was very intimate on every level. Not just what kind of sounds to pick, but the whole process. What to say. What to do. My music got clearer and more purposeful.”
What’s changed in terms of sound in the record is up to the listener to decide. According to Lorentz, the past doesn’t come into his mind when making new music (“I don’t really do too much backtracking anymore. It’s been a while since I listened to my old music”). But you might say what makes the new songs stand out is their focus. The songs on Krig och fred feel a little cleaner and sharper, leading to moments with the stark emotional clarity of Velocet collaboration “Du vill inte missa det här”, and its striking line “vem kan bryr sig om en färglös värld” (“who could care about a colourless world”). “[It’s] more focussed especially”, is Lorentz’s take. “More effective”
Following Kärlekslåtar and Lycka till, Krig och fred lands as the final chapter of a trilogy of albums, and marks a clear point in the first phase of his career. Taken together, the three records can almost be said to tell the story of those years in his life, both successes and struggles. The title, “War and Peace”, is a nod to both sides of his path and the experiences and adventures he’s had up to this point. “Krig och fred pretty much sums up this album and everything, up to this point, pretty well, [though] I don’t know about [being more] grown up. Maybe more childish, if anything. It has been war and peace for sure, though”.
As the album comes out, another obstacle has emerged in the form of the coronavirus, which makes playing impossible live for now, a serious downer for Lorentz, as the energy of his songs really brings them to life when he’s on stage. “I really, really want to play this album live”, he says. “That feeling came to me for the first time like yesterday. It hit me that I can’t do that right now. I visualised it for the first time, playing these new songs live. I guess that’s why I felt it. Before it was only a fact, but now it got real. But what to do? Getting the album out there is a big thing for me regardless”.
And now with Krig och fred out, Lorentz is ready to move onto his next creative chapter. “I’m going to take what I’ve learned with this one into the future”, he says. “I think [Krig och fred] is an end and a beginning all together.”
Words by Austin Maloney
Photography by John Scarisbrick
Styling by Pejman Biroun Vand
#1 Coat by Antonia Pihl
#2 T-shirt by Diemonde, shirt and trousers by Eytys
#3 Trousers by Erik Olsson, jacket and shirt by Levi’s
#4 Shirt by Erik Olsson
#5 Shirt by Göran Sundberg, shorts and hat by Erik Olsson
#6 Set by Erik Olsson
Lorentz: @itslorentz, itslorentz.com, Spotify