DAGNY

Norwegian singer Dagny has released her long-awaited debut album Strangers / Lovers via Little Daggers Records. Showcasing her growth as an artist and her focused creative vision, the album is divided into distinct halves, tracks the journey of a relationship. The first half documenting the blossoming early stages of a new love, and the second examining the fall out of that relationship. Dagny has also just released her new single It’s Only A Heartbreak and she speaks to Hi Fi Way about the album..

Congratulations on your debut album Strangers/ Lovers, does it feel like a huge relief that it’s out this week considering what’s going on right now?
I think it feels like a huge relief regardless of the situation right now. I’ve been wanting to do an album for years, and we’ve spent majority of the last year at the studio working on Strangers / Lovers. So it feels great (with a capital G) to finally release it out into the world and see the reactions of my fans <3.

Was it a buzz seeing your album released on pink vinyl?
It’s gonna be a buzz for sure. The vinyl is still in production, so I haven’t held it in my hands yet. But I’ve dreamt about releasing it as a pink vinyl from the very beginning, so I’m pretty stoked about that.

Will you do anything to celebrate release day?
On the release day, we started the celebration with a live stream for fans on Instagram. Then we went out and celebrated with a Mexican feast and margaritas into the early morning. I think celebration is so important!

Sonically, how would you describe your album?
I would say the majority of it is pretty upbeat synth driven pop. It has some 80s references, but I think you can also hear that I’m inspired by a lot of music that’s more left of centre and indie. What I love about doing an album is that you get a chance to show more sides of your music and yourself. It doesn’t all have to sound ‘like a single’.

Sonically, how would you describe your album?
I would say the majority of it is pretty upbeat synth driven pop. It has some 80s references, but I think you can also hear that I’m inspired by a lot of music that’s more left of centre and indie. What I love about doing an album is that you get a chance to show more sides of your music and yourself. It doesn’t all have to sound ‘like a single’.

Did any particular artists inspire or influence you on this album?
I wouldn’t say I had any artists in mind specifically for this album, I wanted to create an album that felt like ‘Dagny’. But overall I notice that I’m influenced by a lot of Swedish acts; like Robyn, Veronica Maggio and also older indie bands like Cardigans.

Is this album a bit of a look into your life and experiences?
In many ways, yes. I write about things that I’m thinking about and imagining and I draw inspiration from experiences. But I’m also inspired by movies and observing situations that are going on around me, with friends for example.

Do you think a debut album is the hardest in terms of finding the songs that best represent you?
I think working on the debut album was both incredibly exciting and challenging; you have to be sure that what you present feels like you as an artist, it’s like the meet and greet between yourself and a lot of listeners. I’ve done quite a lot of singles leading up to the debut, so in many ways I had already had the introduction phase, but because of that I put a lot of pressure on myself to deliver something that felt like a step forward. But a little bit of pressure is good. The day I notice that I don’t care anymore, is the day I’ll have to find a new path in my life.

Do you feel COVID has slowed your momentum a bit?
Both yes and no. It was never an option to postpone the album, and I reckon people need music now more than ever. So in many ways it felt like a perfect time to release the debut album. I guess the only way it slows down the momentum, is that we can’t go on a release tour. And touring is like a bit reward, it’s my favourite thing to do.

Without touring, where will your focus be directed now?
I’ll just get crackin’ on the «difficult second album» I guess, ha ha. I’m very inspired by the release of Strangers / Lovers, so I will continue to write for myself and also for other artists. Hopefully we’ll be able to tour again from 2021 – fingers crossed.

What is the story behind the single It’s Only A Heartbreak?
The song is partly inspired by the movie Casablanca. There’s this famous quote that the male lead says to the female lead; “Here’s looking at you, kid”. Our interpretation was that he says that when he realizes they’ll never be together, but that that doesn’t change how he feels about her. I thought that was beautiful and also a little sad.

Are you looking forward to touring when you can? Will that include Australia?
Abso-freakin-lutely. I actually had plans to visit Australia in 2020 – which obviously couldn’t happen. But that means that it’s first on my to-do list once the pandemic situation is finally over. I can’t wait!

Interview By Rob Lyon

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