Today sees the release and FMS premiere of Oxen’s latest single, ‘Soulmate’.
Love songs. They have always been, and always will be, a centre in our pop universe. They exist in all shapes and sizes, moods and tempos. Oxen’s ‘Soulmate’ is one of those love songs that strikes a nerve like The Beatles’ ‘I Will’ or Her’s ‘Cool With You’. A modern everyday romance tune about those small things in life, like doing laundry and dreaming of Paris, but the song also touches that feeling we all know so well, the feeling of not being enough.
“I had a period where I was really into David Bowie,” says Erik Hases. “And while I was under his influence I really wanted to write a song with an unexpected chord or part.”
Hases and Sebastian Söderqvist met at an early age in a small village in the middle of Sweden. When they were 12 years old they started their first band, and since then they have followed each other through first loves, first beers and moving to Stockholm. In February 2016, the band known as Oxen was born. In a quirky studio in a Stockholm suburb, where bands like Mando Diao also took their first steps, the guys meet each other daily for a few intense rounds of foosball followed by thorough studio work.
Oxen released their self-titled EP in late 2016, and in the summer of 2017 they entered the legendary Svenska Grammofonstudion in Gothenburg and started recorded their debut album, which will be released via VÅRØ in the autumn of 2018. We quizzed them on their latest track with our Q&A from Mars…
01– Which colours do you associate visually with the recording & listening of this song?
“Peach orange, dark blue.”
02 – Which Records /EP/Song or Remix were on your playlist on repeat, before, during and after the mastering of Soulmate?
“David Bowie’s ‘Moonage Daydream’, Her’s ‘Khruangbin’, The Velvet Underground, The Beatles.”
03 – Memes/Habits: Describe to us your daily routine in the studio, and some key-situations, that are reminding you of the ‘process’.
“Soulmate is the song on the album that took the least time to write, Erik sat with his guitar in the kitchen in the rehearsal space and sang the same line over and over again, “Soulmate, I will bake you a cake on your birthday.” While Stefan was done with his cooking he joined in, and the song was done in less than two hours.
“We lived in this cosy apartment in the studio, made for bands who are staying overnight. Every morning you can just grab your cup of coffee and basically start the recordings immediately.
“György, our producer, got this idea that we should have a vintage drum machine beat instead of no drums at all, to make it a little less of a love ballad. He started the beat and we made no more than one take before it was finished.”
04 – If you can pick up a venue or a city where to play next where would you like to go to?
‘Soulmate’ is out now via Swedish indie label, VÅRØ.
Words: Marzio Veno