SAAD is a new pop project from long-time friends, musicians and artists Saga West (Dolores Haze) and Adam Odelfelt (Tella Viv, TVc) – a musical project with roots in fashion, creative media and art.
The Stockholm-based duo met in a park, some six years ago, remained friends and in 2019 met up in a studio to begin writing together. That collaboration resulted in SAAD, a journey exploring pop themes with bubbling arpeggio synthesizers, happy melodies and dreamy textures.
“We’ve been close friends for a long time but never had a band together, it all started in a bar where after two beers and a shared tray of French fries we decided to do a session together – and after that we realized it was a perfect match. SAAD’s songs could be described as pop songs with a twist. We really like alternative music, so we try to implement that a lot. We’re going to collaborate with some really amazing people soon, and keep creating modern expressions with love for the eighties.
“’Blondes Vibe Better’ is about vanity, and about trying to fit in. About someone who realizes that it gets more free alcohol at the pub if it is blonde and is ready to change everything for that lifestyle. There’s a bit of social criticism, satire and humour in there.”
“Blondes Vibe Better is about vanity, and about trying to fit in. About someone who realizes that it gets more free alcohol at the pub if it is blonde and is ready to change everything for that lifestyle.”
FMS met up with the Swedish pop duo to gather ‘behind the scenes’ answers about their world and their debut single ‘Blonde Vibes Better, which is out now via Despotz Records.
01- Which colours do you associate visually with the recording and listening of the song?
SW: “Here’s our official palette to ‘Blondes Vibe Better’. The yellow colour was probably the most important one, since it’s the colour you’d usually pick to colour someone’s blonde hair when you were a child. Or Adam still does but what can I say.”
02- Which records or songs or remixes were on your playlist, on repeat, before, during and after the making of ‘Blondes Vibe Better’?
AO: “Before creating the song, we listened a lot to Tove Lo’s song ‘Disco Tits’.”
SW: “Adam even got a t-shirt with the print ‘Disco Tits’ on, which I’m planning to steal the next time I come over to his place. During the process we listened to LSD (Labrinth, Sia, Diplo)’s album on repeat. And after we’ve only been listening to BvB on repeat because why would you want to listen to anything else?”
03- The single cover is pretty much iconic and fashionable, what was the inspiration behind that concept and is it something that would you like to continue or change in the next release?
SW: “All successful people are blonde. Just look at Paris Hilton, Donald Trump or Nicki Minaj. Obviously, we want blonde hair on our cover art.”
AO: “By becoming blonde, you’ll be successful. And we want to be successful.”
04- Furthermore, how much do fashion and trends influence your outfits on stage and your stage-persona overall?
SW: “I would describe my style as rock/minimal/plastic. I’m very inspired by Saint Laurent. On stage we’ll have different concepts and looks for each song. You’ll see me popping on different wigs and changing outfits a lot.”
AO: “I like sunglasses. And leather jackets.”
“Here’s our official palette to ‘Blondes Vibe Better’.”
05- Who was/were your idol/s when you were a teenager that made you decide to start singing and conquer the world?
SW: “My dad used to subscribe to this music magazine when I was a kid. One time he got a present with his magazine. It was a DVD with live footage of one of Bloc Party’s shows and I was glued to the TV for the whole night. It’s because of them I wanted to play the drums in a band. Matt Tong inspired me. And Kele Okereke inspires me when I write lyrics. And also, the indie band Black Kids, their lyrics are brilliant.”
AO: “David Bowie. And Led Zeppelin. And Velvet Underground.”
06- As a duo, you often have session musicians around, how much do you value a live band on stage compared with backing tracks and vocals?
SW: “The show is everything. Who cares about how you technically perform live? Sometimes an act with a backing track (like Peaches) can be just as good as a live band.”
07- What’s the idea behind SAAD as a new music project? And what’s different from the ones that you have been before?
SW: “I was so tired of listening to songs about feelings. Writing songs about feelings. Feeling feelings. I wanted to write songs about things that amuse me instead. Lyrics about scenarios that could happen. Songs about being blonde or gorillas jumping into your car.”
AO: “I guess SAAD is a bit more extrovert and chaotic than my previous acts. The idea was really to try combining a lot of the stuff we learned so far and see how far we could stretch it. But also, I guess that’s what people usually do when they take on new projects and challenges?”
08- Memes/Habits: Describe to us your daily routine at the studio, and some funny situations that remind you of the process in creating the single.
SW: “We probably spend one hour each session just looking at new music videos. As two art directors being in a band, the visual is as important to us as the music. We watched a lot of MGMT music videos during the process. We also spend a lot of time of me teasing Adam by playing around on his synths. Also, a lot of me screaming because of the creepy spiders attacking our studio, and me forcing Adam to kill them.”
AO: “We had a lot of fun when we censored the song. On the original version we sing ‘Bitch, I never pay’ but we had to change it to ‘Babe’.”
09- What can we expect from SAAD’s next single, in terms of sound and song structure?
SW: “After spending the spring in Berlin, the beat will probably be a bit more intense. After Adam got abducted by Aliens he came back with a new scale, so it will also sound like something a human has never heard of before.”
AO: “Expect less. Then you’ll be surprised.”
‘Blondes Vibe Better’ is out now via Despotz Records.