The Girl Under The New Moon

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March 4th, 2018

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more oddball, quirky character in the music business than Stockholm-based SoLBloMMa (Sunflower in English, and her real name).  The philosophy graduate is a multi-tasker; she’s also a puppet master, a clown, a designer of online IQ games and a railway geek to rival Pete Waterman. Vocally it’s possible to detect something of Cyndi Lauper, Clare Grogan (Altered Images), Polly Scattergood and even a stoned Björk, as one critic dubbed her.

In a long career she’s been signed to EMI (she now has her own label), had chart success under a different name but has also busked her way around Europe, scored a Portuguese TV series, worked with leading jazz pianists and saxophonists and dabbled in everything from trip hop to death metal, gaining a cult following along the way. Her direction momentarily is increasingly electronic. Her public persona is a brave one to wear in a country where overt individuality frequently encourages a condescending response.

She writes quite thoughtful songs, sometimes with a slant on unrequited love but she’ll tackle any subject. This latest single is one of the few she’s recorded in her native language – most are in English – and a well known folk song there.

The next one – ‘Charles de Gaulle’, scheduled for release on 30th March, is completely different as she reprises the role of Tom Hanks in ‘The Terminal’. In typical SoLBloMMa style the supporting video was filmed not at the Paris airport but at Stockholm Arlanda and Prague airports.

By David Bentley

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Solblomma sings “Flickan under Nymånen”

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January 23rd, 2018

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Tv-shows laughing my poetry in pieces

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September 17th, 2017

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Solblomma and Magic Man

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September 8th, 2017

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Instagram

Sol-IQ Kids is here – also an APP created by Solblomma!

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September 6th, 2017

This is a unique and innovative APP for testing/training logic thinking created by the swedish pop-singer and artist Solblomma. Her ”patented” dolls and trains are used to create a very special game feeling.

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Sol-IQ is here – an APP created by Solblomma!

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September 6th, 2017

This is a unique and innovative APP for testing/training logic thinking created by the swedish pop-singer and artist Solblomma. Her ”patented” dolls and trains are used to create a very special game feeling.

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Cozy Tour with Miriam

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September 5th, 2017

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Solblomma playing at East West, Örebro!

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September 5th, 2017

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Solblomma Scandic Elvy

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September 5th, 2017

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Twitter

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I´ve lost my love for you t.co/g4qA4BdxTU

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@pulsarpoetry Vad glad jag blir. Tack!!

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8/10 i "God is on the TV"!

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#website of 1 of my #favorite #humans & #musicians on the #planet ⁦@sol_blomma⁩ the #future we contemplate has bee… t.co/yEMWJZzbtl

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Come and have a coffee with me!t.co/0xWHlmY01P

Solblomma rehearsal

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September 5th, 2017

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New Music: Solblomma – She Said Nothing

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June 6th, 2017

Off all the fascinating artists I met at Gefle Gas, the festival I reviewed a few weeks back, SoLBloMMa (her stylisation) (or ‘Sunflower’ in English, it’s her name) stuck in my mind at least partly because she’s unique, a free artistic spirit. So I’ve researched her and have been on the lookout for anything new from her. While she has some ‘elements’ of other performers in her persona I have never seen or heard anyone else with whom she can directly be compared. She’s about as far removed from generic pop as you can get, and I’m all for it.

She’s multi-skilled, making her own videos to promote her electronic alt-pop work (many of them involve the ‘faceover’ you see here). Having once been signed to EMI she now runs her own label (Blomkraft) and even multi-tasks as a puppet master and as a clown (not a creepy one I might add, more as a genuine children’s entertainer). She designs online IQ games and she even rivals Pete Waterman as a railway geek; you can’t get quirkier than that.

Vocally, while I again stress her uniqueness, you can identify at least bits of Cyndi Lauper, Clare Grogan (Altered Images), and Polly Scattergood in her voice, while visually she often has the look of (a much gentler) Alex from A Clockwork Orange. She’s a self-creation of contradictions.

While I’m uneasy about using other peoples’ reviews, this truncated analysis from Electronic Magazine is priceless:

“Think Depeche Mode booted out the back of a Transit van on a cold, dark winter’s night, think Lykke Li taken by the dark side, think Kylie with Winehouse’s problems, think Björk dating Goldie… then we begin to see something remotely resembling Solblomma. With eyes you could stand teacups on, she’s got something of the Cheryl Cole about her… only with a Katie Price makeover… at night… with doll’s clothes.

I rest my case.

The video here for She Said Nothing was inspired by a recent business trip to the western USA which took in Las Vegas, the sort of place she’d be very much at home in, as a philosophy graduate, with its sharp contrasts between rich and poor, big business and ‘the ordinary people’, professional entertainers and street bums, cops and bad guys (think the original CSI) and, ultimately, winners and losers.

While the song is set in a wintry Amsterdam, it could equally play out in loser’s Sin City as her departing lover struggles to find the words to explain how he’s lost his love for her. (Probably at the tables, along with his credit). As Win Butler sings, when love is gone, where does it go?

The only problem I have is the lyrics, or at least some of them. It has some great lines, such as “you and me in the land of Shakespeare, breathing love in my ear; our trip, my dear, has just begun” and “I’ve lost my love, he said/hmmm, she said nothing/a bottle of stone crashed her heart”. But other stanzas leave me floundering.  Most of the Scandinavian/Nordic world speaks better English than we does but whether it’s Iceland, Norway or Sweden I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve said in these pages that something doesn’t make sense; that the meaning has been ‘lost in translation’. Perhaps it’s time for someone to devise a Scandinavian-English songbook dictionary.

Solblomma Hedin has taken on several different personas over the years. She’s busked her way around Europe, dabbled in Death Metal with one of many bands, The Strawberry Army, had chart success with the songs Girl at the Station and Sandman, worked with leading jazz pianists and saxophonists, scored a Portuguese TV series, and her first album (1997) was described as ‘epic experimental trip hop”, in which she portrayed a dozen different characters herself, prompting one critic to liken her to a stoned Björk. Oh, and she’s also adept at writing and adapting traditional Swedish folk songs.

Until a few years ago she wrote and performed as ‘KiN’ (‘Sun’ in the Mayan language), releasing two albums and four singles with a similar style but latterly as Solblomma she’s been going in two directions, one of them even more deeply into a sort of fantasy world with her current band The Sheep Army (which I’m not completely convinced by, as I said in the festival review). The other direction, under new management guidance with Comedia, is deeper into the electronic world where there are more possibilities for someone of her creative mindset, as this song and video suggest, and which at least falls within a ‘traditional’ framework.

It’s a necessary move in my opinion. The Nordic countries in general and Sweden, in particular, are home to The Law of Jante, which is too complex to go into detail about here, but which effectively describes a condescending attitude towards individuality and success; a mentality that de-emphasises individual effort and places all weight on the collective, while discouraging those who stand out as achievers. If you watch ‘The Bridge’ you can see it in the character of Saga Norén.

For that reason alone perhaps the time is right for Solblomma to seek her fortune elsewhere, where such laws have no reach. Not so much Leaving Las Vegas as arriving there.

 

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Too late she understands what has happened

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May 26th, 2017

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He said: I´ve lost my love for you

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May 22nd, 2017

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Gefle Gas Review SoLBLoMMa

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May 1st, 2017

On April 22, 2017, SoLBLoMMa performed at the new INDIE SWEDEN MUSIC FESTIVAL & CONFERENCE – GEFLE GAS – in Gävle Sweden.

 

“SoLBLoMMa – her name means sunflower – makes me tear my hair out. Not because she isn’t talented – she oozes it – but because of a superfluous stage act. Think Clare Grogan (Altered Images) meets Shirley Temple meets Vanessa Paradis on a personal level, while the band is more Black Lace singing Agadoo or The Tweets performing Birdie Song.”

“SoLBLoMMa, born in Gävle, is full of energy, her quirky, theatrical techno-pop songs are good and her band is pretty good too, especially the bassist. But for some mystifying reason, that band (the Sheep Army) dress up in chicken heads and wear tights to look like chicken legs. To top it off there is an asexual mannequin called Miriam placed stage left, which is dressed and undressed throughout the show, presumably according to the whims of the song being performed. SoLBLoMMa, Miriam and the Sheep Army”

Read the whole review by David Bentley here

 

 

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SoLBLoMMa, Miriam and The SHEEP-army in Gävle Gasklocka

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April 23rd, 2017

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SoLBLoMMa plays on Gefle Gas tonight

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April 22nd, 2017

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