Heiðrún Anna Björnsdóttir became quite famous with the Icelandic band Cigarette in the mid-90s, which took the music scene by storm. Their one-hit wonder, I Don’t Believe You, became the biggest hit that year in the Icelandic music scene and they were expected to go places, but broke up soon after.
Heiðrún Anna is back, roughly two decades later, with an intriguing pop album where she performs under the artist name of Heidrunna. Her album, Melodramatic, is a well-crafted pop album in the spirit of Nordic pop, and has all of the characteristics to blow up on the internet. What’s more; the album is getting well-received online. Of course, we wanted to know more, so we asked Heidrunna to explain this unexpected pop gem in our Track By Track:
A friend of mine was going through a hard time in a relationship and didn’t know how to let go. Borderline is about that feeling when you need to do the right thing and have a clean break, even though you know it’s fucked up and that’s the best option for you, but you just can’t see the forest for the trees.
Love Don’t Come Easy:
This is my favourite pop song. I co-wrote this after signing to Universal Publishing and whilst trying to write a song for Kylie. I wrote it with Barry Stone and Jules, who are probably two of the nicest people I’ve met. I learned a lot about how to write songs quickly in that session. Like most of my songs, it’s about love and relationships – surprise surprise, my favourite subject!
Daydreamer is one of my favourite songs that I’ve written so far. It came about as I was walking home on a crisp sunny day. I started humming this melody with the lyric ‘daydreamer’ and it made me feel incredible. So good that when I came home I went straight to the piano and started to play it… it felt so special and natural, like something was in the air.
It’s a love song about meeting somebody and having a romance that I’m sure many people can relate to–that feeling of having some fun with somebody and wanting to do that all over again… and of course, like most of my songs, it has a bit of a sad ending.
Like a lot of my songs, it’s about commitment and phobia. The pull and tug of relationships – does he love me or not! The Groundhog Day and the emotions and tiredness of stopping and starting and deciding that maybe the only way to stop it is to erase everything about that person and never pick up the phone again.
I actually had that chorus melody line a long time ago when I lived in Liverpool… the lyric then was ‘love me, don’t leave’ and I’ve since changed it to ‘love me or leave me’ and decided to finish that song and write a narrative about a girl that finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her… with another girl she knows.
I think that’s a very common scenario sadly and probably easy for people to relate to. That feeling of no appetite, no sleep and trying to get through it somehow without going on Valium.
Call It Melodramatic:
This song is super personal to me. Last year was a horrific year in more ways than one; I had an operation on my face to remove skin cancer. It was such a shock and a horrendous time. I went through every emotion possible, but I wrote this song about how an event like that can destabilise you so much, but you can come out of it stronger.
You Can Go Your Own Way:
This song started when I was a little bit hungover, sitting in my living room, strumming electric guitar, and watching my son playing computer games. His character had to jump from ski slopes so that was my starting line in the song ‘I jump…’ and then I wrote a story about a boy that goes on his gap year to a beautiful sunny location with his girlfriend but ends up getting his girlfriend stolen from him by his best friend. Bastard.
I wrote this when the only place I could party was in my kitchen. I actually do that a lot anyway. It’s the only song on the album that I sing in Icelandic. When I was writing it I was doing it both in Icelandic and English (very much how I talk daily!) and that’s why it’s called Cindy, an homage to the one and only Cindy Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’; exactly what I was doing in the kitchen at the time.
In the end, I decided to have it just in Icelandic as it sounded cooler. I still listen to foreign songs and love them even though I don’t know what the fuck they are saying!
You Make Me Feel:
I wrote this about an experience I had when I was in my hometown. It’s when you meet someone for the first time and feel this electric connection just when you least expect it. Also at the time I was heavily into Prince and inspired by his honesty and simplicity in his writing, rhythm and structure.
All Cried Out:
This is probably my darkest song. It’s really sad, because it was written at a difficult time. It’s about loss and goodbyes and how much of it is a struggle to get through.
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