All it takes is just one idea, or two from a pair of capable HandS and BANG – before you know it you’ve got the makings of some gorgeous music. Hakon & Sofie have, with the help of rising star producer Pete Hofmann crafted some of the most subtlety elaborate dream-pop you’ll probably hear all year. They deserve to be the dinner party music for everyone who bought the XX album and more. Here’s as good a place as any to get started…
Both of you hail from Bergen, which is where the amazing Annie and Royksopp are also from. Do you reckon there’s something in the town’s water supply or something?
Hakon: Well Norway is really small, and the music scene even smaller. We work together and support each other which is why music from Bergen makes it big, and the little cold city is making its way in the massive international music market. Perhaps when it’s from a little strange town in Norway people listen for the contrast. Maybe it’s exotic?!
How did you first end up making music together?
We met and got quite drunk when Sofie had just turned eighteen and FINALLY could drink beer legally. We had one or two or three or you know…seventeen together, and found out we both shared a huge love of Pop music. Quite different tastes but at the same time so similar. We’ve ended up spending every day together from the day we met.
You’ve swapped Norway for the UK – what was your main reason for moving?
The reason we went abroad is because we know the music industry in Norway and Bergen, its very indie and based on local music. Although we make everything from our beats to lyrics ourselves, our sound is so Pop, it sounded like we had to go to bigger cities to get accepted for what we wanted to do. It feel right to try something bigger and more challenging than what other Norwegian artists do and to reach for the stars!
A big influence on your upcoming album has been producer Pete Hofmann. What’s it been like working with him?
We LOVE working with Pete as it’s easy to go into this little world we sometimes go into, where we think only we know what’s best. All off a sudden a super-talented person from the outside can say “Hey, this and that could be different and more like this”, and so on. So far all his ideas and talent have made the material better and us even more engaged.
Would you say that ‘Wake Up’ is an accurate reflection of the rest the music you’ve been making?
‘Wake Up’ is our first single and we’re very proud of it. We’ve kept it to ourselves for so long and couldn’t wait to show you guys what we’ve done. At the same time it might not be exactly the sound of our future releases, it’s just going to turn more dancey and darker as we move along. We’re fascinated by the mix of heartbreaking lyrics, dark beats and the “happy” pop sound that tops it all and makes it all surreal and different.
What’s the plan for the rest of the year in terms of releases?
We want to play lots of live shows, to demonstrate to you all what we’ve working so hard on. Our aim is to be shamelessly engaged in what we do and try to reach the goals we’ve been longing for and ultimately share our love of Pop and great performance with you all!
Check out HandS’ SoundCloud page for more brilliant material and keep up to date with their latest releases and performances by following them on Facebook and The Twitter.