Home Oh Land: Catching Up With Offbeat Original Nanna Oland Fabricius

Oh Land: Catching Up With Offbeat Original Nanna Oland Fabricius

Boxx Magazine Oh Land: Catching Up With Offbeat Original Nanna Oland Fabricius

Sunday 03rd November 2013,

  • Dum Dum Girls Announce Third Album, Unlock New Single
  • The Breeders Announce Additional Anniversary Tour Dates, Kim Deal Releases 7″ Solo Material
  • Savages Return with Dark Deco Video for “Marshall Dear”
  • Watch: Dirty Projectors Release Video for “Impregnable Question”

Save the Last Dance for Oh Land

Boxx Magazine October 30, 2013

By Chelsea Spear

Listening to the music of Oh Land (aka Danish singer-songwriter Nanna Øland Fabricius) feels like watching a street fair late at night: Her sugar-sweet soprano skips through thickets of melodies, with songs tied together by spare arrangements and bright production. Her latest album, Wish Bone, finds the siren experimenting with a new, live-in-the studio sound that Fabricius describes as “melodic, primal pop-industrial.”

The daughter of an opera singer and organist, Fabricius received comprehensive musical training and studied piano from a young age; however, her earliest love was dance. As a teenager, she left Denmark to train at the Royal Swedish Ballet School, but an injury precluded her burgeoning career. Fabricius was devastated: “I always thought that if everything else went wrong I’d always have dance, like if I didn’t have any luck in love I’d always be a good dancer. It was the only thing I knew for sure that I was good at, so when that disappeared, I had to start from scratch.”

For Fabricius, starting from scratch meant turning to music as another form of artistic expression. She released her debut album, Fauna, in Denmark in 2008, which she followed with the self-titled Oh Land in 2011. The success of the latter album allowed her to move to the U.S., where she settled in Brooklyn. “New York is a great place. There are lots of inspiring people here,” she says of her American sojourn. “I didn’t know what a great impact this would have on my work,” she explains, citing even other passengers on the subway as one of the unexpected stimuli that has informed her recent songwriting.

“Whenever I get an idea, it comes at an inconvenient time for me,” Fabricius says of her inspirations. “I require no distractions. I have to sit down and write.” Her process is “very intuitive,” she explains: “I never have a constructed concept. I try to write from start to finish, and then I edit. It’s not always a linear process for me.”

Oh Land bolsters the strengths of her songwriting skills with an offbeat theatricality that Fabricius suggests was born of inexperience rather than affectation. “I’d never been in the music circles so I didn’t know what people did,” she explains. “I’d never really been to a gig so I just did what I thought was good for my music.” It was this surprisingly compelling combination of musical talent and quirky choreography that prompted Epic Records president Amanda Ghost to sign Fabricius. Recent shows have involved unusual costumes, bubble machines and rooms full of balloons. At the center of this spectacle is Fabricius, with her swaying, angular dance moves and her penchant for playing “pretty much anything that makes noise.”

With her poignant back story and occasionally frothy aesthetic, Oh Land has captivated and inspired many female artists. In the summer of 2012 she toured with Katy Perry and singer-songwriter Ximena Sariñana; her lolloping single “White Nights” played over the closing credits of a season 2 episode of “Girls”; and Wish Bone features a collaboration with eccentric Australian performer Sia. “Working with women is the best!” Fabricius enthuses. “There’s no issue. Once you really get each other, there are bonds of sisterhood and you can be honest with one another. You’re strong, but you can have fun with one another…it’s liberating.”

What’s next for Oh Land? “One of the things I thought I’d do when I started writing songs was work in movies,” she says. “I love movies from the ’70s—suspense, horror, indies and documentaries.” The evocative moods and sonic textures of Wish Bone do have a cinematic quality, and it doesn’t seem far-fetched that Fabricius might transition into film work. By the same token, however, she does have the immediacy of a current world tour. “I will be touring Wish Bone for a long time and hopefully get to some parts of the world I haven’t played before. I’m doing some music videos as well and walking my dog lots!”

With a tour in progress and demand for Oh Land ever increasing, Fabricius and her dog are about to become one well-traveled duo….

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