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Welcoming the Turbulence of 2016


From my trip to Santa Fe in December 2015
It's been way too long. In my dreams I write here every week, keeping up with the process and reporting on random thoughts. Maybe discussing things artistic as well as the state of the world, having conversations – if someone wants to chime in. But in reality this here space remains silent as I work my way through days and months. Maybe, hopefully this will change now. I want to say more. Leave traces of unfinished thoughts and mark steps that are less significant and permanent than a finished song for example.

My look for the David Bowie Tribute show at Korjaamo on February 3rd, 2016
In early February a bunch of Finnish musicians had a tribute concert for David Bowie at Korjaamo Helsinki. it was a sold-out show. I had the honour to end the evening with Space Oddity. To play in front of 650 David Bowie fans in mourning and after all the fantastic performers of the evening was an experience I will never forget. Thank you1 Here are some pictures by Tomi Palsa of the evening if you'd like to see. Profit from the show went to cancer research in Finland through Syöpäsäätiö. 

Needless to say, the death of David Bowie touched me on many levels. As a fellow music maker, a weirdo and a breast cancer survivor (not sure if I like to call myself that). I celebrate his journey through different expressions and forms of music and his trials in combining music to other artistic expression. I take inspiration from the way he moved. I grieve his passing and the pain he was in, but I refuse to see his last album as an orchestration of dying artfully. To me there is no such thing. Dying is a tragedy. It is always too soon and at the wrong time.

Before I press publish and return to today's business I want to say two things:
A) I am recovering from an operation, which was the first out of two reconstructions I will be going through this year. After a mastectomy in 2014 I will be becoming a two-breasted woman again this year. Just letting you know! It's amazing and painful and many other conflicting emotions as well as uncomfortable physical states...

B) Please, give your support to people who report sexual abuse, harassment or violence. Kesha's legal case against her producer and her label has and will give rise to more abuse cases being spoken about in public. There are cases that relate to the entertainment and music business and others that don't – for the victims it can be very important to talk about what they have gone through even if time has passed. The latest person to speak was Larkin Grimm. Statistics about sexual violence in the US can be found from RAINN.
In Finland go to Naisten Linja for support and information.
Here's what Lena Dunham wrote about the Kesha case in Lenny Letters.

Let this year be full of creativity and bravery! We must fight for human rights and dignity NOW!

LIVE SHOWS: Club O'Gaea presents: Astrid Swan @Tampere Friday 7.8.2015 and Monokini 2.0, 29.8.2015


August is here! Can you believe it? I can't, but I'm glad, because I don't hold on to the notion that the best month of summer is July. I prefer the darkening velvety evenings, the sense of giving up and the soft sadness of summer coming to an end. August is the best.

Therefore, I'm happy (and terrified) to remind you that I am playing a solo show this Friday in Tampere at Club O'Gaea presents @O'Connell's. I'm breaking the silence, climbing up on the stage. I'll be performing some oldies, but also a couple of new songs – stuff no one has heard yet. Bring your hankies (I wish I was kidding, but it really may get a bit emotional).

Then at the end of this beautiful month I'll be performing in a very special Monokini 2.0. catwalk show with my band and a choir. Yes, four lovely singers will be joining my band for a very special show. The choir is called Mamo and their style is influenced by Finnish Karelian and Bulgarian singing. Mark this date to your calendar and support your ladies with one breast: 29.8.2015 @Yrjönkadun Uimahalli, Helsinki. I am super proud and moved and happy to be a part of this event. I feel perfectly at home too!

Monokini 2.0 Catwalk show 29.8.2015 from Tärähtäneet / Shaken-not-blur on Vimeo.

Down The Memory Lane


Sometimes it's fun to get lost in an old external hard-drive and find old treasures from adventures long-gone. It's nice that looking back the past usually seems more fun and I feel more forgiving for my shortcomings. Like look at that crazy tiger above from 2006! This was a photo from an album cover shoot we did with Varpu Eronen for the American version of Poverina (it came out in the US in 2007 through Minty Fresh). Obviously, the pic never made it anywhere...

This here lady is me in Hollywood in 2007. Oh how I miss those days and the lovely Irina who took this picture.

This black&white photo is from a tour of Germany in 2010. I remember I didn't like the way I looked in these photos when I saw them back in the day. Now I just see the long hair and and feel nostalgia for the days and the person I think I was. Here's to hoping that in five years my current position will seem fabulous and the present even more so. This was my short message from the abyss of songwriting break. See you soon again!




Illustration by Varpu Eronen
I'm so glad the new year is here. Last year was the most difficult I ever had, but it is behind me now.
And I'm here and feel light. And somehow free in a way that is hard to put to words.
January begins with songwriting for me. And so the year will go, because I need new songs like life needs water. It's time.

A handful of live shows will happen this year still. Next up: Soliti Winter Beach Party on January 30th. It is important for you to be there, if you believe that we need alternative artists and bands to keep doing their work on a professional level in Finland. This show will be all about raising money for SOLITI so that it can keep going and releasing great Finnish music. Times are tough. But sounds are good. Ten bands in one night. You need to come to Helsinki for the 30th of January.

On February 4th I will perform @Tekosyyklubi. It's a monthly songwriter's club organized by Elvis ry. Anssi Kela will be performing on the same night there, so hello! Better get there early!

Last year I wrote about bucket lists. This year I won't make promises or bucket lists, but I do have one wish: I want to experience Paris. It is a need really. I have the perfect boots and trench coat for the trip, just tickets and hotel needed.

Hope you are starting your New Year in good spirit!


Fall shows and recovering


Hi there,
I'm happy to tell you that Flow festival was such a great way to return to playing live! Thank you kind people in the audience.
Solitifest was a blast, also. We did a duo show with Mikael. Some people cried. That's how we roll!

It's great that there is a little more live performing coming this autumn while I mostly take time off to recover from a hellish ride of cancer treatment. The recovering is going fine though, thanks for asking. My hair is growing and it is acting as a simile to everything else.

Next you can catch me and the band in Helsinki @Gloria Kulttuuriareena September, the 26th. Black Twig will be there too. This show is special because instead of Alina (who can't make the show), Niko Votkin will be playing the drums, so it's going to be a once-in-a-life-time chance to see the album line-up of Astrid4 playing together.

Then in October we play @Höstfest in Jyväskylä. Seems like a perfect festival. And Alina is back!
There will be more in October and later this year, so stay tuned.

PS. Astrid4 has come out in South Korea via Chili Music! Yeah!



Marianne Faithfull in The Girl On A Motorcycle

Observations from the past months:
–happiness does not necessarily disappear from life once you become seriously ill
(in fact, I have noticed that good health and happiness have nothing to do with each other)
–colours seem brighter
–really boring and mundane days are the best
–while energy is often something I do not have at all, then when the better days come, I feel like I could run a marathon, write an album in one sitting and throw big parties all the time. I feel more happy than ever that is.
–sick people don't constantly think about being ill
–losing my hair is harder to deal with than losing a breast
–today I referred to 'those people who have lost a part of their body' forgetting that I am one of those poor people...
–illness does not make you any more understanding or smart or compassionate...
–there are jokes to be made and laughs to be had everyday

–Finally, I feel the tickling in my brain of new song ideas beginning to gather above my head like clouds. So I'm pretty sure there will be songs too.


ASTRID4 Out in the UK today!


It's been a little quiet here recently, while I deal with being ill and having treatments. Days go by with nothing news worthy – quite the opposite. Still, there are happy days and great good news every now and again. Like today. I am over the moon about my album coming out in the UK today. I hope the album is found by understanding ears. Who knows, maybe I'll make it there in the autumn.
Black Bear And a Hoofer is the new single from Astrid4 and it got a premier on Clash on this very day.
How great is that?

This is what Soliti says about the whole deal:

Astrid Swan‘s Astrid4 album receives a UK release via Soliti on the 22nd April 2014. To celebrate this, you can download/share the new single Black Bear & A Hoofer, a track that easily embodies many of the themes found on Astrid4. As Astrid points out “I don’t care for the forest. Never been a nature creature really. I don’t go berry picking in August, I’m fine in the city. But a natural order began to outline itself in the concrete. There are black bears behind my closed eyes, wild deer hoofs in the night.”

Clash premiered Black Bear & A Hoofer today and said of Astrid4 “An expansive, sumptuously produced record, it matches the odd Americana flourish to baroque pop arrangements worthy of ELO.Shamelessly pop and outrageously ambitious”

A few shop links for the UK too:
Buy from UK outlets: AmazoniTunes, SpotifyVirgin MediaPlayEBayBandcampJunoDiscorderRhythm OnlineShellshock etc etc.

Talk soon darlings!