words and interview by tom johnson
Released earlier this month, Liima’s new ‘1982′ LP offers the perfect balance between experimental extravagance and tender songwriting, marrying existential visions of the technological world we give ourselves to with their signature Nordic magic, fine-tuned to something of a signature sound through their previous work with Efterklang and on to this latest, brilliantly captivating release.
Plucked from said record, ‘Life Is Dangerous’ is indicative of the new record’s charm, a slow-burning pop song that weaves those aforementioned sentiments inside an inspired instrumental, all gently throbbing guitars and scattered, playful adornments, resulting in a beautifully detailed four-and-a-half minutes that has a weight of poignancy at its core.
Unveiled below today – alongside an interview with Caspar Clausen – the track’s new video is a striking counterpart, a beautifully shot film that takes the track’s title-statement and uses kitten’s and snakes as the perfect indicator.
Speaking about the video, director Hugo Jouxtel said: “Danger is a fantasy, an idea, not much different than a dream. Danger is an accident waiting to happen and often triggered by our most profound fears. So this video takes us to a place connected with the subconscious. Is it real? Is it only a dream? And in the end, what’s the difference?”
You can watch the wonderful new video right here; scroll a little further down to find the new interview, which digs a little deeper in to themes behind the new record, which is out now and available here.
‘1982’ was about “questioning the concept of identity and our place in time” – do you feel in or out of place in 2017?
Both, I feel quite connected and excited about being alive in this time and at my age (35), standing on the back of 70+ years of recorded music. Today we can take all that brilliant stuff that artists before us have crafted over decades of genres and recording technology evolving, and mix it all up, create new hybrids between sounds and instruments and voices etc. I love that. It excites me, it feels like our time. On the other hand, I often feel totally out of place, lost, especially bodily, physically. The speed of how the world, or us humans, including myself, have adopted computers, screens, virtuality, is insane. I realise it again and again, the physical space around me is changing more so drastically, and the virtual space keeps expanding, and the border between them becomes more and more bold. Time to unplug, I’m sure there are other soulmates out there?
Do you think it’s healthier to feel in or out of time?
In time most certainly, but I like out of time too, like smoking cigarettes or drinking wine. Who’s in time all the time anyway?
Are you particularly nostalgic? Do you embrace it?
Yep I’m nostalgic but I try not to dwell too much on times that have been. I can cry when I see old pictures, a frame of time, but I’m also here in the moment, I try to stay in the moment, as much as I can, and steer my ship in an exciting direction.
Do you look back favourably or unfavourably on your own youth? Did you find yourself redefining it while working through the new record?
I’m mainly trying to make peace with all the nonsense of my youth and upbringing. Still learning about it. Talking to my parents, siblings etc, I see it in a different light. When I was a teen, I used to blame my parents for how they brought me and my siblings up. Now I realise the situation of my parents a bit better. Roles have changed and I see my parents weaknesses and strengths with new eyes. I was thinking of that this morning, the cells of our bodies, our brain and eyes too get replaced completely, while we age slowly and our perspective changes, but some essences remain.
Did you learn anything else new about yourself during the making of the record?
I can finally feel a little bit comfortable publishing my lyrics. Separating the word and the music. 1982 is the first record I ever released with my lyrics in the cover art.
We’re sharing the new video for Life Is Dangerous – firstly what can you tell us about the song itself and the idea behind its message?
LIFE IS DANGEROUS is the first song we wrote for 1982. We spent a week long residency in a 5 star hotel near Oxford street in London, and every day we would walk from our rooms through the lobby to the rehearsal space in the basement of the hotel wearing white robes and slippers, surrounded by luxury from floor to ceiling. A parallel world. We had to pinch ourselves, in a sort of David Byrne “Once in a Lifetime” kind of way, and the refrain of the song just popped out in a strangely natural way; Life is Dangerous.
Secondly, the video is pretty wild and looks like it was a lot of fun to make – can you tell us a bit more about it?
Our October tour with Grizzly Bear ended in Paris and we asked our friends at La Blogotheque if they wanted to make this video with us. Initially the idea was to go bungee jumping, but it turned out to be impossible and instead we ended up with snakes crawling all over us. The day before the shoot one of the grizzly bear guys asked where the snakes came from and how something like that was insured. We had not thought about stuff like that until that moment. We had absolutely no insurance and it turned out that the snakes were provided by a kind but unprofessional reptile enthusiast. It all went fine, but there were moments when the kittens would grab the attention of the snakes where you had a feeling that this could go terribly wrong. We shot the video in one day. We were quite jaded after two weeks of intense touring. It was fun in a surreal way – spending a full day with a film crew and reptiles in this abandoned factory in the suburbs of Paris. The director Hugo Jouxtel and his team did a great job.
Finally, as we head in to the end-of-year holidays, do you have any words of wisdom you’d like to share either with yourself or with the world?
Be kind, generous and bold.
UK tour dates:
30-Jan – The Lantern, Bristol
31-Jan – Soup Kitchen, Manchester
01-Feb – Summerhall, Edinburgh
02-Feb – Oslo, London