Interview Broken Twin: ‘I’m A Complex Person’

Nordic music’s next leading voice? Broken Twin ‘May’ have something special up her sleeve.

The musical revolution in Scandinavia is no great secret. An enchanted land of fjords, forests and snow-sprinkled mountains, it’s now also a thriving hotbed of noir-pop and meditative melancholy. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that Broken Twin (aka. Copenhagen’s Majke Voss Romme) is already looking set to be a big part of it. Her arrestingly delicate ballads are sparse and soulful, swapping any big production for raw, minimalist storytelling. It’s Nordic magic, captured in a way that’s classic yet mysteriously matchless.

Despite their initial gentility, there’s evidently a lot of emotion behind the songs - but when asked what inspires them Majke remains coy. “Everything is inspired by something but it can be difficult sometimes to say exactly what it is,” she says quietly, “I just write whatever comes.” The songs are written in instinctual bursts – small sketches or melodies that Majke records, saves and puts to the back of her mind. “When looking at the album I guess I had more then 200 [recordings] to choose from, but not all of them were full songs… It could be just a melody or a chord, or sometimes just a whole song would come in one.”

These melodic instincts are a talent she’s been honing from an early age. Born and raised in Northern Jutland, Majke’s childhood was spent playing the piano alongside her amateur musician parents – but it was as she got older that she starting seeking it out by herself. “When there was nobody around I would just sit on the piano and play small tunes - just make up my own songs. The minute anyone entered the room I would just stop.” Though this wasn’t necessarily down to shyness – “as a kid I was really, really outgoing… but with the music I kind of just wanted to have it to myself.”

This conflict between keeping things private yet revealing is a recurring pattern throughout Majke’s music. The songs ache with emotional weight, but the lyrics remain cryptic. She insists this ambiguity is not an intentional choice. Instead, it’s a way of keeping the songs as open and relatable as possible. “I just write from my own perspective. Of course I hope that people can recognise something in themselves and put themselves in it - but the songwriting just comes.” There is a clear sense of sadness and mournfulness that peppers each track - but she is quick to dismiss any claims that she is a naturally melancholic writer. “I’m a complex person but of course I have that side of me as well. I’m very sensitive to whatever surrounds me.”

Either way, all that enigmatic sensitivity seems to be paying off. Majke has just finished tours with Daughter, Cat Power and James Vincent McMorrow, and her self-produced debut album - ‘May’ - is (sort of confusingly) due out in April. “It’s in the same atmosphere as the EP, but I also feel the songwriting has developed, and in a way I feel like it’s more diverse… there’s a bigger contrast between the songs.” Mixed by Ian Caple - the man behind Tricky, Suede and Kate Bush’s first demos – ‘May’ promises to build on Broken Twin’s Nordic wistfulness to create a pretty enchanting collection. “Of course I hope [my music] will make people feel something, or that it will move them in some kind of way - but just how, that’s completely up to them.”

Broken Twin’s ‘May’ is released on 28th April via ANTI-. She plays this year’s Great Escape Festival, Brighton (8th-10th May).

Taken from the new, free DIY Weekly, available to read online, download on Android via Google Play, or download on iPad now.

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