Multi-Grammy winning Swedish artist Anna Ternheim will be releasing her second American record on August 11th, Entitled "Leaving on a Mayday." The record was produced by Björn Yttling, of Peter, Bjorn and John fame. (Yttling has also produced records by Lykke Li, Primal Scream, Shout Out Louds, Sahara Hotnights and others in recent years.) In anticipation of her new album, Leaving on a mayday, Ternheim has teamed with iTunes to release an exclusive bundle including her new single "What Have I Done," the music video for "What Have I Done," and "What Have I Done" (El Perro Del Mar remix).
Ternheim and her band will be playing two shows this week and next in New York City. On June 18, she will appear at Brooklyn's Bell House and on June 22, she will be at Joe's Pub.
"Leaving on a Mayday" is actually Ternheim's third full-length, as America combined her first two for her debut in this country. For the new record, Ternheim has recorded a set of songs with a new self-confidence and rough authority that she hasn't displayed in the past. Instead of taking the safe road, she and Yttling approached the music without compromise: the songs are crystal clear, direct in their approach and refuse to hide behind any big arrangements or sonic tricks. The instrumentation is sparse, and the focus on Ternheim is total. All the songs were recorded live, including the strings.
Having toured the last record, "playing bombastic, dark pop, it felt natural to walk a different path this time," says Ternheim. "For me, the end of each album recording has been the start of the next album, like some sort of reaction against what you've dug deep into, dreamt about and worked fanatically with...until you get bored and end up not wanting anything to do with it. It was incredibly inspiring to work with Björn. He's reminded me of how I used to sing when I was a child, letting the melodies and voice roam freely."
After many live dates in America with the likes of Joseph Arthur, El Perro Del Mar and Lykke Li, Ternheim decided to move to New York. As a result, though Ternheim and Yttling started the record at Atlantis Studio in Stockholm, they finished Leaving on a mayday at Sear Sound studio in New York. A couple of American musicians participate on the album -- Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, as well as axeman Matt Sweeney, who lately has been Rick Rubin's house-guitarist. Sweeney has played on albums by Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Cat Power, Bonnie Prince Billy and Dixie Chicks among others.
"Leaving on a Mayday" is available now in her homeland of Sweden, and went gold after only a few weeks after entering the Swedish charts at #1. At the Swedish Grammy Awards in Stockholm on January 7, 2009, the record was voted "Album of the year," and Ternheim was named "Female artist of the year."