First published on 18 Dec 2012. Updated on 18 Feb 2013.
Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt are part of a long list of brilliant musicians coming out of Sweden right now. Time Out caught up with Hjelt to talk about their upcoming self-titled album, collaborations and what it's like to be a burgeoning fashion icon. Oh, and a little song called ‘I Love It’.
Caroline, everyone’s nuts about the Swedes right now – you have yourselves, Miike Snow, Lykke Li and Niki and the Dove. What is it about Sweden at the moment that is bringing out all this good music?
I don’t know it’s weird, everywhere you go it’s fucking Swedes and I love it. It’s great – you meet all your friends on the road. I think Sweden makes beautiful music so I am just happy it is happening. I don’t know what it is... maybe there is something in the water.
You’re on tour with Marina and the Diamonds now and you’re coming here for Summadayze. You both seem to be constantly on tour – where have been your favourite places to play?
It’s hard to say because every place has got it’s own charm. We haven’t played much in Sweden over the past year and it always brings up certain feelings to go home and play. It has been great being here in the States and realising how huge it is, it takes a while to go to all of these places but everyone has been very receptive to our music here. It’s hard to say because we have never been to Australia but we are so excited and I can’t wait to go.
People are now noticing you for your fashion as well as your music.
I am flattered and honoured that people think we have style. We love to express ourselves through clothes and we think clothes can be beautiful. We don’t follow any trends; we like the side of fashion when it is like art. Street fashion for example, when someone can put on something very weird and just pull it off. We also love stage clothes, really dramatic stuff and we love that people brought us into that side of this world.
Am I right in saying you made the dresses that featured in the video for ‘I Love It’?
Yeah, we got a little bit of help from a friend but we came up with the idea and just started cutting. It was very fun and playful.
When can we expect to see your debut album?
We are wrapping up the album right now so it will be out early next year. It is very excited, it feels that we are going to give birth to a little super baby.
You recently released your EP Iconic – what will be the main differences between that and the soon to be released album?
It feels like the EP is a starter and now the main course will come. The EP was good because we wanted people to get to know us a bit better. We wanted to show who we are and what Icona Pop is all about. It is basically two best friends pouring their hearts out. Now the album is going to get a little bit more under our skin. It’s absolutely not going to be 15 tracks that sound exactly the same. We are going to take it down and show you a little bit more vulnerable side to Icona Pop. To put it like this: I think the album is going to be bittersweet because it is going to be deep but it is still going to have the highs. It is going to be an extremely honest album.
You collaborated with Charli XCX on 'I Love it' – how did that come about?
We were in the studio with Patrick Berger recording ‘Good For You’ and we were sitting talking and he showed us this song that he did with Charli XCX over a more cute beat and we were like “wow”, we could really relate to that lyric. We were going through some love drama and we were like, “Shit we want to sing the song,” because we were angry. We asked Charli if we could use it and she said yes and we took it and made it more Icona Pop with shouty choirs, punkiness and the “fuck it” feeling. We love the song; it feels like we adopted it. It’s our little baby.
Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with in the future?
There are so many and we have a lot of plans and I don’t want to tell you too much because I don’t want to jinx it but we would love to work with Diplo, Talking Heads, Chemical Brothers – you name it.
What plans do you have for 2013?
We do have huge plans. We are both dreamers, we have never been afraid of dreaming big and I think that is important. Our goal is to go on a headlining world tour and reach out to all the places in the world and to reach out to new people. We want to keep on doing what we are doing until we are like 85 years old.