Hailing from Stockholm, couple Linnea and Joel Edin, aka The Forest & The Trees are a striking addition to the canon of quintessential bittersweet indie-pop to emerge from Sweden in recent years. Creating delicately crafted songs, their work showcases a talent for combining playful melodies with the perfectly balanced harmonies of their vocals.
Having originally played together in Joel’s band Tupelo Honeys, they formed in 2008, before releasing their self-titled debut in 2010. After playing throughout Europe they released their “What We Lost” EP in 2011, featuring remixes from the likes of NIVA and Houses.
In the years that followed the ennui of daily life kicked in, and when Linnea lost her job and Joel found himself bored of his studies, inspiration to write new songs proved hard to find. The couple decided to “take action and leave the Swedish darkness”, and moved to Valencia for four months, a city they’d first visited and fallen in love with when they’d played there several years earlier.
The influence of their time in the city is palpable, lending their new album a sun-drenched optimism, despite having only written one song (lead track “You’re In My Skin”) during the duration of their stay. It’s a noticeable shift in mood, and one that the duo acknowledges: “Whereas our first album evolved around escaping and fear of growing up, the new songs are mostly about facing that fear and dealing with stuff instead of running away. We decided to name the album Missions, from one of the songs on the album, because it sums it up, it’s more positive. These songs are more about facing problems and doing something about them, rather than escaping.”
Drawing on the music they listened to as teenagers, bands like Popsicle, The Cardigans and The Cocteau Twins, has driven their sound to develop precision, while retaining a balance of the carefree and complex. Such a middle ground was hard to find, so despite early plans to produce the record themselves, they eventually decided to bring in Johannes Berglund, who’d previously worked with The Radio Dept. Shout Out Louds and The Knife, seeking some necessary objectivity. “We’ve been acquainted with Johannes for a few years and we totally love the work he’s been doing. So we asked if he wanted to mix our single “Putting Down the Gun” which he did and we were so pleased with the result,” they explain. “It felt like he really understood what we wanted and could help us with that final push. He really works.
The new album, mixed by Johannes Berglund (Radio Dept, Shout Out Louds, I Break Horses, etc) will be released June 16 on Best fit recordings.