Over the last few years Norwegian artist Tuva Hellum Marschhäuser – who records under the moniker Tuvaband – has proven herself a master of crafting songs that capture a special atmosphere in her sound, paint a shapeshifting world of burning emotion, and music that spellbinds.
Tuvaband’s debut album Soft Drop (2018) saw her writing songs that were airy, ghostly and effortlessly cinematic, while its follow-up, 2019’s I Entered The Void (which earned a nomination for a Norwegian Grammy) pushed her sound into rougher, heavier atmospheric rock. But what unites all her music is its raw intensity – her songs have fires inside them, and listening is like being pulled into the flame. With her new album Growing Pains & Pleasures (out 5/21/21), she’s set to take her songwriting to new levels and to adventurously push the boundaries of her musical world.
Tuvaband debuted material from Growing Pains & Pleasure live at the September 2020 Reeperbahn Festival and received a nomination for an Anchor Award – an accolade reserved for the most promising emerging musicians from the festival that was established in 2016.
While I Entered The Void was about isolation, the story of Tuva cutting herself off from society and the effect that process had on her, Growing Pains & Pleasures is about trying to find her way back. “When you’re in isolation you don’t meet many people”, she says, “and there are few impressions from the outside world. So, coming out of isolation can be an overwhelming experience – in ways both good and bad. A lot of the songs have feelings of fear; an irrational and vague, but constant fear”.
As the first single and opening song of the album, “Growing Pains” (out today) is a starting point for the story within. “The lyrics for this song were the first I wrote for this album”, says Tuva. “It’s about trying to hold onto the past, rejecting change in oneself and your surroundings. The song is about how it can feel to make a new start after a change: when you feel like a stranger to yourself, and you’re suddenly in need of new mental tools, to adapt to your new surroundings and to deal with this unfamiliar situation”.
In the end, Growing Pains & Pleasures isn’t a radical new vision for Tuvaband, but its songs have a strange magic in them, and most importantly, they have the burning honesty and emotional power so important in her music. That’s what anchors her to the songs, and is what makes this whole thing matter to her. “I need to feel something with the songs, I need the lyrics to mean something to me. All the work, the entire process, has to mean something to me. I wouldn’t sit and write lyrics if not to help myself get something out, because I have so much to get off my chest”.