“Northern Light” from Norwegian artist Intertwine, aka Tarjei Zakarias Ekelund, was a long time in the making. He first began working on the song while living in Tokyo, he says.
“At the point I wasn’t sure what it was going to be about, just that I wanted to make a dreamy, slightly melancholic pop song, and that the title would be ‘Northern Light.’ I’m not sure why that title was important, but I’m guessing homesickness. I wasn’t too excited about Tokyo at the time.”
A year later, he traveled to Copenhagen to record in the Red Bull studio for a few days.
“I brought my live band and we also invited Highasakite singer Ingrid Håvik to do some vocals. I wrote the lyrics with my bassist, Aleks Berg, wandering around the streets of Copenhagen at night time. It’s about an old man who is missing his late wife, and he’s imagining that the northern lights on the sky is her saying good bye. The result was indeed a dreamy pop song, but I was not happy with it at all. It was too big, too epic, and I threw the song in the garbage.”
It wasn’t until another year had passed, when he was back home in Trondheim, that he gave it one last try, he says.
“I deleted everything apart from the lyrics and the general feel of the song, and suddenly everything fell in place within 2 hours. The bassline, the beat, the organ. It ended up being one of my favourite songs of the upcoming album. Oh, and you can still hear parts of Ingrid’s amazing vocals in the last part of the song.”
The result is a song that sounds lived in, weary, but with the original spark of emotion lingering throughout.
Intertwine’s Goraikoo is out on Brilliance on November 6.