First, the facts: ten years ago, the young Swedish bassist Jenny Apelmo took a night train from Gothenburg to Berlin. She thought she’d stay in Germany for perhaps ten months. But Hamburg-based Torpus & The Art Directors had other ideas, and she played bass/double bass with them for the next ten years. Jenny has also always written her own music. Initially recording and playing solo under the name ‘Felicia Försvann’, she released the gorgeously moving “Pretty confused, walking home with no shoes” EP in 2016 – which she recorded in her home studio.
Jenny Apelmo continued to write. But she started pursuing a different direction, adding depth and colour to her palette of emotions with her songs. They acquired a new confidence. They expressed anger and defiance. And inspired by the many thought-provoking, contemporary Scandinavian indie artists, they became more introspective. With the new songs, Apelmo unleashed a new level of intensity and maturity. She discovered an affinity with other female singer-songwriters – most notably Lykke Li and Feist. She started picking up her electric guitar rather than the acoustic. And she found the courage and openness to convey the depth of her frustration by championing the misunderstood.
With new doors opening, one had to close. Felicia Försvann’s time was running out: “It had always led to confusion anyway, as people thought that's my real name,” she laughs. And so she launched Jenobi. “I am a feminist,” she says, “and so I have always strived, as a woman, to create music and art on my own.
Jenny alias jenobi worked on the music for the best part of three years. Some songs wrote themselves quickly. Others saw several incarnations and were deconstructed, rethought and rebuilt.
They all share the new emotional darkness in Jenny’s music, as well as her skills in arrangement. Every sound has its own aesthetic value – each one beautifully textured and perfectly placed. On the album you can here Jennys guitar- and basslines, Felix Roll on drums. The album is produced by Jenny and Felix together with Sönke Torpus as co producer in the bubble studio.
Trust, commitment and inspiration: Jenny reflects on these feelings in her lyrics, and not for nothing is the album entitled “Patterns”. “We all have certain patterns that we have developed and follow in our lives – patterns that determine how we live our lives, now and in the future. Maybe it’s because your parents behaved in a certain manner, or your childhood had a specific impact on you. And now you instinctively react in a similar way to comparable situations – again and again,” observes Jenny. She explores the depths of these patterns in an intensely personal and emotional way on this record. A way which, thanks to her candid, insightful lyrics, will resonate with each and every one of us.
Live Jenny is accopanied by drummer Felix Roll, guitarplayer Dorothee Möller, keyboardist Lorena Clasen to reproduce the intensity of the layered textures and skilful, stripped-back arrangements on stage. But before the live concerts get under way – if only due to the current pandemic – this wonderfully touching album is now available. It lets us get to know Jenny Apelmo a little better and discover her thoughts on the patterns and trajectories of life. Just give yourself some time to let the beauty sink in. For a first introduction to “Patterns”, Jenny recommends a good glass of red wine in the “Eldorado” bar, a favourite of many Hamburg musicians (and where she drew the inspiration for many of her lyrics). Here the songs will start to speak for themselves – she's sure of that. And she’s probably right.
Author: Sascha Krüger
Translation: Tom Bennett
Produced & recorded by Jenny Apelmo
All are songs written by Jenny Apelmo