Malmö, Sweden-based artist Charlotta Perers AKA Big Fox returns six years after her last album release with fifth single lifted from upcoming full-length “See How the Light Falls”. Initially due for release in May 2018, Charlotta received some news which derailed the campaign.
“A few weeks before the album was supposed to be released, I was diagnosed with Lymphoma,” she says. “It all happened very quickly and it was almost like entering a parallel world with a different time scale, rules and priorities.”
The process permitted a much deeper sense of perspective to come to light for Perers; “Life suddenly became very intense, very here and now – but that amplified positive experiences too. But it felt good to know that the album was waiting for me on the other side. It was a reminder of something else, the someone I was outside the hospital.”
18 months down the line, Charlotta is better and “slowly reclaiming my life back”. The period of gestation gave the finished album more gravity and significance for the songwriter. “When I listen to it now, I actually like the album even more,” she says. “I have some distance from it. When you’re in the middle of the process, it’s easy to get caught up in the details and not really hear the song anymore.”
Charlotta didn’t allow “See How the Light Falls” to be rushed. Taking two and a half years to finish, and five years to release the album, Perers laboured over it, allowing it to unravel and accumulate organically.
“My experience of creativity is that I get this vague feeling of being pointed in a certain direction,” she says. “It rarely explains itself more than that. But I’ve learnt that if I give it time and attention then things slowly start to move and grow into something, like with the lyrics, I can search for the right lyrics for a long time, even give up, and then some months later it’s as if the missing words find me rather than the other way around.”
Produced by Tom Malmros (Alice Boman, This is Head), the full-length explores varying sonic avenues, showcasing instrumental eclecticism in the form of subtle brass blasts, swelling cello and scintillating synthesisers.
On her new single, ‘Beast’, Charlotta interrogates the process of using violence and fear to enforce order, and frames through a plucky-pop lens. She comments on how it’s thematically introspective, and how the track has purposely adopted pop characteristics; “I’ve been thinking a lot about our need for control, how we justify the use of violence to create order. And my part in that order.
“We’re often so good at rationally explaining and justifying our actions that we end up convincing ourselves that we had no other choice. Maybe we didn’t. But the heart never forgets the eyes of the one we have betrayed. The heart never forgets. I wasn’t sure if I could write this song. Finish it. Balance it. It seemed so fragile, tipped over so easily. But it was almost as if it wanted to be written, needed to be. Sometimes maybe even the difficult subjects need their pop costume.”
With the visual side of things closely curated by Perers and her partner Anna Brånhede (bob hund), the end result of the entire creative process is a long play that is intensely evocative of times and feelings for Charlotta.
Brånhede comments on the accompanying visual for ‘Beast’; “We knew quite early on that we wanted to have masks in the video, and Richard Szedelyis’ masks have this wonderful mix of elegance and darkness that we were after. We wanted to create a feeling of being pulled into something against your will, but still adding a sense of humour, magic and lightness.”