Going the distance
While life is in constant progress, dedication is what keeps you grounded and drives you forward. Pale Honey and side effects are two Swedish acts who have moved from one creative point to another, hopelessly devoted to their cause.
Awakening listeners from their dull, everyday life with its raw and uncompromising sound, Pale Honey’s music starts out mild, but escalates quickly to a roar that’s impossible to ignore.
The duo behind it, Tuva Lodmark and Nelly Daltrey, tell us their fascination with music began when they got to know each other at school and started to play together. “A brand-new world opened up for us,” says Lodmark. “One that took us from mindlessly hammering an instrument or playing a bit carefully, to getting to know a new person and instantly creating songs together. That time is full of special memories – sneaking out of class to try out a distortion pedal together, or getting tangled up in guitar leads from jumping around with happiness at getting a great idea.”
Lodmark and Daltrey have been the critically acclaimed darlings of music journalists since the release of their eponymous debut album in 2015. It’s not hard to understand why, since their tunes change from smooth and slow to fascinating thunderstorms in the blink of an eye. Any artist’s second album is often described as the “difficult” one, and Lodmark and Daltrey explain that they have taken their time with theirs, which they’ve called Devotion, and dared to trust their gut feelings.
“We made a decision not to get stressed about the making of it, which has felt good,” says Daltrey. “Many of the songs on the debut album are ones we made as teenagers and made it to the album as we didn’t dare mess around with the material. We have done it the other way around this time and been careful. That has meant spending more time testing ideas and, at the same time, giving each other space to do other things.”
There’s a recurring theme in many of the tracks on Devotion, which is out on October 13. In many ways, it’s a personal album – it’s about love and being close to someone, the kind of love that makes the heart burst, as well as the opposite. The pair say the process has involved angst and self-doubt mixed with moments of feeling incredibly good.
“We have always done music for our own sake,” says Lodmark. “We are the ones who put the biggest pressure on ourselves and, in the end, we are the ones who want it to be something great that reflects what we stand for. This album has taken its time to grow into its final 10-track collection, and we are incredibly proud of ourselves. We have our favourites on it and we’re not concerned if it doesn’t appeal to listeners – we have spent our time and devotion doing something that we love.”
Pale Honey nail it when it comes to synchronising their style with their sound. Often seen in all black in photographs, as well as on stage, they describe it as “a work uniform that reeks of rock’n’roll”. The duo don’t have any specific style icons but say that they would go for a more Alex Turner kind of vibe than Lady Gaga. When it comes to favourite clothes, Daltrey mentions a wonderful oversized yellow Whyred T-shirt that she likes to thrown on: “It’s been a real favourite for a while.” Their guidelines when it comes to clothing seem to be the same as when it comes to their music – they trust their gut feeling. “We have a very minimalistic and comfortable style,” Daltrey continues, “and it’s important that it feels right and personal. Basic clothing is key, but the fit is what separates the gold grains from boring, plain clothes. We do also like dresses a lot, but they’re a bit hard to wear when you’re sitting in front of a drum kit.”
Pale Honey´s influential mix: