Badlands – “Southbound Call”

Post Author: Myles Hunt

Swedish dream pop musician discusses creative process & whirring latest single

It seems like a perfect time to enter a musical dream land. The need for an escape is forever apparent, so much so that multi-faceted Swedish musician Badlands is a master of the genre. With her latest single, “Southbound Call” from her upcoming March 5th album Djinn, Badlands solidifies herself as a leader in her field. 

Dreamy beats and hymn-like vocals emit straight into the eardrums from the onset with “Southbound Call.” It is pleasurable while also linking into a subconscious bending initiative. Badlands is encouraging us to go off with reckless abandon. It doesn’t matter where, but to simply begin the journey. A consistent whirring of synths and an infectious rhythm begs listeners to continue in their pursuits. Her command of that ethereal element plays well into her musical attributes. It is weird in all of the best ways with a catchy earworm effect. A cacophonous finale sends a hopeful call to optimism to mind. The track is reflective of the times and will be a welcome safeguard for the new year.

A student of the DIY music community, Badlands’ work is a pleasant mix of exploration. She never seems to stick in one realm and instead attempts to traverse uncharted territories for a more unique perspective. She often regularly succeeds in this regard thanks to her discography with gems like Locus and “Tutu”. With “Southbound Call,” she proves yet again her worth and dedication to her craft.

Your music is dreamy and beckons listeners to join in on an adventure, how is the journey in making these sounds for you?

I always have my head up in the clouds, so there’s no real distinction between my everyday life and adventure, in terms of making music I mean. My mind is always elsewhere, and that’s where the music comes from. It’s just pure channeling, I don’t think or plan it, I let it come to me instead. It usually starts with an impulse, or that I hear something that sparks an idea. Or a vague and imponderable vibe that I just have to actualize somehow. Then I might record a memory note to my phone, or play it on the piano. Then I take it to my studio. I start recording melodies, beats, try out modules, instruments and vocals in some kind of structured chaos. That organically evolves into a tune…Other tracks just attack me. “Out of Reach” (out 2/17) was like that for example, it just wrote itself. 

Where do you escape when making your music?

I have a very nice studio space in central Malmö, a couple of blocks from where I live. That’s where I escape physically…I also work with making commissioned music and sound designs for a living, so it’s more of a mental escape when it comes to Badlands. Usually a very welcome one. Badlands is my rabbit hole where I happily get lost for hours and days at a time. 

How has the start of 2021 gone for you? 

I keep busy & have found a weird calm in the midst of this sad time with lock down and Covid. It was very different this time last year, when we had to cancel the US & Canada tour with The Radio Dept. along with a lot of other things. That felt so sad and disappointing…Now I’m just grateful no one I know has been seriously ill, and that I can focus on my own music and album release. I’m a loner in general, so lockdown is no big deal for me personally. I love to spend time with friends and family obviously, but I prefer to work alone and need plenty of space so it suits me quite well…However, his new universal loneliness is sad. I really hope it’s over soon. 

How do you beat that creative rut?

It hasn’t happened to me as of yet, that I’m aware of at least. If it has, I’ve probably managed to disguise it for myself by jumping onto some other ongoing project, so I don’t even get a chance to take note of it. I’m easily distracted. That’s how music is my sanctuary, because with everything else I tend to overthink. With music I just do and feel…I’ll probably have to eat up those words someday. 

Is there a moment from the chaotic past year that stands out in your mind?

Well it’s my life and I don’t know anything else, so it’s all pretty normal to me. I wouldn’t know what stands out or not, if you know what I mean. Life is so perishable and I’m afraid of forgetting, rather than being haunted by memories…I don’t dwell on stuff either, I always look forward. That’s the main reason why I made this album a kind of a memorial, to let myself dwell on something for once, explore what I’ve gone through without tailing it away with; “at least it’s not war” or something like that. I really need to force myself to remember, so this album is so against my nature… If anything was to stand out, it’s probably the bright and beautiful moments. That’s how we work as humans, that’s how we survive.

‘Djinn’ arrives on March 5; Pre-order HERE