Sigrid has learned the power that comes with letting go. That’s the crystalline message in her sophomore album, the appropriately titled How to Let Go.
A week before releasing the album’s May 6th release, Sigrid is sitting in her record label’s office in London. She’s recently returned to Europe from a whirlwind press tour in the US — her first time back in the States since before the pandemic. The journey included shows at The Fonda Theater in Los Angeles and Brooklyn Steel in New York, and even an intimate, early-morning concert on the 86th Floor Observatory of the Empire State Building.
“It was kind of surreal,” she says of performing inside the famed New York City landmark. “But yeah, it was great fun. They even let us up on this floor that almost no one gets to go to, which is really exciting. To the actual, like, top, top of the Empire State Building, so that was very special.”
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Even separated by more than 5,000 miles and meeting for the first time over Zoom, the Norwegian pop star is warm and engaging during our interview. Dressed in a cozy bluish-gray turtleneck with her hair pulled back in a casual ponytail, she opens up about how the new studio set differs from her 2019 debut, Sucker Punch.
“I feel like the songs are breathing maybe more sonically than on the first record,” she says, the end of her thought lilting up like a question. “I absolutely love the first record, I’m so proud of that one. That one was leaning quite into the Scandipop thing. I think this is still…I mean, I’m Scandinavian, you’re gonna hear that I’m Norwegian no matter how much English I speak. But yeah, the guitars are allowed to flow to my vocals, I’m not singing like [mimes relentless ferocity] all the time. It’s all breathing a bit more.”
The recording process behind How to Let Go also stood in stark contrast to her first album — largely thanks to the hectic demands of life as a rising pop star screeching to a standstill along with the rest of daily life at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Rather than being cobbled together on various writing trips to music industry hubs like LA and NYC, the bulk of the album was created in relative isolation in Copenhagen with just Sigrid, Danish producer Sylvester Sivertsen, and songwriter Caroline Ailin.