Last night at the Red Bull Music Festival in New York, Robyn sat down for an in-depth interview moderated by Adam Bainbridge, aka Kindness. During their chat, the Swedish pop singer divulged plenty of details on her new album, the long-awaited follow-up to 2010’s Body Talk. The most important tidbit for antsy fans: “It’s not finished yet but it’s almost there.” The news jibes with her previous update, in which she said the LP will be released before year’s end.
When beginning work on the new album, Robyn surrounded herself with familiar aspects of her life and past. “I started on my own, in my home studio, listening to music that I love, dancing and listening to beats,” she told Bainbridge (via Stereogum). Perhaps that time spent alone with her own creativity inspired her to take control over more aspects of the music. “The new album has much more production work on my end,” she added, but also confirmed that collaborators would be later brought in after she’s done “fleshing” out her material.
Throughout her album sessions, Robyn was influenced by psychoanalysis as well as the death of Christian Falk, with whom she played in the project La Bagatelle Magique. Falk passed away in 2014; the following year, the group put out a mini album called Love is Free featuring posthumous contributions from Falk.
The forthcoming full-length has the potential to be her grooviest and R&B-inflected one yet, as she used ’90s house music and the catalogs of Michael Jackson (in particular Thriller and Off the Wall), Janet Jackson, and Prince as guiding lights. “I always try to write a song that I think maybe Prince would like,” she said of the The High Priest of Pop. “That’s how I get myself in shape.”
But that process of getting into “shape” will take as long as it takes, according to Robyn — she hasn’t given herself a tight deadline. “I used to think the more you push the better it gets,” she explained, “but with this album I’ve gone more back into the softer I get, the more it happens, and the more colors and dynamic a song gets. And for me, that meant shutting down for a while and being sparse with my impressions and sensitive to what I needed.”
Although Robyn stopped short of diving into the specifics of any songs, she did talk about “Honey”, a 2017 song that premiered during the last season of HBO’s Girls but has never been officially released. At the time of the song’s premiere, she noted that a different version will likely appear on her upcoming album, and last night she confirmed that that’s still the case, as the Girls one is still not up to par with Robyn’s vision. “It’s a good version, it’s more like… it becomes more important to get it to a place where I made it to what I wanted it to be.”
The interview also saw Robyn play demos of “Be Mine” and “Dancing on My Own”. You can watch the full thing over on Red Bull’s website.
Following the discussion, Robyn played a surprise DJ set in Brooklyn last night, during which she debuted a new version of “Honey”: