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VICTORIA+JEAN

‘Härligt Sverige is a tense and intense rumble of a song which begins with twinkling synths before veering off somewhere altogether darker thanks to Victoria’s passionate vocal and Jean’s trembling baritone guitar which guides the song towards goth-blues pastures inhabited by the likes of PJ Harvey’ The Line Of Best Fit

‘Härligt Sverige’ is the mesmerising debut single from Swedish/Belgian duo Victoria+Jean. Translated as ‘Glorious Sweden’, ‘Härligt Sverige’ was inspired by the Brussels-based Victoria’s longing for her homeland. “I’ve always had a need to come back to Sweden, it’s like I miss the smell of the trees, the taste of it’s food, and a need for coming back to my roots,” she says. “The song is about that, the blue and yellow flag, the lakes, the forests, family, mid summer… and me wanting to show it to the ones I love.”

The film-noir inspired video for ‘Härligt Sverige’ – premiered on The Line Of Best Fit – was shot in Mälmo and directed by Corentin Kopp.

Partners in life as well as on stage, Victoria+Jean are a throwback to those times where being a musician was a calling, where creating music was an honour and where those gifts had to be protected. This calling meant Victoria abandoning her first career as a model.

“My mother was a model in the 80s so I have always been surrounded by fashion people and I started modelling when I was 13 or 14,” she explains. “The more I grew up the more I got to meet photographers and designers like Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Zac Posen and Christopher Niquet. But the difference was that they really took me for what I was, a musician. I never liked the fashion side of things, the models, the castings, the object side that you are taken for.”

At 16, Victoria was signed as a solo artist by Universal Records in France. However she fought their desire to make her a French pop songstress and broke her fairytale four-album deal after the compromises forced on her while recording her ­first album. Having experienced the limitations of a big record label dictating her behaviour and image, she decided to move to Belgium and ostracize herself from the music industry. She met Jean and started a career motivated by encounters, travels and sound, he having left school at the age of 16, to begin a life of touring the world with various bands and musicians prior to them joining forces.

The duo’s forthcoming debut album, ‘Divine Love’, is a very personal piece of art but also a collaboration with a series of esteemed producers who have worked with many of Victoria+Jean’s favourite artists. These include John Parish (PJ Harvey, Goldfrapp, Eels) Ian Caple (Kate Bush, Tricky, Tindersticks), Rob Kirwan (U2, Depeche Mode, The Horrors), Christopher Berg (The Knife, Depeche Mode), Joe Hirst (Florence + the Machine, Stone Roses, M.I.A) and Alistair Chant (PJ Harvey & John Parish, Seasick Steve, Rokia Traore).

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