The sounds of Stockholm coldwave sensation NONN (aka Christian Eldefors) have been buzzing around my brain since I first heard his vitally named single ‘Need’ back in April this year. The understated but urgent nature of his tracks resonate as deeply as the sounds of the synths and riffs he arranges to create ominous, post-punk, carefully nurtured noise.
I met him and his bandmates backstage on the night he was due to headline Fuzz Club’s showcase at The Shacklewell Arms. Members of supporting bands Float and Dead Vibrations kindly offered me some complimentary lasagne before leaving me to chat to Christian, Alexander Eldefors, and Hannes Nyling. We fly through my questions, which Christian answers carefully and modestly. We talk about the release of his first album, how his UK tour is going, and most importantly, his dog back home in Stockholm…
For anyone who doesn’t know, where did it all start for NONN?
It started back in 2015. I was living in Stockholm and I rented an apartment with a rehearsal space, and I just experimented with sounds for that winter, and out came this album.
So, for the whole of the winter you were a recluse?
Yeah, pretty much (laughs)
That’s cool. You’re currently on a headline tour of the UK, and you’re playing The Shacklewell Arms tonight (20th Sept). How’s it going so far? What are your anticipations for the rest of the tour?
So far it’s been really good. We were in Bristol last night, and I think tonight is going to be a good show too. We’re excited for Liverpool Psych Fest too (23rd Sept)
Is there anyone on the line up there that you’re hoping to catch?
We really want to see A Place To Bury Strangers, but I think we’re playing right after them, so we’re probably going to miss them (laughs). I guess we’re just going to wander around and try to see a lot of new stuff.
You’re selling a limited edition Flexi-disc exclusively at your Shacklewell Arms show, featuring track ‘Distracted’. Why did you pick this track in particular?
I recorded two tracks for a new single, but the flexi-disc only fits one song (laughs) so I had to choose, and I picked ‘Distracted’ as the main track.
Practical, I like it. You released your debut self-titled LP earlier this year via Fuzz Club records. What was the reaction like?
So far it’s been good. I was a bit worried because I didn’t really know what people would think of it. When it got released on Fuzz Club I was worried that people might not like the sound of it, but the reaction’s been really good.
What are you most proud of about this record?
Erm, seeing it through to the end and making the whole record, that’s a big deal for me (laughs).
That’s fair! I’ve noticed that your track names are all single words – ‘Need’ ‘Distracted’ ‘Fear’ ‘Time’ – they feel very ambiguous. Is this something you are conscious of? Does the sound or the track name come first?
The song names come afterwards. I started to name a few songs with single words, and then I couldn’t stop because it looked pretty good on the record (laughs), so now I’m like, I need to keep it this way.
Nothing wrong with continuity. Fuzz Club are hosting your gig at The Shacklewell Arms, so you’re playing with label mates Dead Vibrations, Spirit Valley and Float. Have you had a chance to listen to these bands? Is there anything in particular you like about them?
We played with Spirit Valley in Bristol yesterday, and that was the first time I heard them. They were really good, and Dead Vibrations I’ve heard a few of their tracks, but I’ve never seen them live. They’re from Stockholm like us.
Alexander: I’ve had their single in my head all week.
That’s the sign of a good band. Your recent video for ‘Hills’ was shot in your homeland of Sweden. Are you influenced by the landscape against which you grew up? Is your sound a reflection of that?
Yeah, it’s not necessarily inspiration because we see it every day (laughs), but it’s cool to have that scenery in your back yard.
Hannes: It’s good to remember how beautiful it is.
What’s next on the horizon for NONN? More recording? More live dates?
Hopefully some more live dates during the winter, and then I’ll try to write new stuff and record a new album, hopefully including these guys (gestures to Hannes & Alexander) from the beginning and make it more band-ish (laughs)
Finally, if you weren’t creating music, what do you think would take up most of your time?
Alexander: Your dog?
Christian: Yeah, I’d spend all of my time with my dog (laughs)
Thank you to Christian & co for answering our questions. NONN’s debut self-titled album is available via Fuzz Club now. Follow NONN on Facebook for more updates.