Brooklynese by way of Copenhagen, Nanna Øland Fabricius, better know as Oh Land, found her way to singing and songwriting after a serious back injury altered her plans of becoming a professional ballet dancer. It is said that the most bitter of trails are often blessings in disguise. Music gave Fabricius an outlet to express her grief and sorrow and quickly grew into a new direction for her life. Fabricius grew up surrounded by music: her mother is an opera singer, her father an organist. Family lore has it that she was quieted by her mother singing the Requiem while still in the womb. She didn't always consider her unconventional rearing a gift, but the advice and support of her family has proven invaluable.
Given her classic beauty and dance background, Fabricius could have taken the pop princess career path but instead chose the moniker Oh Land (derived from her middle name) to lend a bit of mystery to the person behind the music. Fabricius says that the name gave her freedom from being cast into any cliche. Oh Land might be a band or a person, which leaves listeners curious but with no preconceived notions. Fabricius isn't one to take her looks too seriously or cash in on her feminine appeal. Instead she has a bit of fun changing her aesthetic from album to album as another aspect of the creative process. For Earth Sick, she has a minimal cool girl chic vibe that makes me want to cut my hair short and rock a black catsuit.
The concept for Earth Sick came about when Fabricius watched a documentary on astronauts. Having dreamed of being home again, an astronaut has to contend with the irony of feeling ill upon their return to Earth. The feeling of being far from home and longing to return is a familiar one for Fabricius. Having moved to Sweden at the age of 15 to study at the Royal Swedish Ballet, she found herself living a life far from home at an early age and has since spent much of her career traveling and performing. Contemplating where she feels most at home - New York or Denmark - is a hard question for Fabricius to answer, but she says considers the stage a kind of home.
"Head Up High," the first single from Earth Sick, is an upbeat track that disavows the listener of any gloomy mood they may be in. I'm particularly smitten with the 80's club vibe of the CSS Remix of that track. Not coincidentally, Fabricius said she wrote the song to cheer up a sad friend. "That's why," says Fabricius about the nature of a song to change our mood, "We need music!" One of her favorite tracks from the album is "Favor Friends," which is an ode to a friend who is there only there when she wants something. If you listen, you can hear her mom singing opera on the track.
For more of my interview with Oh Land, check it out here!
Check out Oh Land's website!
Oh Land on Facebook!