Swedish americana band Loveflowers' new CD is a mini album consisting of half a dozen songs previously only available on streaming sites.
Loveflowers are based in the area around Västervik in the south of Sweden. The core of the group consists of Michael Greiffe on drums, percussion and backing vocals, Leif Thörner on lead vocals, guitar and slide guitar, and Yvonne Greiffe on lead vocals, percussion and backing vocals. They are complemented by Mattis Johansson on upright bass and Robert Ljungberg on pedal steel, lap steel, guitar and mandolin.
"The songs are written by the core trio, the others help us arrange and embellish the songs", says Michael. He and Leif compose most of the music, while Yvonne writes most of the lyrics.
Loveflowers were formed in 2006, and released their 1st album, ”Loveflowers”, in 2008. Some lyrics were in English, and others in Swedish, which caused a bit of confusion among some listeners, Yvonne remembers. In 2013, their 2nd full length release, “Bridge Or Barrier”, saw the light of day. This time all lyrics were in English.
Since then, they have visited the US 3 times playing festivals and various venues. So far, they have also won 3 different awards at the Texas Sounds International Country Music Awards. 2014 Singer Songwriter Of The Year, 2015 Rich Lundgren Legacy Award and 2017 Texas Heritage Award.
"The US visits also meant spending most of the budget that could have been used for a 3rd album. At the same time, we were unsure of which direction to take the music, so it felt good to collect new songs and try them out live before taking things further", Michael explains.
Even at an early stage, the music had elements of alt country. Today, they refer to their music as americana, and even include the word in their logo. "It's an inclusive term that means you can bring in elements of various genres of roots music, country, folk, blues and singer songwriter", explains Michael.
Add a melodic pop sensibility, and the result is songs that are accessible, but also stand a lot of listens. "The songs are stylistically varied, yet people tell us that it sounds like Loveflowers", says Yvonne.
They count Emmylou Harris, Daniel Lanois and the collaboration between Alison Krauss and Robert Plant among their main inspirations. "My lyrics are influenced by things in life that affect me, things I've read or been moved by", says Yvonne. "Nature is also a huge source of inspiration". Her early lyrics had an introspective streak, but now she tries to write songs that communicate as well as reflect. There is a story behind every song.
"'Frozen Tears' was meant to describe what nature looks like when it's nearing Christmas, but ended up being a description of how you stand naked in front of another human being when you find love and you can show the other person exactly who you are".
"'Final Dance' was written as a farewell to my mother, who died in 2020. I always felt that I didn't really know her, she kept other people at bay, which made her passing cause twice as much grief. The title comes from a moment in time which was the only time I really saw her happy, which was when she was going to a dance together with my father", says Yvonne.
"To me, 'Sea Of Hope' carries a certain mystique. It can mean many things", says Michael. I try to describe someone I've met early in life, but could never really reach. It's about something unattainable. But sometimes the listener finds a better interpretation of the song than the songwriter intended".
Which are Loveflowers main strengths then? "The fact that we have the courage to do what we want, and stand by that", says Michael. "Swedes aren't usually good at encouraging each other, but we're more influenced by the American mentality where you dare to compliment and boost each other".
"We do what we like and write to please ourselves. If others take it to heart, it's a bonus", says Yvonne. The group's main ambition is to play live a lot, while coming up with new material. "We may be picky, but we prefer playing to a listening audience, and to get paid, to be able to finance future productions", says Yvonne.
In the end, it's curiosity and the joy of creating that drives Loveflowers. "The fact that you can still be surprised and in awe by music is pretty cool", says Michael.